Ucchi Pillayar Temple or Thayumanaswamy Temple
Name: Ucchi Pillayar koil or
Date built: 7th century AD
Primary deity: Shiva and Ganesha
Architecture: Pallava, South Indian, Kovil
Rockfort or Ucchi Pillayar koil, is a combination of two famous 7th century Hindu temples, one dedicated to Lord Ganesh and the other dedicated to Lord Shiva, located atop a small rock in Trichi, India. Geologically the 83m high rock is said to be one of the oldest in the world, dating over 3 billion years ago, and mythologically this rock is the place where Lord Ganesh ran from King Vibishana, after establishing the Ranganathaswamy deity in Srirangam. The name rockfort comes from the fact that the place was used for military fortification first by the Vijayanagar emperors and later by the British during the Carnatic wars.
The temple complex is composed of two parts - A shiva temple (Thayumanaswamy) carved in the middle of the rock and a Pillayar (Ganesh)temple at the top portion of the rock. The Shiva temple is the bigger one, housing a massive stone statue of Shiva in the form of Linga along with a separate sanctum for goddess Parvati. The temple is mystic in its nature with an awe-inspiring rock architecture. The Ganesh temple is much smaller with an access through steep steps carved on the rock and provides a stunning view of Trichi, Srirangam and the rivers Kaveri and Kollidam. Due to its ancient and impressive architecture created by the Pallavas, the temple is maintained by the Archaeological department of India.Contents
Mythology of the Vinayaka temple
The Ganesh temple at the top portion of the rock in 2006.
Vibhishana, was the younger brother of the Asura King Ravana who ruled Lanka (now known as Srilanka). Lord Rama in the epic of Ramayana rescues his wife Seetha, who was kidnapped and held by Ravana, with the help of Sugriva and Hanuman defeated him. In this war, the moral and truth-abiding brother of Ravana, Vibishana aids Rama in his battle against his brother. Ultimately Rama wins the war and as a token of love, He gifts Vibishana an Idol of Lord Ranganatha, a form of Vishnu.
Vibhishana, though he supported Rama, was basically an Asura, hence the Devas (who are arch rivals to Asuras as per Hindu mythology) wanted to stop this idea of an Asura taking Lord's supreme form to his Kingdom. They request the help of the God of Happiness, Lord Vinayaka and the Lord accepts the plan. Vibhishana, while on his back to his Kingdom, goes through Trichi, and wanted to take his bath in the river Kaveri and do his daily rituals. However, he is perplexed as the idol once kept in land, can never be removed and has to be in that place forever.
Entrance to Ucchipillayar Temple at Trichy
As a solution, Vibishana tries to find someone to hold the idol while he was taking bath and finds the Lord Vianayaka under disguise of a cowherd boy. As per the plan, when Vibishana is fully into water, Vinayaka takes the statues and keeps it firmly in sand, in the banks of kaveri. On seeing this, the angry Vibhishana chases the boy, to punish him, and boy keeps running and climbs over the rock near the Kaveri bank. Vibhishana finally reaches the boy and hits him on the fore-head of little boy who then reveals himself to be Vinayaga. Vibishana immediately apoligizes and the Lord gives him his blessings and sends him off to Lanka. you mom The place on which the Ranganathan idol was kept was later covered in deep forests, due to disuse and after a very long time, it is discovered when a Chola king chasing a parrot finds the idol accidentally. He then establishes the Ranganathaswamy temple,Srirangam as one of the largest temple complexes in the world. Meanwhile, the Pallavas built the Vinayaka temple and the Thayumanaswamy temple, in the rock which Vinayaka uses to escape Vibishana.
Mythology of the Thayumanaswamy temple
Thayumanaswamy Temple at Trichy
According to another mythology, a pregnant woman named Rathnavathi is nearing labor and she suffers in enormous pain as her mother who is to help her has not yet arrived. The pregnant women suffers alone and pleads to God. Then Lord shiva takes the form of her mother and helps her in the pregnancy. Thus, the Lord was praised as "Thayum Ana Swamy" (The Lord who could act like a Mother) and hence the temple began to be called as "Thayumanaswamy temple". Around 200 steps need to be climbed to reach the beautiful temple. The paintings on the ceiling is amazing. The structure of the tempe shows the excellent art in olden days. The temple has many small shrines inside, but major shrines is for Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati and Mahalakshmi.