Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Temples - Trichy II

I wrote about this temple also, in yesterday's post. Something went wrong. These temples are too good and important. So I am writing about them again.


Uchchi Pillaiyar (Rock Fort) Temple:


We had gone to Trichy so many times in the past 35 years, but somehow could not visit this temple.This temple is made of Shiva linga shaped rock and so either we have to go there early in the morning or after 6 p.m. in the evening, because the rocky steps will be very hot to climb - 417 rocky steps! We found out that half the steps are inside the rock (they have carved the temple, esp. the Shiva temple, which is quite huge, inside the rock) and the rest are in the open. We never thought we could climb so many steps, but we did it! Our daily morning walks must have helped!

The Shiva linga is very big and is called 'Thaayumanavar', because Shiva took the midwife avatar and helped a pregnant woman deliver the baby. So Shiva is a mother too, so the name (mother too - translation). When Pregnant women have problem while delivering, they pray for this god - mostly they will visit the temple whenever they can and offer a bunch of banana to the god.


Legend


It was a Friday and so a 'Shri Sooktha Homa' was there in Mahalakshmi's Sannidhi. We witnessed the homa also. Then went up the hill to the Ganesha 'Uchchi Pillaiyaar' temple. The vigraha is beautiful. We could see the whole town of Trichy from the hill top.

I should have taken the children to this temple, but missed the opportunity. They would have enjoyed and admired the architecture.

***


The next day, we visited the Guna Seelam Temple.

The name of the deity is Sri Prasanna Venkateshwara Swamy. Guna Seelam is a small village along the river, Kaveri's tributary and the narrow road is full of greenery on one side and water flows on the other side. This temple is famous for treating people with mental depression. As soon as the morning pooja is over, these people are called inside, near the garbha gruha, and the theertha (holy water) is sprayed on them. The Purohit also talks to them with lot of patience. Only after this ritual, the other visitors are invited inside.

***


Our next visit was to the Purushoththamar temple. - Uththamar Kovil.


This is the only temple in India, where there are sannidhis for Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma along with their wives.

Brahma and Goddess Saraswathi's sannidhis are situated facing South.

Vishnu, addressed as Purushothama here, is in a reclining posture and Goddess Pooranavalli Thayar sannidhi is situated facing east.

Shiva as Bitchandaar (Bikshaandaar) sannidhi is situated facing west and Goddess Soundharya Parvathi/ Vadivudai Nayaki sannidhi is facing south.


Highlights:

* One of the 108 divyadesams and honoured next only to Srirangam in the Divyadesam list

* A temple of Shiva-Vaishnav unison

* The only temple where all the Trimoorthies - Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and their wives, are present in 6 separate shrines.

* Brahma, normally seen only as koshta moorthy in the outer prahara walls of the sanctum sanctorum, is having a separate shrine here.

* Saraswathi, seen in a separate temple only in Koothanur, is present here in a separate shrine with vimana
.
* All the seven gurus - Brahma Guru, Vishnu Guru, Siva Guru, Sakthi Guru, Subramanaya Guru, Deva Guru, Asura Guru - are present here. This is the only temple where Brahma himself is present as Guru, facing South in a separate shrine with the vimana and Uthsava moorthy. In other temples, only Dakshinamoorthy will be present as Guru. So this is a very significant Temple for Guru Worship.


Legends:

Once Brahma was egoistic over Shiva since he also had five heads like Shiva and had the privilege as the creator of all lives. Also once Parvathi mistook Brahma for Shiva because of the five heads, washed his (Brahma’s) legs and served him. Lord Shiva got angry and so plucked his fifth head in order to avoid the identity clash and also to teach a lesson for his ego.

* Due to this, Shiva got the Brahmaharthi Dhosham and the plucked head of Brahma stuck to his palm. Shiva then went around on a pilgrimage to clear off the curse by begging for food with Brahmma’s skull as the begging bowl. But whatever was put in the bowl, vanished immediately. Finally, at Bitchandar Koil, at the behest of Vishnu, Goddess Lakshmi as Poornavalli thayar, filled the bowl, to end Shiva’s hunger.

I saw the worshippers, giving pens to keep near the god, which shall be used for writing the exams!

***

The next temple we visited was, Vayalur Murugan - Subrahmanya temple.

The way to this temple too, is full of green fields. The place is a small quiet village. I have not seen much crowd on ordinary days. So we can worship without much disturbance. The deity is small, but beautiful.

***

On our way back to Chennai, we visited Samayapuram Mariamman Temple,

This is also a very famous temple. The goddess's vigraha is always covered with sandalwood or haldi powder with a huge kumkum on her forehead. This temple is mostly crowded. We should avoid visiting here on weekends and on festival days.

We travelled two full days, but because the roads were quite good, the trip was not tiring at all. Friends who are interested in visiting old temples, can visit these temples.

7 comments :

R. Ramesh said...

hope u prayed 4 all of us, your blog friends too...

Renu said...

Sandhya very good post, give us pictures also, and how much time the journey takes fron Chennai to trichy?

hitch writer said...

hey Sandhya.... sorry I am not a temple man and I am not at all religious and desist visiting temples and so wasnt commenting, i came here to reply to the comment as i dont have your email or chat id !!

bout the white tiger cubs in chennai !!!! that is wonderful news.... I m thrilled... wish Animals were treated as gods... that would save them....

You made my day with that wonderful news !!!

Varunavi said...

Loved reading about the temples,i always like to go in indept of the history of temples and also the history of india.I wanted to study history but mom forced me to take commerce.
Will come back and check ur other post.

Sandhya said...

Ramesh: I am getting used to the blog world slowly. I will remember to pray for all of you from my next temple visit. Thank you.

Renu: Today I uploaded Sheila Dixit's photo successfully! I take time to learn anything and everything!

We did not take much photos also. You can see the temple's photos in the website, I have given and other details of the temple also. I did not repeat them in my blog.

Trichy is around 300 to 325 KM from here and by car it took around 5 hours with breakfast break. Thank you.

hitch writer: Don't worry. My son too desists temples! But if you are interested in old architecture, Tamilnadu temples are the best. They are amzing, really! I tell my son the same thing. If he doesn't like to pray going near the garbhagruha, let it be. He can just look at the way the temples were built without much scietific methods. He admired Beluru (Karnataka) temples, though, not the gods!

Varunavi: Nice to see you here, Varunavi! You are familiar to me - hitch writer's posts! Thank you!

Tamilnadu temples are entirely different from the temples of our other states. If you stand in front of the Gopuram and watch each of the small small statues, esp. in temples like Suchindram and Meenakshi temple, you will feel proud to be born here.

Thanks once again. I am having one more friend here!

Smitha said...

Sandhya, I loved this post.. I am not very religious - but I love reading about temples and the legends associated with them.. Please post more of these - Loved the post!

Sandhya said...

Thanks for visiting, Smitha! Yes, our temples tell lots of stories of the past splendour of our history. Esp. old temples.

Sure, I will write about the temples, I visit, hereafter. I am a blogger now, you know!!

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