06. Sri Thayumanavar Temple, Thiruchiramalai (Malai kottai), Trichy (Chola Nadu - South of Kaveri):Names of God : Sri Mathrubootheswarar, Sri Thayumaneswarar, Sri Thayumanavar
Name of Goddess : Sri Mattuvar Kuzhali, Sri Sukunthakundhalambigai
Holy water (Theertham) : Brahma Theertham
Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) : Vilwa Tree.
Thevaram : Thirunavukarasar ; Sambandar
District : Tiruchirapalli.
Location : Trichy.
Timings : 06:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and from 04:00 p.m. to 08:30 p.m
For Complete List of 275 Shiva Temples : Click HereThis is the 06th sthalam on the southern side of river Cauvery. Thiruganasambandar and Appar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple. Trichy is the short name of Tiruchirappalli city; it is one of the main cities of Tamil Nadu state in South India. The Rock Fort is the most popular landmark in Trichy city. It is a hill fort constructed on 273 feet high hill. There are three Hindu temples located here. The Uchchi Pillayar temple located on top of the hill is an important temple of Ganesha in the entire country. Thayumanavar temple, located in the middle of the rock fort, is considered as the 6th among the Paadal Petra Stalams (274 most important temples of Lord Shiva) located in Chola region south of Cauvery river.
- Manickavasagar, Sambhandar and Appar have revered the temple in their verses in Tevaram.
- Thayumana Swamigal belonging to18th century CE has also revered the temple in his verses.
- One of 274 Paadal Petra Stalams.
- One of the most popular temples of Lord Ganesha.
- Constructed on top of 273 feet high hill.
- Three temples located on the hill.
- Originally a military fortification by Vijayanagara kings and later by the British.
- 417 steps to reach the hilltop temple.
- Manikka vinayakar sannadhi at the base of the hill temple. The main shrine is 258 steps from the base.
- While climbing up we can see a Pallava period rock cut cave on the left side.
After taking few steps, you can find a shrine for Ganesha on your left side and Mouna Guru Swamy math on your right side. If you go further, you can find the 100 pillared mandapa full of sculptures. In the opposite direction of the mandapa, there is a shrine for Meenakshi and Sundareshwarar (Shiva Linga). After you take up further steps, you can reach the temple of Sahasra Lingam along with the sub-shrines of Ganesha and Kartikeya with his consorts. Take few more steps to reach the Siddhi Vinayaka shrine which faces you.
From Siddhi Vinayaka shrine if you take left and take few steps up, you will reach the large temple of Thayumanava Swamy. The sanctum sanctorum has a very large Shiva Linga (Thayumanavar). It is very rare to find such a huge Linga. The shrine has the golden vimana. At the entrance of the Ardha Mandapa as well as at the entrance of the inner prakara the Dwarapalaks are found. A small Nandi is found at the entrance of the Ardha Mandapa facing the sanctum sanctorum. There is a very big mandapa found before entering into the entrance of the inner prakara.
The wall around the sanctum sanctorum has the beautiful statues of Ganesha, Dakshinamurthy, Bhikshadanaar, Brahma and Durga as the Koshta idols. Usually, such Koshta images are in the form of relief images; however, here they are in the form of complete statues.
The inner prakara which surrounds the sanctum has the sub shrines of Chevvandhi Vinayaka and Subramanya-Valli-Devasena. The idols of Surya, Chandra, Bhairava, Chandikeshwara and Nalvar are also located in this prakara. There are three sub-shrines where the big bronze idols of Nataraja-Sivakami, Chandrasekhar and his consort and Somaskanda murtis are placed. All 63 nayanmars in the form of bronze utsava idols are placed in this prakara. Sura Deva, the deity made up of sandal wood having three arms and three legs is a unique feature of this temple. Many more utsava idols are also found here. Pataala Ayyanar with his two consorts is located in an under ground sub-shrine.
The shrine of the Goddess Mattuvar Kuzhali is located in a corner almost near the main entrance of the temple. The Goddess' idol is very tall and attractive. There are five Amman relief images found in the form of Koshta images around the shrine. Chandikeshwari idol is also found in the prakara of this shrine. A separate flag staff, bali peetha and Nandi are located facing the Amman shrine.
In between the Amman shrine and the main shrine which can be reached by taking few steps, there is a separate shrine for Mahalakshmi.
The big Nandi idol and the long flag staff with the bali peetha are located at the main entrance. The sub-shrines of Shanmukha-Valli-Devasena, Jalakandeshwarar, Kambattu Vinayaka, Sapta Matas, Sundareshwarar, Navagraha and 63 Nayanmars are all found in the area near the Nandi Mandapa. Among the Navagraha idols, only Surya is found along with his consorts; all other eight planets are facing towards Surya.
It is believed that the original Thayumanavar temple was constructed by the Pallavas. Later it was converted into a Jain temple. It was Mahendravarma Pallava who reconstructed the Shiva temple here. I am not sure if there are any historical records to prove this.
The temple tank is located in the middle of the city and not on this hill.
Another 200 steps take you to the hilltop Uchchi Pillaiyar temple. On the way up to the temple, you can find the cave temple of Lalitankura which was constructed by Mahendravarma Pallava.
Uchchi Pillaiyar temple is a simple one with one deity and a single prakara around the shrine. From this shrine, you can get an aerial view of almost the entire city of Trichy.
History / Legend:As per the legend, a demon named Tirisira worshipped Lord Shiva in this site; hence, the place was called as Tirisirapuram, which later became Tirichirappalli. It was also called as Dakshina Kailash in the olden days.
There was a fight between Aadi Sesha and Vaayu. Sesha encircled the Meru mountain and challenged Vaayu to take it off his clutches. Vaayu could not do that and admitted his defeat. However, three pieces of the mountain broke and flew down to three places. One site was Rock Fort in Trichy and the other two were Kalahasti and Triconamalee.
As per the popular legend associate with this temple, there was a woman named Ratnavati, who lived on the other side of the river Cauvery in the olden days; she was a great devotee of Lord Shiva of Rock Fort temple. She used to cross the river and visit the temple daily. She became pregnant but was still visiting the temple as usual. One day while returning back to home, the river Cauvery was flooded and she also got labor pain. She thought of her mother. All of a sudden, Lord Shiva appeared in the form of her mother and attended her; she delivered her baby safely. As the Lord appeared as the mother of a devotee, he got this name - Thaayumanavar which means the Lord who is also a mother.
As Sarama Rishi worshiped Lord Shiva with Chevandi flowers brought from Naga Lok, the Lord is also called as Chevvandi Nathar.
The region was ruled by a Chola king having Worayur as his capital. During this time, Sarama Munivar created a flower garden here and was worshiping Lord with Sevvandhi flowers. A trader stole the flowers from this garden and gave them to the king. As the king became very fond of these flowers, he asked the trader to supply them to him daily. The trader continued his theft business. This caused disturbance to the Shiva Puja of Sarama Munivar. His appeal to the king was in vain. Munivar appealed to Lord Shiva who looked at the direction of the court of the king and caused sand rain in the place. The king realized his wrong doing, prayed to Lord Shiva and was pardoned.
Trichy too devotees, mean first the Uchi Pillayar temple-Lord Vinayaka. He is the first deity in the place. After attending the Coronation of Lord Sri Rama in Ayodhya, Vibishana was returning to Lanka with the gift of Lord Sri Ranganatha worshiped by Lord Rama. The condition was that he should not place the idol on earth till he reached Lanka. To perform puja to Perumal on the way, he gave the idol to a boy there and went for a bath. But the boy had placed the idol on ground before Vibishana returned. He chased the boy to the top of the hill, where the boy showed who He was. He was none other than Lord Vinayaka. Hence, He is called Uchi (hill top) Pillayar. Vinayaka Chaturthi festival is celebrated grandly for 10 days in the temple.
Mother Mattuvar Kuzhali blesses the devotees from Her shrine. Relations of pregnant women come to the temple to pray for their safe delivery. They offer 21 puddings-Kozhukattai and 21 Appams along with betel leaves with turmeric and kumkum tied in a small cloth to Ambika for her blessings.
The following sloka is chanted 3 times a day by believers for a happy result.
Hey Shankara, Smarahara, Pramadhaadhi nadha
Mannaadha, Shamba, Ha, Trishoolin
Shambo Sukha prasava krutha bhava Dhayalo
Sri Mathrubhudha Shiva balaya maam Namaste
The flag post (kodimaram) is traditionally opposite the Lord’s shrine. It is behind the shrine in this temple. The shrine was previously facing east. As Lord turned west to punish the king who stole the sevvandhi flowers and caused disturbance to the puja of Sarama Munivar, the shrine stood permanently facing west leaving the flag post behind. During the puja times, the music and Thevaram recitals are followed only from eastern side behind the shrine.
One Kediliappa Pillai was the treasurer –accountant of King Vijaya Ragunatha Chokkar during his rule of the region. Pillai was a staunch Shiva devotee and was gifted with a handsome son. Pillai named him Thayuimanavan after the name of the Lord. The boy showed all signs of brilliance in education and characters. The king retained him in his services. He served the king for a long time, while his heart was with the Lord. Lord Shiva as Lord Dakshinamurthy graced Thayumanavar with Upadesas (spiritual teaching). He is seated on a mat of Dharba grass along with four Sanakathi sages, Sivayoga Munivar, Patanjali, Vykrapadhar and Tirumoolar – 8 disciples. Saint Arunagiriar praises the Lord as Darba Asana Vedhian-Brahmin on a Darba seat.
Devotees usually offer some rice preparation or sweet pudding as nivedhana to Lord in temples. People here offer bunches of plantain fruits to Lord Thayumanavar. The philosophy is that Plantain trees grow automatically with the mother plant successively and it is one crop largely cultivated. As the plantain grows side by side automatically and successively, it is believed that dynasties would continue with the grace of the Lord. This is first placed in the sanctum sanctorum for puja and then distributed to the visitors.
Mother Mahalakshmi graces the devotees from the prakara of Lord Shiva shrine. The idol is made of wood. Devotees light ghee lamps here offering a preparation made of milk, honey, saffron praying for prosperity in families. Sri Veda Sukta Mantra Homa is performed in the shrine each Friday. Mother Durga graces the devotees from another shrine. This idol is also made of wood. Sage Sarama Munivar in worshiping form is in the shrine of Mother Vishnu Durga gracing with 8 hands. Those facing Mangal Sutra doshas pray here during Rahu Kalams with red flowers offering porridge (payasam) nivedhana.
The event of Lord Shiva servicing Ratnavathi during her labour moments is celebrated on the 5th day of Chithirai Brahmmotsavam in April-May. Curtain is downed during this event. They decorate Ratnavathi with child on her lap. The curtain is then lifted for darshan offering light puja- Deepa Aradhana. After the puja, the oil and the maternity medicine given to mothers after delivery are given to the devotees as Prasad. It is believed that pregnant women consuming this will be blessed with safe delivery.
There is a sub-deity (Shiva Gana) between the flag post and the Balipeeta blowing a conch called Changusami (changu-conch). It is said that he is always speaking the glory of Lord Shiva blowing the conch. He is also called Changanathar. It is said that he announces the procession of Lord Shiva during festivals.
There are three separate shrines on this hill for Lord Uchi Pillayar, Lord Shiva and Mother Mattuvar Kuzhali. The hill is 273 feet tall with 417 steps. When people view the hill from different directions, it appears as a Nandhi the vehicle of Shiva, Simha the Lion vahan of Ambica and Vinayaka’s trunk – in three shapes, a miracle in Kaliyuga.
Lord Thayumanavar shrine is of a two tier type with a prakara in deep ground (padala). Lord Brahma, Sage Agasthya, Indira, Jatayu, Sage Athri, Dhoomaketu, Tirisira, Arujuna, Lord Sri Rama, Sri Anjaneya, Vibishana, Thayumana Adigal and Sekkizhar are in a line in the same place. Traditionally Nandhi is installed opposite Lord Shiva shrine. Here, as the hill itself is personified as Lord Shiva, Nandhi in a big size is installed on the banks of Brahma Theetham in a separate temple. Special pujas are performed here on Pradosha days. There is also a 35 feet tall light post-Deepa Sthamba.
Lord of this temple on the southern bank of Cauvery is colossal in size. The rays of Sun fall on the Lord in Panguni (march-April) for three days. Pujas are conducted under two codes – Shivagama and Kameekam. Four festivals – Chithirai Brahmmotsavam, Panguni float festival, Navarathri and Aadi Pooram commence with flag hoisting. Thayumanavar Guru Puja is celebrated in the month of Thai – January-February on Visakam star day. Lord comes in procession on Tamil first days and on new moon days.
Lord Thayumanava as His very name suggests, is the Mother of all those helpless in life. Those who had lost their mothers pray here for His grace hoping that He would guide them throughout their life. Majority of devotees pray for safe delivery of the child and welfare of mother and child.
Location: This temple is centrally located in Tiruchirapalli on a small hillock known as Rockfort. Trichy is well connected by ample trains and buses from Chennai and other parts of India. Buses also ply from both Central & Chathram bus stands of Trichy. One can alight at Main Guard Gate or Theppakulam to reach the temple.
Temple Address & Contact Details:Sri Thayumanava Swami Temple,
RockFort (Malai Kottai),
Phone: +91 431 2704621 ; +91 431 2710484 and +91 431 2700971.