05. Sri Panchavarneswarar Temple, Uraiyur (Mukkeecharam), Trichy (Chola Nadu - South of Kaveri):Names of God : Sri Panchavarneswarar
Name of Goddess : Sri Gandhimathi
Holy water (Theertham) : Shiva Theertham, Naga Theertham
Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) : Vilwa Tree.
Thevaram : Sambandar
District : Tiruchirapalli.
Location : Trichy.
Timings : 05:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 04:00 p.m. to 08:30 p.m
For Complete List of 275 Shiva Temples : Click HereThis is the 05th sthalam on the southern side of river Cauvery. Thiruganasambandar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple. Uraiyur is the ancient capital of the great Chola kings. It is located near Trichy city in South India. It has an important Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is considered as the fifth among the Tevara Paadal Petra Stalams (274 most important temples of Lord Shiva) located in Chola country south of Kaveri river.
- Sambandhar has revered the temple in his verses in Tevaram..
- The temple was built by Kochchenganan Chola.
- It is the birth place of Pugal Chola Nayanar and Kochenganan Chola.
- Lord Shiva appeared in five different colors in five different periods in a particular to the saint Utanga; hence, the Lord is named as Panchavarneswarar which means 'the Lord of five colors'.
- Lot of sculptures on the stone pillars. All are worth to see. Of which, Elephant of Chozha King was defeated by a Cock in a fight relief and 5 females forming a horse, etc, are excellent. The temple structure / pillars are beautifully chiseled.
The temple is built based on maada kovil architectural style (raised platform). On either side there are thinnai (raised platforms) with pillars; all the pillars are found to be carved with sculptures.
The east facing sanctum sanctorum has a small Shiv Linga idol - Panchavarneswarar. The entrance to the shrine has small idols of Ganesha and Skanda as well as two big relief images of Dwarapalakas.
Nataraja-Sivakami alone with a lot of bronze idols are placed in a small shrine located in the maha mandapa.
Kantimathi is found in a separate south facing shrine.
The inner prakara has a lot of idols of sub-shrines. Pugal Chola, saint Utanga, Nalvar, 63 Nayanmars, Ganesha, few Lingas and Amman idols are located here.
The koshta idols around the main shrine are notably beautiful. Dakshinamurthy idol is found with a serpent on his head and a cow with four saints at his foot. It appears to be a rare sculpture. The idols of Brahma, Vishnu, Durga and Chandikeshwara are also found as the other Koshta idols.
The sub shrines of Ganesha, Subramanya with two consorts, Lakshmi and Saraswati are too located in the inner prakara.
The temple tank is located in the area outside the tower.
This temple is located in Tiruchirapalli city at a locality known as 1 Km from the Cauvery, sports one of the oldest and greatest Shiva Temples in Chola Naadu. This temple tucked away behind tall business complexes on Salai road was built in the 8th
century by the great Pandiya King Varaguna Maharaja II. The inscription dated 885 AD has referred to the donation of gold coins to the village sabha for performing poojas to the temple. Inscription in the Rockfort Thaymanavar temple at Tiruchirapalli also speak of the donations by the great padiya king Varagunaa Maharaja II.
At the entrance, a beautiful and richly decorated Nandi greets the visitor. The temple has a maha Mandapam, ardha mandapam and a sanctum sanctorum. The lingam in the sanctum is small in size. Lord Shiva is known as Panchavarneswarar, as he is said to have manifested Himself in 5 different colours to Utanga Munivar. The shrine for Utanga Munivar is situated directly across the main sanctum. Inside the sanctum sanctorum is the magnificent, tall lingam of Thanthondreeswarar, with a huge impressive base. Goddess Kanthimathi Ammai, the consort of Panchavarneswarar adorns Ankusam and Lotus in her two hands and faces north. Close to the shrine, one can see the images of Mahavishnu, the sun god, Lord Saneeswara and Kala Bhairavamurthy.
In the arthamanadapam, at the entrance to the sanctum sanctorum, there are two brilliant six feet tall Dwarapalakas with typical 8th century features. Both the images are brilliantly docorated. The southern wall of sanctum sanctorum is adorned with the image of Dakshinamoorthy and the northern wall with that of Lord Brahma. The 4 feet tall granite idol of Chandikeswara inside the shrine on the northern side is one of the tallest granite idols. This temple was renovated in the year 2002.
Garuda, Kasyapa Muni and Karkotakan are said to have worshiped here. Pugazh Chola Nayanar and Ko Chenkat Cholan, who built 78 Maadakkovils for Lord Shiva, was born here. Garuda, Kasyapa Muni and Karkotakan are said to have worshipped here. Shiva is said to have manifested himself in five different shades of color to Utanga Munivar (Ratna Lingam in the morning, Spatika Lingam at noon, Gold Lingam in the afternoon, Diamond lingam at night and Chitra lingam later on at midnight).
Uraiyur is also known as Kozhimanagaram as legend holds that a fowl blessed with divine powers defeated an elephant in an duel.
History / Legend:As per the legend, Lord Shiva appeared in five different colors, as Ratna Linga in the morning, Spatika Linga at noon, Golden Linga in the afternoon, Diamond Linga at night and Chitra Linga at midnight to Lord Brahma (in terms of colors, they are golden yellow, white, red, black and smoke ash). It is said that even today the color of Shiv Linga idol changes slightly as above. As the idol is of five different colors, he is named as Panchavarneswarar.
As per another legend, the serpent Karkodaga and his arch rival Garuda worshiped the Lord in this site.
Another legend states that the Chola king Karikalan was passing this place by his elephant. A valiant cock struck the elephant on its forehead. The elephant began to retreat. The king made this city as his headquarters.
There is another interesting legend associated with this site. A Chola king saw the five daughters of Nagaraja (the serpent king) worshiping five Shiv Linga idols. He married the youngest daughter. As per his request, his father in law gave half of Shiv Linga idol to him. The youngest daughter collected the other five Shiv Linga idols from her sisters and merged all the six idols into one Shiv Linga. It is believed that it is the site where that merged idol was installed.
An atheist ignored the Vibhuti-sacred ash Prasad offered to him in the temple. He was born a pig in his following birth and had to live in ugly muddy environment. He realized that his condition was the result of earlier behavior. He bathed in the Shiva theertha and was freed from the sin. Mother Gandhimathi Ammai was worshiped by Naga virgins in the Nagaloka – serpent world- and was installed here by a Chola king, according to history. Sri Rama worshiped Lord Shiva in Rameswaram. Lord Vishnu worshiped Lord Shiva in Mukkeeswaram.
Of the Pancha Bhooda places, Tiruvanaikaval belongs to Water, Kancheepuram to Earth, Tiruvannamalai to Fire, Kalahasthi to Wind-Vayu and Chidambaram to Space-Akasha. The devotee can have the collective benefit of worshiping in these five shrines if he worship Lord Shiva in this temple. Karkodan, his rival Garuda, Lord Brahmma had worshiped in this temple. Their influence plays all benefits to the devotee here ensuring success over the rival though he/she is as strong as an elephant.
Shivalinga in the temple showed Brahmma five colours – golden yellow, red, black, white and smoke ash here. For Sage Udangar, Shivalinga appeared as a Gem, Spatika, Gold and Diamond and as a portrait. Lord also appeared here as Cock and controlled a wild elephant. Uraiyur also has the reputation of being the birth place of Vaishnavite saint Tirupanazhwar and Saivite saint Pugazh Chola Nayanar. Kochengatchozha Nayanar attained the Lotus Feet of Lord in this place.
Karikal Cholan, a famous king of Chola dynasty during his travel from Kaviripoompattinam passed through this place. A cock struck on the forehead of his elephant. The elephant immediately began to retreat. The king realized the greatness of the place, built a city and stayed here making it his headquarters. The place is also called Urayur Kozhi. Kozhi in Tamil means cock.
As serpent Karkoda and his arch rival Sri Garuda Bhagwan had worshiped in this temple, it is the staunch faith of the devotees that they would be freed from any adverse effects falling on them. Also, as the Lord of Creation Brahma had worshiped here, success is certain any endeavor taken by the devotee.
Location: This temple is located in Tiruchirapalli city at a locality known as Uraiyur. Town buses are available from both Central Bus-stand and Chatram Bus-stand, since it is part of Trichy City.
Temple Address & Contact Details:Sri Panchavarneswarar Temple,
Uraiyur – 620 003,
Phone: +91 431 276 8546 and +91 94439 19091 , 97918 06457