Tiruchirapalli - Tiruchi or Trichy - Birthplace

Situated in Tiruchirappalli district, on the banks of the River Kaveri (also spelt as Cauvery) is Tiruchirappalli, a city known for its educational institutions, industries, and temples. It is shortly called as "Tiruchi" or "Trichy". The most famous landmark of Tiruchirappalli is the Rock Fort Temple, a spectacular monument perched on a massive rocky out crop which rises abruptly from the plain to tower over the old city.
Tiruchi itself has a long history dating back to the centuries before the Christian era when it was a Chola citadel. During the first millennium AD, it changed hands between the Pallavas and Pandyas many times before being taken by the Cholas in the 10th century AD. When the Chola Empire finally declined, Tiruchi passed into the hands of the Vijayanagar kings of Hampi and remained with them until their defeat, in 1565 AD by the forces of the Deccan Sultans. The city and its fort, as they stand today, were built by the Nayaks of Madurai.
Latitude: N 10o 16' to 11o22' Longitude: E 78o 15' to 79o 16'
Altitude: 78 metres Rainfall: 835 mm
Summer- Max. 37.1°C Min. 26.4°C - Winter- Max. 31.3°C Min. 20.6°C

Nearby Cities of Trichy: Dindigul - 93 km Karur - 69 km Manapparai - 37 km Pudukkottai - 50 km Thanjavur - 48 km

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Trichy Tayumanavar - Ucchi Pillayar

The name Rockfort (83 metres high rock) comes from frequent military fortification built here. Rockfort contains two rock cut temples in the fort, one in the lower part of the fort called Lower Cave temple and other is called the called the Upper Cave temple. The rock-cut temple complex was built during the Pallava era and is named Lalitankura Pallaveswaram. Evidence of Jain monastries (palli or jain school) around the rock is still extant.
Three Popular temples are: the Ucchi Pillaiyar Temple; Thayumanavar Temple; and the Manikka Vinayakar Temple at the foot of the hill.

At the foot of the Rockfort is the beautiful temple tank (Theppakkulam) with a pavilion which is used during the float festival of the temples. From the hilltop, the view of the town with cauvery and Kollidam rivers and the temple towers of Srirangam and Thiruvanaikaval, is breathtaking.

The Rockfort temple, One of the 275 sacred Shiva temples glorified by the Thevara hymns, known as Dakshina kailasam. The name of the place came from Thirisiran, a King who ruled this place. During the 23rd, 24th and 25th of Panguni tamil month, the sun rays fall on the God in the evening.

Thayumanavar Temple – This temple is at half way to the hill top. Lord Shiva took care of a pregnant girl called Rathnavathi during the delivery time in the form of the girl’s mother and so He is known as Thayumanavar or Mathruboodheswarar. Sarama muni worshipped Shiva with chevandi flowers brought from Naga lokha and hence the Lord is called as Chevandhi nadhar also. Navukkuarasar and Sambandhar had sung hymns on Shiva of this place. The vimanam is covered with gold. The Goddess is known as Mattuvar Kuzhali or Sugandha Kundalambikai and has a separate shrine.

Matrubhuteswarar.Tiruchirappalli is hailed as Dakshina Kailasam, as the hill is said to be 1 of the 3 pieces that flew off the Himalayas. in a fierce tussle between Adi Seshan the mythical snake and the Wind God Vayu. The other two are Triconamalee & Sree Kalahasti.Thirugnana Sambandhar, Thirunavukkarasar, Arunagirinathar and Thayumanavar have written songs about the temple. Thayumanavar had composed 1456 songs in all, noted for devotion and spirituality and guidance to the world.

Legend: Veebishana was taking the idol of Lord Ranganadhar to Srilanka to install there. He was not to keep the idol down; if so, he would not be able to lift it up again. On his way he gave the idol to Lord Ganesha to hold it for some time to finish his evening rituals. Ganesha agreed but after a while he placed the idol down and went to the hill top. When Veebishana returned he saw the idol down and was not able to lift it up. He returned back to his place empty handed and in turn, Ranganadhar agreed to face South towards the direction of Srilanka.

Sri Naganadhaswamy temple - Nandhi Koil street, near Theppakulam/ Rockfort. Swayambu linga known as Naganadhaswamy with Anandhavalli ambikai . Some sages, due to ego, thought they can live on their own without the blessings of God. To awaken them Shiva fought with them and they diverted snakes against Shiva. In turn, Shiva wore the snakes as ornaments and hence the name Naganadhar. Saramamuni worshipped Shiva of this place with sevandhi flowers and hence the name Sevandhi nadhar.
Naganadhaswamy temple is below the ground level. Shiva is facing East and Goddess is facing South. Navagraha shrine is different here as we can see only Sun God with wives and the rest singly.The other deities we can see are Ganesha, Subramanya swamy, Dandayudhapani, Somaskandhar and Bairavar.

Krishna temple is a small temple for Krishna with a separate sanctum for Anjaneya.

Nandhi - huge Nandhi belongs to the Rockfort Thayumanavar temple.

Nandrudayan temple at East Boulevard road in Devadhanam has Aadhi Vinayaga as granite idol depicting Lord Ganesa with his original divine face without the usual elephantine head and the trunk. There is a sanctum for pattinatthar.


Srirangam (Tamil: ஸ்ரீரங்கம் or திருவரங்கம்), is an island. The presiding deity Lord Ranganathar "Nam-Perumal" (our Lord in Tamil), "Azhagiya Manavalan" (The beautiful groom in Tamil), while His divine wife Ranganayaki is affectionately called "Thayar" (Holy Mother) The complex also houses shrines of dozens of forms of Lord Vishnu including Sudarshana Chakra, Narasimha, Rama, Hayagreeva, Gopala Krishna, separate shrines for Ranganayaki and dozens of other shrines for the major saints in the Vaishnava tradition, including Ramanuja.

Motcha (attaining the status of no re-birth by residing at the feet of Lord) Ramanujar lived and worshipped Srirangam Perumal, his student did mummification of his body in the position of Badmasanam using ayurvedaha Muligai (herbal plants). Aacharya Ramanuja is blessing in a separate sannadhi (temple).

Kambarwas revealing (arangetram in Tamil) Ramayana in Srirangam temple at Kambar Arangetra mandbam (literal: hall) for the first time. On his Ramayana he wrote about Lord Narasimmar. Lord Narasimmar appeared on the pillar and roared. Since Lord Narasimma appeared there for his devotee, he is called Metalagiya Narasimmar.

Amudha kalasa Garudalvar (meaning: King of birds) has a separate Sannathi (temple). Garudalvaar preserves Vedas in Kalasam (small pot) on his hand. His statue is made up of Salak wood. Dhoti for Srirangam Temple Garudalvar30 meters

Significances: * One of 108 Divya Desams and the first of them * The place is considered as Booloha Vaikuntam * Most revered shrine of Lord Vishnu in South India; in the vaishnav parlance, the term “Koyil” signifies this temple only * Possibly, the largest temple complex in India - 156 acres in extent - enclosed by seven huge concentric prahara walls - the outer most wall has a perimeter of over 3 kms - the total length of all the seven walls is around 9 kms - has 21 gopurams, the largest gopuram in the first wall on the southern side is 13 tiered, measuring 73 m and was completed as recently as 1987. - 48 sanctums to various Gods. * All the Azhwars except the Madhurakavi Azhwar had sung on this Ranganadhar. * Andal nachiar had sung on Ranganadhar only * Festivals take place all through the year. * The physical body of Ramanuja who lived for nearly 120 years is still being preserved in a sitting posture in a shrine dedicated to him


The town and the temple are set on a 250-hectare island between Cauvery and Kollidam rivers connected to the mainland by a bridge. This 13th century temple is very well preserved with excellent carvings. Ranganadhar idol is 15 feet long in a reclining posture on Adhisesha. The roof of the sanctum is covered with gold plating. Ramanujar stayed here and spread the Vaishnav philosophy. He also completely overhauled the administrative system and saw to it that great care was exercised in the administration of temple affairs. There’s also a small museum containing sculptures. Srirangam is listed as one of the Nava Graha Sthalas, temples representing the planets. The kshetram is known as Swayam vyaktha kshetram (appeared on its own).

Kaattu Azhagiya Singar temple at Srirangam Near Srirangam railway station Main Deity: Lakshmi Narashima Swamy in santha swaroopam

Sri Raghavendhra Mutt at Srirangam: Near Azhagiya Singar temple, this is located in a beautiful environment and is one of the main sacred places of Sri Raghavendhra along with the mutts at Kumbakonam and Tanjore. Though Sri Raghvendhra’s moola brindhavan is at Manthralayam and is seemingly connected with Karnataka, he was born in Bhuvanagiri near Chidambaram and spent most part of his life in Tamilnadu and here he spent many years.

Dasavatharam Temple at Srirangam, Located on the banks of Coloroon, half a kilometer North West of Lord Ranganatha temple is the ancient, over 1000 years old Dasavatharam Sannidhi in Srirangam. It was started by the last of the Azhvaars, Thirumangai Azhwar, but left incomplete, untill Sri ParamahamsedyAdi Adivan Satakopa Yatindra Mahadesikan, the founder of Sri Ahobila Mutt, took control and finished the construction. The Vishnu Avatars are the incarnations of planets as Matsya-Kethu, Koorma- Saturn (Sani), Varaha- Rahu, Narasimha- Mars (Sevvai), Vamana-Jupiter (Guru), Parasurama- Venus (Sukra), Rama- Sun (Surya), Krishna- Moon (Chandra), Kalki- Budhan (Mercury). Performing a relevant Avataram Archanai / pooja here is said to liberate one from the respective dosham.

Surathani, sultan's daughter, fell in love with the deity and followed him to Srirangam. She prostrated herself to the God in front of the Sanctum Sanctorum and is believed to have attained the Heavenly Abode immediately. Even today, a painting of "Surathani" (known as "Thulukha Nachiyar" in Tamil) can be seen and "chappathis" are made daily.

Srirangam temple is often listed as the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world (Angkor Wat being the largest non-functioning temple). The temple occupies an area of 156 acres (631,000 m²) with a perimeter of 4,116m making it the largest temple in India and one of the largest religious complexes in the world. The temple is enclosed by 7 concentric walls (termed prakarams or mathil suvar) with a total length of over six miles.


Thiruvanaikaval or Thiruvanaikoil is known for Jambukeswarar Temple 'Jambu' forest. Devi made a Lingam out of water of river Cauvery (also called as river 'Ponni') under the 'Venn Naaval' tree. So, the Lingam is known as 'Appu Lingam' (Water Lingam). The Shiva Lingam is placed under the Venn naaval tree in this temple, which is said to be many hundred years old.

Thiru Anai(Elepahant) Kaval (Guard) - Guarded by the Elephant. (After the elephant which is believed to have worshipped Lord Siva here) This is a Jalagandeswarar temple of Lord Shiva and a Panchabhoota Sthalams (five elements). This temple represents the element Water. The Sivalingam is partially submerged by water ever and meant to represent God form as water. This temple is one of the biggest stone temple in Tamil Nadu. Five Pragarams, many Gopurams and Lot of Sannidhis are found in this temple. A lot of sculptural wonders like Rishabavaganar, Durga, Lord Muruga, Ganapathy, Ruthran Sculpture are present in temple's stone pillars. The outer wall (Thiruneerittan Mathil) is 5km long, 10 metres high.

Thiruvanaikal is one of the five major Shiva Temples of Tamil Nadu(Panchabhoota Sthalams) representing the the element of water, or neer in Tamil. The other Panchabhoota Sthalams are located at Chidambaram (sky/ space), Kalahasti (wind), Tiruvannamalai (fire) and Kanchipuram (earth).

Legend: * Two sivakanams Pushpathanthan and Maliavaan were born under the influence of a curse as an elephant and a spider. There had been a forest of Jambu (naaval) trees near the Chandratheertha tank (filled with the water of the Cauvery) here and Shiva is said to have appeared under one of the trees as a Swayambu lingam. The elephant worshipped this linga daily with flowers and water brought in its trunk (hence the name Thiru Aanaikka). The spider spun a web around the linga in order to shield it from the tree wastes and keep it clean. The next day, elephant saw the web and since it was from the saliva of the spider, it removed the web to protect the sanctity of the linga. This practice of the spider spinning a web and the elephant removing it continued for several days. One day, the spider found out that it was the elephant that was removing its web, went inside the trunk of the elephant and bit it. The elephant hit its trunk on the floor and in the process both died. Since Pushpathanthan, born as elephant, did the Shiva worship got his curse cleared and returned back as Sivakanam but the Spider’s wish of building a temple around the linga was not fulfilled and it was born as King Kochengan. So when he built the temple, he built it in such a way that elephants can not enter the temple. The ground level goes down and down at every praharam so that an elephant with all its weight can not enter the temple. Kochenkan built 70 Maadakkovils and all the temples will be at an elevated height or at a depth. * Worshipped by Brahma, Vishnu, Ramar, Thigbalahar, Sage Sambu, Parasaran etc., * It is said that Ranganadhar stayed at Srirangam only to worship Jambugeswarar of this temple. Accordingly, Ranganadhar come and stay here one day in an year and return with special alankaram. * This is first of the 70 Maadakkovils built by Kochenkan Cholan * There are five stages of huge prahara walls and seven gopurams in an area of 18 acres. It is said that while constructing the temple walls, Shiva came as a Siddhar and gave away holy ash as the wages for the workers which turned into gold proportionate to their wages. This particular 4th prahara wall is called ‘Thiruneetru Madhil’ and it is a whopping 8000 feet long (2436 x 1493 feet), 35 feet high and 6 feet thick. The east facing Rajagopuram is 13 tiered and the west facing rajagopuram is 7 tiered. * There are two praharams for Amman shrine * There are 9 theerthams in the temple and there is a window grill with 9 holes in front of the main deity Shiva. We have to worship the Lord only through these 9 holes which is considered equivalent to a dip in all the 9 theerthams. * One of the five elements of nature, “water” is represented by an undying natural spring down the Shiva lingam in the sanctum, seen even today and hence the name Jalakandeeswarar. * Sambandhar, Navukkaarasar and Sundarar sang hymns on Shiva of this place. Arunagirinadhar sang Thiruppugazh on Subramanya of this place. * Ambal worshipped Shiva here and so even now Archakas worship Shiva wearing saree during the noon pooja. * Cow worship and annabhishehams are taking place daily * The earring of goddess is known as Thadangam. Sankaracharya controlled her anger and contained it in the earrings as Chakras. One is Shiva Chakra and the other is Srichakra. * There are many sub temples in various praharams within the temple Theertham: There are totally 9 Theerthams – Cauvery, Brahma, Indra, Chandra, Rama, Agni, Agsthya, kollidam and Surya. Sthala Vruksham: Jambu (white naaval) tree.

Other Trichy Temples

Boologanathar Temple at East Boulevard road belongs to the Land element. It is a vasthu temple

Velikanda Nathar at Palakarai

Kailasanathar at Big bazaar street

Ayyappan temple-Near Trichy junction/ court. maintained with full of green plants and good pathway all around. Also there are many stone slabs erected with inscribed quotes on mother by great persons. There is a letter box to God and the letters to the divine will be presented before Ayyappan on uthra star day of every month with prayers.

Sundara Anjaneyar temple at Kallukuzhi Near Trichy Junction and Anjaneyar is carved out on a small stone which was to the road side initially.

Kasi Viswanathar Temple at Keela Chinthamani

Sri Anna Kamatchiamman Temple presiding deity is Anna kamatchi amman, considered by many as a replica of Akilandeshwari amman.

Vekkaliamman Temple - A very popular and powerful amman temple. Legend: Once a Queen wanted flowers from the garden of Thayumanavar temple and the King arranged for it. Shiva got angry just saw towards the direction of Woriyur. The whole village got covered with mud (sand storm) due to the anger of Shiva. Vekkaliamman, the protector Goddess of that place was worried and prayed to Shiva to calm down. She protected the people from further anger of Shiva and thereafter stayed there taking care of the people who come to Her. There is no roof for the sanctum sanctorum. Many times they attempted to roof it but they could not succeed.

Woriyur was the ancient capital of the early Cholas and the ancient city is believed to have been destroyed by a sand storm. Pugazh Chola Nayanar and Gochenkan Cholan were born here, as was Tiruppaanaazhwar. Thirukkozhi Kamalavalli Nachiyar Temple – is called Nachiar Koil Significances: * One of 108 Divya desams; 2nd Divya desam after Srirangam * Kamalavalli Thayar in bridal form; * Birth place of Thiruppanazhwar, the author of Amalanadipiran (the celebrated paasuram describing the glory of the image of Ranganadhar, at Srirangam). Main Deity: The presiding deity here is Kamalavalli Nachiar in sitting posture with her consort Azagiya Manavala perumal standing behind her facing north

Legends: 1) King Nanda cholan found a female child floating on a lotus flower. He took the child, named her Kamalavalli – the one that came out of lotus, and took care of her. Lord Ranganadhar, wanting to marry the princess, appeared in the dream of the King and asked his daughter to be married to Him. The King was delighted on Lord Ranganadhar going to become his son-in-law and arranged for the marriage. Kamalavalli Thayar, dressed as the bride, vanished as she entered the sanctum of Lord Ranganadhar. To commemorate the marriage, the King built this temple at Woriyur facing North towards Srirangam. 2) A valiant rooster, believed to have warded off an elephant with it’s beak, here at Woraiyur; the name Thirukkozhi (Mookkeeswaram) stems from this legend. Temple: The temple was in existence even before 7th century. There is no Utsava vigraha in this temple and the Utsava vigraha of Srirangam Ranganadha temple is being brought here during the Kalyana Utsavam. Upon entering the temple, one encounters a large mandapam with pillars ornamented with exquisite sculptures. Thiruppanazwar is present here in a separate sanctum. The inner walls of the shrine of Nammazhvar has brilliant wall paintings

Thiru Mukkichuram Thevara Temple One of the 275 sacred Shiva temples glorified by the Thevara hymns Main Deity: Pancha Varneswarar and Kanthimathi ammai Legends: * 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 at midnight) and so He is known as Pancha Varneswarar. * Brahma also had the same dharshan of Shiva. * Woraiyur is also known as Kozhimanagaram as legend holds that a fowl blessed with divine powers defeated an elephant in a duel. Once, the Chola King Veera vathithan went on his horse in search of a good place for constructing a Shiva temple. All of a sudden the elephant started behaving weird and every one was frightened. King was unable to control and he cried loud for help from Shiva. At this time a cock flew down, hit the elephant and took control of it. Soon after this the cock disappeared near a vilva tree. King was surprised and asked his men to dig and see near the tree. They found a Shiva linga and the king constructed this temple in the same place. The linga is known as Panchalingeswarar.

* A Chola king by name Soora Vathitha saw the five daughters of Nagarajan worshipping a Shivalingam each, on the banks of the Nagatheertham. He married the youngest of these princesses and requested his father in law for the Shivalingam that was held in worship by Nagarajan. Nagarajan handed over a half of the Shivalingam to his daughter, who in turn handed it along with the five Shivalingams worshipped by the siblings; all of these merged into one under a Vilva tree, under which, this temple originated. * Garuda, the wife and son of Sage Kasipari namely Kathru and Karkotakan worshipped here. * Kochenkan Cholan the builder of 78 Maadakkovils is said to have born here. Sthala Vruksham: Vilvam Theertham: Shiva theertham or Panchavarna Theertham Sung by: Sambandhar The Temple: The Shivalingam here is very small in size. The temple is replete with sculptural work depicting legends associated with the temple. For instance there are wondrous pieces of sculpture on some of the temple pillars that appear as four women from one angle and as a horse from another angle. The temple has the significance that the kings of all the three regions – Chera, Chola and Pandya – worshipped here. Thaanthondreeswarar temple, Woriyur Main Deity: Thaanthondrieswarar and Kumkumavalli amman

Uyyakondan Thirumalai (Thiru karkudi) Thevara Temple 3 kms from Trichy, One of the 275 sacred Shiva temples glorified by the Thevara hymns beautifully located on a hillock Main Deity: Ujjeevana nadhar with Anjanakshi ammai and Balambikai Legend: Markandeya had the life of only 16 years and so he worshipped Shiva at various places. When he came here, he was completing his 16th year and so Yama came to end his life. Goddess requested Shiva to bless Markandeya as ‘Chiranjeevi’ and Shiva did so. It’s a belief that one who worships Shiva here, will not have the fear of death. Naradhar, Sage Upamanyu, Karan, the army chief of Ravana had worshipped here Temple: The temple, resembling a small fort, was built by Nandhivarma Pallavan 1200 years ago on a 50 feet high hillock with about 100 steps to climb. There are three entrances – two facing South and the other facing East. The main deity is facing West and there are two shrines for the Goddesses here. It is said that when we sit and pray here on our problems for half hour/ 45 minutes, we will get a clear solution and are bound to come back to the place. Navakkuarasar, Sambandhar and Sundarar sang Thevara hymns on Shiva of this place; Arunagiri nadhar sang Thiruppugazh. In the 18th century, this was the fort and place of residence for British, French and Mysore army. Sthala vruksham: Vilvam Theertham: Kudamuruti and Gyanavavi

Kulumayee Amman Temple, A very popular amman temple nearby Uyyakondan Thirumalai temple in a cool and beautiful atmosphere.

Murugan temple at Kumara Vayalur, 5 kms from Uyyakondan malai; 8 kms from Trichy. Main Deity: Adhinadhar as Swayambu lingam with Adhinayaki amman. Significance: Murugar blessed Arunagirinadhar at Thiruvannamalai and asked him to come to Vayalur. Arunagirinadhar came here and acquired Gyana. With the blessings of Subramanya, Thirupugazh was started by Arunagiri nadhar in this place and the first line “muthai thiru” was hinted by Subramanaya swamy which was to be continued by Arunagirinadhar. He sang 18 Thiruppugazh verses on this Murugan. Subramanya swamy is worshipping his parents in this place. Vinayaka of this place, known as poia vinayakar blessed Arunagirinadhar.

Agastheeswarar Temple at Perungudi, In the Trichy-Kumara Vayalur route, 2 km from Somarasampettai Temple: This is connected with Kumara Vayalur Murugan temple and is a monument of Sundara Chola and Adithya II periods. Balasubramaniar is present with single face and four hands along with Devayani in standing posture. All the idols have been discovered from various places inside the temple.

Erumbeeswarar temple at Thiruverumbur, One of 275 sacred Shiva temples glorified by the Thevara hymns; a protected monument under the control of the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) 11 kms from Trichy and is known as Brahma puram, Kumara puram and Lakshimi puram. Main Deity: Erumbeeswrar/ Madhuvaneswarar with Soundranayaki/ Narun kuzhal nayagi amman. Legend: Brahma, Indra and all devas took the form of ant (Erumbu in Tamil) to hide from demons and worshipped Shiva in this place. Hence He is known as Erumbeeswarar and the name of the place is Thiru Erumbur. Temple: This early chola temple is on a small hillock of 120 feet high with 115 steps to reach the top. The Shiva lingam is slanting to one side as though He is giving ear to the worship of bakthas. The surface of the linga is coarse so as it is easy for the ants to move around. The linga is covered with mud and there is no abhishekam here. We can see the marks of ants creeping on the lingam. Soundarya nayaki amman is in a separate sanctum outside the main one.

Nithya Sundareswara swami Temple at Thirunedungalam, 5 kms north of Thuvakkudi junction near Thiruverumbur. Main Deity: Nedungalanadhar/ Anithya Sunderaswarar as Swayambu lingam with Mangala nayaki/ Oppila nayaki. Legend: Paraskathi meditated in this place and Shiva came in the form of a thief. Parvathi was frightened and hid herself in a garden of Thazhai plants at a place called Olimadhi cholai. Later Shiva took Parvathi to Kailash. Sage Agasthiar worshipped here This temple is of great antiquity and is included in the kshertavenba of the tamil saint, the Ayyadigal kadavarkon, who should be ascribed to the days before Appar and Sambandar. A rare Yoga Dakshinamoorthy is present here. Sun rays fall on the God throughout the tamil month of Adi. Varahi is worshipped especially by the devotees of coimbatore region with specific vows. Sambandhar, Sundarar and Navukkuarasar sang hymns on Shiva of this place. Arunagiri Nadhar sang Thirupugazh on Murugar.

Kailasamundaiyar Temple at Cholamadevi,located amidst lush green paddy fields and sylvan surrounding on the northern banks of the Uyyakondan channel at Cholamadevi near Thiruverumbur, 12 km from Trichy. This shiva temple was built by Rajaraja I the Great in 11th century and is a treasure house of historic information.

Other Places around Trichy


Lalgudi (Thiruthavathuri, now called Lalgudi, on the banks of river Coleroon , about 20 kms form Trichy. Significance: The seven rishis – Atri, Brihu, Pulsithar, Vasishtar, Gauthamar, Angeerasar and Marichi – prayed to the presiding deity Saptharisheeswarar to ward off the bad period they were passing through due to the curse by Lord Murugar. Main deity: Saptharisheeswarar as Swayambu lingam facing West with Perunthirattiar Legend: * Lord Vishnu got his Chakrayudha after worshipped Shiva here * Worshipped by Vishnu, Lakshmi, Murugar, Bairavi and Sage Parasar * Malava king got his leprosy disease cured here Temple: Parantaka kings have done a lot of work on this temple. As per Sekkizhar’s Periya puranam, Sambandhar had sung Thevaram on this Shiva but the Thevara verses have not been found so far

Sathyavageeswarar temple at Anbil Alanthurai – 8 kms from Lalgudi, on the northern banks of Coleroon (Kollidam); Anbil is just name of the place but temple is known as Alandhurai. One of 275 sacred Shiva temples glorified by the Thevara hymns Main Deity: Sathyavageeswarar and Soundranayaki amman in different sanctums. Legend: Vinayakar of this place is known as Sevisaiytha Vinayakar. The temple is on the northern bank of Kollidam and when Sambandhar sang hymns on Shiva from the southern bank, He was giving his ear to the music. Brahma and Sage Vageesar worshipped Shiva of this place. Temple: Other deities in the temple are Bitchandar, Saptha kanniar, Kasi Viswanathar, Visalakshi, Bairavar, Subramanyar with Valli and Devayana. Sambandhar and Navakkuarasar sang hymns on Shiva of this place. Sthala Vruksham: Banyan tree. Theertham: Chandra theertham.

Thiru Vadivazhagiya Nambi Temple at Thiru Anbil – Divya desam have to cross Kallanai (Lower anaicut) to reach Thiru Anbil. Main Deity: Thiru Vadivazhagiya Nambi in lying posture with Thayar Azagiyavalli Nachiar in separate sanctums Legend: Manduka muni was meditating under the water, did not realise the presence of Durvasa muni and was cursed to take the form of a toad. When Manduka muni realised his mistake and asked Durvasa for relief, he was advised to come to this place and worship. There are inscriptions that the Chola chief used to worship at this temple by placing his sword in front at the sanctum prior to his venturing out in battles. Here Perumal is in lying posture and the two Ubayanachimargal are holding his feet in such a way that we cannot have the dharshan of his holy feet. Theertham: Mandooka pushkarani and Kollidam.

Ashta Buja Durgai at Anbil known as Mariamman is in Anbil.

Appakkudathaan temple at Thirupper Nagar – Divya desam Koyiladi near Lalgudi, 10 km from Lalgudi; 23 km from Thiruvaiyaru Significance: One of the 108 Divya desams Main deity: Appakkudattaan/ Appala Ranganathar with Thaayaar Indhra Devi and Kamala Devi A Pandya King, Uparisaravasar (Upamanyu Muni), while hunting a rogue elephant killed a Brahmin performing tapas, by mistake. Repenting for his act, he renounced his throne and wandered around, finally reaching this place. One day, Lord Shiva appeared in his dream and asked him to worship Lord Vishnu at this place to get rid of his Brahmaharthi dhosham. There upon, the king built a temple for Lord Vishnu and each day after worship, offered food together with appam and payasam to the Brahmins who came to his house. One day Vishnu appeared in the form of an aged guest and pleaded with the King to feed him. His supply of cooked rice exhausted for the day, the distraught King sought a way out and fed the elderly guest with the appams. At that time, Markandeya rishi was directed by Shiva to this place to seek refuge in Lord Vishnu for longevity of life. Markandeya came here and saw the old Brahmin lying on the couch holding an appa kudam in one hand. Markandeya bowed to him 100 times and Lord Vishnu regaining His original form, lifted his hand from the appa kudam and blessed Markandeya with longevity. He also blessed the King and absolved of his curse.

The temple: This is one of the Pancha Ranga Kshetrams along with Srirangapatnam in Karnataka, Srirangam, Kumbakonam and Mayiladuthurai along the course of river Cauvery. This temple is on a hillock by name Indragiri. With 2 prakarams, it covers an area of about 2.5 acres and has a Rajagopuram of great workmanship. In the West facing sanctum, we see Vishnu in a reclining posture, blessing Upamanya Muni, holding a pot containing appams and hence the name Appakkudattaan. Appam is prepared as a daily offering to the deity here. There is a separate shrine for Kamalavalli Thaayar in an east facing sanctum. There are also shrines for Ganesha, Nammazhwar, Ramanujar, Lakshmi Narayanar and Venugopalan. Inscriptions from the Pallava, Chola and Vijayanagara periods are seen here. It is believed that Nammazhwar recited the last of his paasurams here before departing the mortal world. Six worship services are offered each day. Tirumazhisai Alwar refers to seven shrines featuring Vishnu in a reclining position – Tirukkudandai, Tiruvegkaa, Tiruvallur, Tiruvarangam, Tiruppernagar, Anbil and Tirupparkadal – in a paasuram.

Ambravaneswara Temple at Thirumandhurai – Thevara temple 5 kms from Lalgudi, One of 275 sacred Shiva temples glorified by the Thevara hymns Main Deity: Ambravaneswarar/ Mrugandeeswarar as Swayambu lingam facing East with Azhagammai/ Balambikai facing South Legend: Surya, Chandra, Indhra and Mrugandu muni worshipped Shiva of this place. Temple: Other deities present are Brahma, Vishnu, and Durgai as Koshta Gods; Subramanya Swamy with family and Dandaudhapani in separate small sanctums. Arunagiri nadhar sang Thirupugazh on Murugar here. Sambandhar sang hymns on Shiva in this place.

Thirumoolanadhar Thevara temple at Thirupalaithurai (Panayapuram), Located at 12 kms North East of Trichy en route Lalgudi between the rivers of Kollidam. Significance: One of 275 sacred Shiva temples glorified by the Thevara hymns Main Deity: Thirumoolanadhar as Swayambu lingam facing East with Nithya kalyani ammai facing South Legend: Nithya kalyani ammai, Markendeyar, and Surya worshipped Siva in this place. Once Markendeya did not have milk to worship God and was worried. At that time Shiva blessed him and milk started pouring which is the reason for the name Palaithurai. Sun God also worshipped Shiva here. Temple: Nithya Kalyani Ammai is seen with four hands – Abaya, Varatha, Thamarai and Neelorpavam. Sambandhar sang hymns on Shiva of this place. Other shrines are Vinayahar, Murugan, Mahalakshmi, Bairavar, Venugopalan, Veena Dakshinamoorthy, Ardhanareeswarar, Durga, Nalvar, Kailasanadhar

Samavedeeswarar temple at Thiru mangalam, 2 kms north of Lalgudi 15th km from Trichy en route Ariyalur. Main Deity: Samavedeeswarar and Sri Lokhanayaki amman Significance: More than 2000 years old, The place is considered in equal sacredness to Kasi and Gaya. Legend: * Parasuramar, one of the ten avatars of Mahavishnu, worshipped Shiva in this place to get rid of his Mathruhathi dosha, the dosha he got because of killing his mother. The place is also known as Parasurama Kshetram. * Goddess Lakshmi (Thirumagal) worshipped Shiva here and so this place got the name Thirumangalam * Chandikeswarar worshiped Shiva here to get rid of Pithruhathi dosha and attained moksha. * Ravikuruva rishi was a little sad since there was no river near by and Shiva made a river to flow here which is called as Gaya palguni. Temple: Dakashina moorthy is here with abhaya mudra. Subramanya swamy is known as Kalyana Subramanyar. As a unique thing, we can see Valli on peacock with Subramanya and Devayanai standing beside her. Arumuga peruman is seen with six faces and four hands as a Chatru samhara moorthy. This is the birth as well as the mukthi place of Anaya nayanar, one of the 63 Nayanmars. One Linga moortham that gave mukthi to nayanar is said to be growing. We see Anaya nayanar in separate sanctum. Anaya nayanar was good at flute and once when he was reciting flute and meditating, Shiva was very pleased with the music and gave mukthi to him at the same place. Durga here is Vishnu Durgai on Simha vahana. This ancient temple dates back to the period of Rajaraja. Theertham: Parasurama theertham. Sthala Vruksham: Jack fruit tree.

Mangalyeswarar temple at Edayathu mangalam

Thirumoola nadhar Shiva temple at Poovalur 20 kms from Trichy; 3 kms north of Lalgudi in the Trichy-Ariyalur road Main Deity: Swayambu linga known as Thirumoola nadhar/ Gnanapureeswarar with Kumkuma sundari Legend: * Rathi devi got back Manmadhan by worshipping Shiva here. Manmadhan threw flower arrow on Lord Shiva in this place. So the place is called Poovalur. It is also known as Manmadha puram. * Sapdha rishis worshipped Shiva here and got the knowledge and so Shiva is also called Gnanapureeswarar. * Muni wanted to do ceremony for his ancestors. There was no river here so he wanted to do it in Gaya. He worshipped Shiva and He made Ganges to flow here by throwing His silambu. So this place is considered in equal sacredness to Gaya. * Brahma, Indran, Manamathan, Agnidevan and Chandrasudan worshipped this God Temple: The main temple measures 130 feet width and 170 feet length facing east and there are four prakara. There is a sub-shrine for Vinayakar. This temple was sung by Saint Arunagirinathar. Subramanyar is seen with 12 hands sitting on his peacock. Sthala Vruksham: Vilvam. Theertham: Panguni river

Sri Aadhi Lakshmi Temple at Natham (Nandam), 12 kms from Lalgudi via Pinnavasal, Alangudi Mahajanam. It can also be reached via Pullampadi, Uvanar, RR-Venkatachalapuram (7 kms). Main Deity: Aadhi moola Perumal in lying posture and Aadhi lakshmi Thayar in different sanctums. Temple: We see an elephant named Gajendran near Perumal and the leg of the elephant is in the mouth of a crocodile. One hand of perumal is on the head of the elephant, relating to the Gajendra moksha. It is said that this is the place were Gajendra attained moksha. The sanctum sanctorum was constructed by Rajaraja I (993 AD) and Klothunga Chola III also contributed in 1216 AD with the construction of praharam etc. The other deities we see here are Sridevi, Boodevi, Rama, Lakshmana, Seetha, Hanuman and Nandagopar idols. Theertham: Nandhi river, Gajendra Theertham and Sakkara Theertham

Sri Rajakesari Vinnagara Emperuman Temple at Kottamangalam, 1.5 km Kattur, which is 3 kms from Lalgudi. In this village, a ruined Shiva temple called Brahmesvara Udaiya Nayanar, an Ayyanar temple, a Pidari temple and a ruined Vishnu temple are also there.

Apradeeswarar temple at Nagar,near Lalgudi; 5 kms west of Poovalur. Main Deity: Swayambu linga known as Apradeeswarar with Athula Sundariamman/ Oppila maniammai in different sanctums. Temple: The temple is known as Pancha linga kshetram. The temple architect is Thillai Nayakan. Rajaraja Chola constructed the temple as per inscriptions. The other deities are Vadakailasa nadhar, Then kailasa nadhar, Bairavar, Suryan, Durgai, Chandikeeswarar, Nardhana Vinayakar, Dakshina moorthy, Thirumal & Brahma.

Sundareswarar temple at Thinniyam, 12 kms from Pullampadi. Main Deity: Sundareswarar and Periya nayaki ammai. Significance: Subramanaya swamy, Valli and Devayanai are on indivudual peacock which can be seen only in this place. A belief here is that wishes of one who visits the place are fulfilled.

Bitchandar koil (also called Uthamar Koil), About 7 kms fom Trichy, 2-3 kms from Srirangam Lord Brahma and Goddess Saraswathi facing South; Lord Vinshnu as Purushothama perumal in sayana posture and Goddess Pooranavalli Thayar facing east; Lord Shiva as Bitchandar facing west and Goddess Sondharya Parvathi/ Vadivudai Nayaki facing south.

Mangalasasanam: Thirumangai Azhwar 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 3 moorthies – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and their consorts are present in 6 separate shrines. * Shiva appeared as Bitchadanar, a very significant one, out of his 63 moorthams. * Lord Brahma normally seen only as koshta moorthy in the outer prahara walls of the sanctum sanctorum is having a separate shrine here. * Goddess Saraswathi, seen in a separate temple only in Koothanur, is present here in a separate shrine with vimanam. * 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 Lord Brahma himself is present as Lord Guru facing South in a separate shrine with the vimanam and Urchava moorthy. In other temples, only Lord Dakshinamoorthy will be present as Lord Guru. So this is a very significant Temple for Guru Worship.

Legends: * Lord Shiva got the Brahmaharthi dhosham because of plucking Lord Brahma’s head and he was begging for food with Brahma’s skull as the vessel but whatever was put in the vessel, it got vanished immediately. At the behest of Perumal, Poornavalli thayar (Goddess Lakshmi) filled the vessel here to end Shiva’s hunger. That’s why Shiva is called Bitchandar (Bitchai – begging for food). As explained in Sivapuranam, Shiva took the form of Bitchandar only to teach the lesson to the rishis and their wives at Tharukavanam (Thirupparaithurai) near here. Worship benefits: * Since Lord Brahma got His privilege as the creator of all lives here, by worshipping Him, one is sure to get all his wants. * Since Goddess Lakshmi as Pooranavalli Thayar ended Shiva’s hunger here, by worshipping Her, one will be free from hunger and poverty and will be blessed with all ishwaryas. * By worshipping Goddess Saraswathi present in a separate sannidhi, one will be blessed with knowledge and education. * By worshipping Bitchadanar who ended the egos of the rishis, one will be free from their ego and bad wills.

Pandurangan temple at Then Pandaripuram, 6 kms from Srirangm near Utthamar koil Main Deity: Radha, Rukmani and Pandurangar Temple: This is a small temple and as in any Pandurangan temple, here also everyone is allowed to embrace the Pandurangan and pray. Prasadam given here is known as Pada doolhi or bukka which is like black mud. This is a private temple of 75 years old. The idol that is installed in the temple was taken from the well. This was identified by God to a devotee Parangkusa das in dream and was instructed to build this temple.

Sri Aadhi Marriamman temple at Enam Samayapuram, 16 kms from Trichy Chatram. The temple is a small one with two different sanctums of Aadhi marriamman in one compound. The idol in one temple is of Athhi maram (fig tree). They don’t do abishekam for this idol. The other one is stone to which they do abishekam. This temple should be visited before you visit the main Samapuram Marriamman of Kannanoor. Legend: Previously the idol was in Ranganadhar temple of Srirangam and it was removed from there and kept here.

Sri Marriamman temple at Samayapuram (Kannanoor), 15 kms from Trichy One of the sakthi peetams and a very popular temple Main deity: Mariamman Legend: There was an amman idol called Vainavi at the Srirangam Ranganadhar temple which was very fearsome and so they were shifting the idol to some other place. On the way, they kept the idol on the ground for rest but could not take it back. So the villagers named Her as Kannanur Mariamman and Vijaya Ranga Chocka nadha Naicker constructed this temple. Temple: The temple is one of the most popular temples for Mariamman, a manifestation of the primeval energy Shakti as the Mother Goddess. The main mariamman idol is of medicinal herbs and so no abishekam is being done for it. There is a separate shrine for the Urchava (processional) idol to which the abhishekams are being done. On top of the entrance to the sanctum we can see Gajalakshmi idol and at the sanctum, the amman is present under an umbrella of five headed snake with eight hands, right foot stamping 3 demons and left foot bent slightly in a seated posture. At the back of the main sanctum we see the padam (foot print) of amman. Karuppanna Swamy, a local deity is also having a separate shrine.

Ujjain Kali amman temple at Makalikudi, 1 km south-east of Samayapuram temple. Legend: Vikramadhitya, king of Ujjain, used to take and do daily worship of the Kali idol of this temple wherever he goes. The small brass deity here is unique with 8 hands. The deity at the sanctum sanctorum is having the name of Sri Anandha Sowbhagya Sundari in standing posture having Pasam, Angusam, Soolam and Kabalam in four hands. Temple: The temple is facing north and has shrines for Madurai Veeran, Vedhalam, Sastha, Kamkshi amman, Srinivasa Perumal, Karuppanna Swamy. Icha Sakthi, Gnana Sakthi and Kriya Sakthi are present as koshta Gods.Sthala Vruksham: Makizham Theertham: Sakthi theertham is having many herbal powers and believed to cure mental diseases.

Sri Brahmapureeswarar temple at Thirupattur, Around 30 kms from Trichy in the Trichy-Chennai route; turn left (towards west) at Siruganur in the highway and go further for about 4 kms Main deity: Swayambu linga as Brahmapureeswarar Goddess: Brahma Sampath Gowri Other main deity: Lord Brahma Sthala Vriksham: Mahizha tree Theertham: Brahma Theertham and Bahula Theertham Sung by: Appar, Sundarar and Sekkizhar Highlights: * It is generally believed that one’s fate can not be changed by any means but it can happen here since the ill fate of Brahma, the creator himself, was changed to good by Shiva. A turning point in one’s life can be expected by visiting this place. * There is an exclusive shrine for Brahma in the inner praharam. The idol is magnificent 6 feet high and 6.5 feet circumference and is seen in full turmeric (manjal) kappu always. Worshipping him is an amazing dharshan. * From the entrance to the sanctum sanctorum, there are 7 stages of steps indicating 7 days of a week. * The jeeva samadhi of Sage Pathanjali is in the inner praharam just opposite the Brahma’s shrine. * A beautiful temple with intricate sculptural works. * The Kailasanathar shrine constructed by the Pallavas on the lines of the Kailasanathar temple, Kancheepuram is a monument to be preserved for its heritage value. The big stone bull and the sudai sculptures here are worth visiting. * Here are shrines for twelve Lingas of Saivism. One shrine is dedicated to Mandooganathar with the Linga having a hole in memory of the frog that has worshipped him. * The temple tank is the oldest rain water harvesting tank and the ingenuity in the construction is laudable. Legend: After loosing his fifth head and all his powers including the privilege of creating lives, Brahma worshipped Shiva at various places. Here he worshipped with 12 lingams around and got the dharshan of Shiva under the Magizha tree. He got liberated from his punishment and also got back the privilege of creation. Another sacred place, the jeeva samadhi of Pulipani Siddhar is near this temple; the Sastha temple in ruins is nearby;

the Kasi Viswanathar temple construed by cholas with a sacred tank is a km away.

Masilamaneeswarar temple at Utrathur, about 3.2 kms south-east of Padalur, 34 kms from Trichy on the Trichy – Chennai highway. Significance: One of the Vaippu sthalams of Shiva Main Deity: Sundravaneyswarar/ Akilandeswari Suttha Rathneswarar as Swayambu lingam with Akhilandeswari. Legend: Nandhi river flowing in this region started from the mouth of Nandhi in this temple. Once Shiva here adjudged Ganges as the supreme among them and so ordered his vahana Nandhi to face her side instead of facing Him. Temple: This is an early Chola temple constructed by Rajaraja Chola and occupies an area of 5 acrea. The gopuram and a few mandapams have been constructed by Nayaks. We can see a huge Nandhi facing East when we enter the temple. On the roof we can see the Gods of 27 stars and 12 rasis. It is said that this place is good for worship of stars. Nataraja and Sivakami ammai stone idols are made of one single stone. The Brahma Theertham well lies in between the main deity and Nandhi devar, which is very sacred. The wooden temple car has exquisite sculptures. Theertham: Brahma Theertham Note: Kothanda Ramar ancient temple, Murugar temple in the nearby hillock and Chelliamman temple are worth visiting here.

Kailasanathar Temple at Padalur

Chockalingeswarar Temple at Thiruvalakurichi, Near Padalur

Sri Anjeneyar Temple in Perumal Palayam, This is located in between Padalur and IROOR on the Chennai-Trichy Highway. This is a Rock Temple which is more than 2 km height.

Chettikulam, 6 kms from the Alathurgate in the NH45 Road Sri Dhandayudhapani Temple on a hill: This is a highly popular Murugan temple on a hill. This is equivalent to the Palani Murugan temple for the people of more than 100 villages around.

Ekambareswarar Shiva Temple:This was built during the Karikal Cholan period. The temple is famous for its Kubera sculpture showing the Lord of Wealth on His Fish vehicle. There are 13 guberars here, 12 each for each zodiac sign and one common. It is the only such temple in the country. When viewed from an upper place, it is said that the idols combined together looks like OHM letter shape. People throng the temple to worship Kubera for wealth. The rays of Sun fall on Lord Ekambareswara on 19, 20 and 21 of Panguni month –March-April. This is an ancient Shiva Temple and the lingam is a jyothi lingam. The main tower-Rajagopuram is 100 feet tall visible up to a distance of 10 kilo meters. The abhisheha water is very special as it is said to free people from the bad habits and addictions. There is also a sculptural marvel in the temple on the western Dwarapalaka pillar carved with such rare skill that it looks like a bull from one angle and an elephant from the other. In the inner corridor, there are 10 pillars producing different musical sounds if tapped with a dry sandal stick. Both the temples are located in such a way that both Murugan and Shiva (Father and Son) are facing each other.

Sri Madurakali amman temple at Siruvachur, a highly popular and powerful amman temple and ancestor temple for most people including Sri Kanchi Maha Periyavar.

Arunachaleswarar Temple at Ayalur, 2 kms east of Siruvachur

Viswanathar Temple at Karai, 5 kms south of Siruvachur

Bhoominathar ( God of Earth) Shiva Temple in Mannachanalur, where Lord Shiva himself is present as God of Vasthu. There is a legend behind the main deity who got control of Vasthu Bagvan here. On Vasthu days there are few sampradhayams by which we can be solved of all vasthu dhosha problems.

Sundara Raja Perumal Koil in Azhagiya Manavalam en route Thuraiyur and Azhagiya Manavalam village is a little diversion from there to the left for about 3 kms. The Lord is seen in a standing posture with Sridevi and Bhoodevi. The legend dates back to the 14th Century AD to the time when Mohammed Bin Tughlag invaded the Srirangam temple and the threat to the idols of Lord Ranganatha loomed large. While the battle was going on, Azhagiya Manavalan and His consorts resided here at the Sundara Raja Perumal temple in this village. A smart lady of this village used her guile and protected the idol of the utsav deity of Lord Ranganatha and also helped the forces outwit the Madurai Sultanate. It was in 1371 AD that Azhagiya Manavalan and His consort went back to Srirangam temple. Gopurapatti village is located 20kms North West of Trichy near Mannachanallur between two rivers Peruvalavan and Kamba (these have gone into extinction and are currently seen in the form of a small canal). This can also be reached from Thiruvasai in the Trichy – Musiri route and this is located west of Thiruvasi.

Aadhi Nayaka Perumal Temple In the 14th Century, Srirangam was ravaged by the Islamic invasion. During this period, lasting close to 50 years some of the residents fled the place but many others stayed on to fight the invaders. Over 10,000 Vaishnavites gave up their lives fighting to protect Srirangam from these invaders. In memory of them, every year, during the No Moon day in the Tamil Calendar month of Aadi, Tharpanam takes place on the banks of the Peruvalavan River in Gopurapatti. The Moolavar is seen in a Bala Sayana Posture with a Measuring Instrument.

Amaleesvarar Temple, The early Chola temple here was in ruins but has been scientifically renovated and restored to its barest original form. Lord of the temple is called Thiru Amaleesvaram Udaiya Mahadevar in the inscriptions. Thiruvellarai, Location: About 20 km north of Trichy, en route Thuraiyur.

Sri Pundarikaasha Perumal temple (Divya desam), east facing standing postureGoddess: Shenbagavalli, also called as “Periya Piraattiyaar Lakshmi Devi”. Seperate sannadhi for Thaayar. Utsavar thaayar is named as “Pangajavalli”. Prathyaksham: For, “Periya Thiruvadi” Garudan, Sibi chakravarthy, Bhoodevi (Bhoomi Piratti), Maarkandeya Maharishi, Lord Brahma, Rudhran (Lord Shiva). Highlights: * One of 108 Divya desams * Situated in a sprawling 14 acre site and resembles an old fort; surrounded on all sides by 36-feet-high massive compound walls; there are 5 praharams for the temple; the front Rajagopuram is unfinished and would have been one of the biggest had it been finished. * The temple is considered the oldest of the Vaishnavaite temples of South, older than Srirangam. Whereas Srirangam was built during Rama’s period, Thiruvellarai temple was built by Sibhi, 4 generations older forefather of Rama. Hence the name Aadhi Vellarai. According to the Puranas, 64 `Chathuryugas’ (the present Kaliyuga being one among them) have passed since the Lord was enshrined here. * This temple is situated at 100 feet high in a small hillock made of white granite slabs, this place is called “Thiru Vellarai”. * Only a handful of temples have been dedicated to Lord Varaha and this one is called Swedha Varaha Kshethram * Here Thayar gets the first rights over Perumal. Only in two other Divya Desams this happens – Nachiyar temple in Thiru Naraiyur, Andal in Srivilliputhur. * Inscriptions and the architecture at this temple point to periods of Pallava, Hoysala and Vijayanagara kings. * Legend has it that all the Vaishnavas who perform daily poojas in various temples in south India are originally from Thiruvellarai. * Another belief is that no Vaishnavite can get Moksham without visiting Thiruvellarai. Visiting this temple is an eligibility criterion for Moksham. * There are as many as 7 theerthams within the temple complex and one of them is the Swasthik kulam or Maamiyaar – Maattu Penn (Mother in law – Daughter in law) theertham or Chakra theertham, maintained by Archeological Survey of India (ASI). The Swastik shape of the tank makes it possible that people bathing at one ghat cannot view any other ghat. * Acharyars: Ramanuja spent few months here after the unfortunate incident of attempting to kill him by poison at Srirangam; this is the birth place of Uyyakkondan (a disciple of Saint Naradhar) whose given name was Pundareekhakshar and Engalazhwan whose given name was Vishnuchittar, a contemporary of Ramanuja and an expert in Sri Bashyam. * There are two cave temples in the rocks for Markandeya Maharishi and Bhoodevi Thayar, one of them belongs to the period of `Pallava Malla’ Nandivarman II and another belongs to the period of Rajaraja I. Note: It’s a temple, must be visited in lifetime for its sheer majesty, architectural marvel and the heritage, apart from its divinity of course.

Aadhi Jambukeswarar temple, a rock cut temple, is 500 meters from the Vishnu Temple. Aadhi Jambhunathar Temple where Jambhukeswarar blessed the Jambhu Rishi who was not able to walk to Tiruvanaikoil for a Darshan. A Pallava period cave temple in a beautiful location recently renovated is very near the Thiruvellarai Divya Desam. Both Shiva and Perumal are carved side by side on the right with Shiva linga shrine in the middle with Jambhu Rishi and Bhairavar on the left. Navagraha Darshan also can be had inside the cave shrine. Shrines for Akhilandeswari, Vinayaka and Subramanya are outside the cave.

Thuraiyur Prasanna Venkatachalapathy Perumal temple at Perumal malai with Sridevi and Boodevi Thayar. Place: The temple is at the top of Perumalmalai hills, 3 kms from Thuraiyur. This place is known as ‘Then Thirupathi’ of Trichy due to the many similarities to Thirupathi. There are seven hillocks to cross; Alarmelmangai Thayar is having a separate shrine; Govindharaja perumal in lying posture is having a temple at the foot hill; and there is a village known as Nagalapuram 5 kms away. The hill is 960 feet high with 1532 steps to climb. There is also a motorable road of about 5 kms till the top. It will take about 15 minutes in vehicle and about an hour in walking through steps. Legend: The temple was constructed by one of the grand sons of Karikala chola. The king, as per the advice of his Guru, meditated here to attain moksha and got the dharshan of Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal in marriage posture. The King was also blessed to be with the Perumal and Thayar as the kshetra balan (the man of the place). He is now known as Karuppanna Swamy or Veerappa Swamy and is having a separate shrine between the shrines of Perumal and Alarmelmangai Thayar. Temple: The prime deity here is Alarmelmangai Thayar and there are separate shrines for Alarmelmangai Thayar and Padmavathi Thayar. This temple is present as a symbol of Shaiva Vaishanav unison – while Thulasi is being given as prasadam in the Perumal shrine, Viboothi (holy ash) is being as prasadam in the Karuppannar shrine. In the Shobana mandapam, there are wonder musical pillars and beautiful sculptures of the ten avatars of Mahavishnu and others on the pillars. For those who could not climb the hill, the foot print of the Perumal is installed at the base of the hill in a mandapam along with Garudan in a standing posture. It is said that having a dharshan of this Perumal’s footprint is equivalent to having a dharshan of the Perumal at the hill top. Also, Govindaraja Perumal temple is situated at the base of the hill. Hundreds of devotees take part in the Girivalam around this hillock on full-moon days.

Sri Sambath Gowri Amman sametha Nandhikeswarar Temple lies in the heart of the Thuraiyur town, 48 kms from Trichy. The Lord is sung by Appar, Arunagirinathar and other saints. This temple is developed and added with shrines during the 8th – 14th centuries. It is said that Ayyanar, Pidari, Nagakanni, Indran, Thirumal, Venuvanamunivar, Parasaran have prayed the Lord Shiva here. The temple tank is called ‘Nandhi Theertham’. It is told that the Sundara Cholan, named the Linga here as ‘Nandhikeswarar’. There are many life size exquisitely carved stone sculptures in the temple. There is a Nagakanni Amman statue enshrined in this templ and during ragukalam (10.30 am to 12.00 Noon) of all Fridays, special poojas are being conducted for this Goddess, to expiate the sin of Raghu – Kethu, delay in marriages etc. There is a beautiful centre mandapam in a dilapidated condition in the big irrigation tank nearby.

Sri Vedantha Mahadesigar templeis near the Nandhikeswarar temple

Matrari Varadeeswarar temple at Thiruvasi – Thevara temple located at 12 kms from Trichy in the Trichy-Salem route via Ayyanpalayam on the northern bank of river Kollidam (Coleroon). The ancient name of the place is Thiruppachil Ashram. Significance: One of 275 Shiva temples glorified by the Thevara hymns; Offering Sweet Pongal to God on Monday (or Thursday) and getting the holy water sprinkled is considered equivalent to visiting Kasi Main Deity: Matrarivaradeeswarar/ Samivaneswarar/ Brahmapureswarar as Swayambu lingam with Balambikaiamman/ Balasundari Legend: * The daughter of Kollimazhavan, a ruler, had the Muyalagan disease and Sambandhar cured it * Once a business man and a Shiva devotee called Kamalan was childless. One day when he was going home from the temple he heard a child crying and found a baby in a lotus flower. He named her Amalai and brought her up. When the child was ready for marriage, he wanted her to be married to his brother-in-law. Amalai was a great devotee of Shiva and so wanted to marry Shiva. Shiva came to their house as Kamalan’s brother-in-law and married Amalai. After the marriage they both left the house saying that they are going to the temple. After they left, original brother-in-law returned home, only then they realised something had happened. They went to temple in search of Amalai and knowing this, Amalai threw her anklet back and it turned to be a river and started flowing. Amalai was Parvathi devi herself and Shiva and Parvathi devi gave dharshan to all the people on the rishba vahana. * Sundarar got a bag of gold from Lord Shiva in this place. * Worshipped by Brahma, Lakshmi Umadevi and Sage Agasthiar Temple: The temple dates back to about 1500 years. Here we can see a snake under the feet of Lord Nataraja instead of Muyalagan. We see Sundarar with golden talam in his hand. Sambandhar and Sundarar sang hymns on Shiva of this place. Sthala Vruksham: Vanni Theertham: Amalai river, Panguni river.

Matsyapurisvarar temple at Thudaiyur Near Thiruvasi, on the northern bank of Kollidam and on the south side of the main road, there is an ancient early Chola temple of the period of Aditya I called Thiru Kadambatturai Udaiya Mahadevar (now named Matsyapurisvarar temple) at Tudaiyar.

Visha mangalaeswarar temple at Thudaiyur Location: 10 kms from Trichy. Main Deity: Visha mangalaeswarar with Veera mangalaeswri/ Mangalanayaki amman. Temple: This Thevara Vaipu Sthalam is a small temple and has lots of special significances. There is a big snake pit before we enter the temple and the place is also known as Visham Theenda Pathi, meaning poison has no effect here. We see all the Gods with their wives – Surya with his wife, Lakshmi Narayanar, Kalyana Sundareswarar, Subramanya with Valli Devasena, Brahma and Saraswathi. Durga is Vishnu Durgai on lotus peetam with agni in hand. Thadangam of Durgai is different here. Digichandana Dakshina moorhy idol is really good and He is with veena known as Digichandana in his hand. Surya and Chandra are seen on top of Dakshinamoothy to either side with chamaram. Kalyana Sundareswarar’s left hand is around his wife affectionately holding her close to him and thumb of his feet is above the feet of ambal. About half a km from here we see Vadha muni stone for which oil abishekam is done on Saturday, Tuesday, full-moon day and half-moon day. The oil is distributed as prasadam to devotees. They say applying the oil will subside any type of pain.

Murugan Temple at Ayyampalayam

Prasanna Venkateswara Perumal Temple at Gunaseelam Location: 16 kms from Trichy in the Trichy-Salem route, the place is famous for this temple Main Deity: Prasanna venkatesa perumal housing Thayar in his chest Significance: A Prarthana sthalam. Main deity is Swayambu moorthy. The place is called Then Thirupathi and it is said that this Perumal is elder to Srinivasa Perumal of Thirupathi. One who cannot go to Thirupathi can offer their prayers in this temple. Legend: Gunaseela Maharishi was in penance at his ashram to get the dharshan of Perumal and He appeared to him as swayambu moorthy and hence He is known as Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal. Temple: There is no separate shrine for Thayar since Perumal is housing the Thayar in His chest. Perumal is in a standing posture wearing a garland of Lakshmi dollar bearing the 1000 names of the Lord (sahasranama) and also a Salagrama garland. The Lord here loves abhisheham and so daily abhishehams take place. Worship benefits: Mentally ill people stay here to become normal. During the Uchi Kala Pooja (11:30 AM to 12:30 PM) and Artha Jama Pooja (8:30 PM) the holy water is sprinkled on the devotees which is said to be expiating all kinds of evils effects and mind diseases like depression. This is a Prarthana sthalam and people wanting to get good marriage and childhood come here and get their wishes sanctioned. Theertham: Papavinasa theertham.

Neelakandeswarar temple at Thiruppainjeeli – Thevara Temple Location: About 20 kms north-west of Trichy; 8kms from Mannacha nallore on the northern bank of Kollidam. Significance: * One of 275 sacred Shiva temples glorified by the Thevara hymns; * the temple is also called ‘South kailash’ * a rare temple for Yama (King of death) Main Deity: Neellivaneswarar/ Neelakandeswarar/ Jeelivana nadhar/ Viswanathar as Swayambu lingam and Visalakshi/ Neellnedunkannammal ammai. Legend: * Shiva appeared in the form of a brahmin and gave food to Navakkuarasar. * Sage Vasishtar had dharshan of Shiva in dancing posture and so this is also called ‘Mel Chidambaram’. * As instructed by Sage Vasishtar, Rama worshipped Shiva here before going to Lanka Temple: * Temple is situated in a sprawling 12 acre area and is one of the Saptha sthana temples of Thiruvanaikkaval * There is no exclusive Navagraha shrine since the steps leading to the main shrine is considered to be the Navagrahas. In front of the Nandhi and Dwajasthambam, the Navagrahas are prayed by lighting lamps in the nine stone cavern holes made on the floor. * There is a separate Yama temple outside the main temple within the compound. People who worship here will live without the fear of death. * There are two amman shrines, the main one is facing east and has a roofing with some special bricks available only in this region. * Inside we see Shiva and Parvathi with Murugar in between them as Somaskandha moortham in a cave shrine. The Shiva rock shrine is said to be created by Mahendra Varma Pallava, otherwise called Gunabaram, during 640 AD. Yama is seen under the feet of Shiva, who gave rebirth to Yama. Surya and Chandra are on top to either side with chamaram. * The shrine of Lord Vishnu named Senthamarikanan is present inside the temple. * Chinnandavar and Periyandavar, the rural guardian deities are also located in the temple premises. The sculpture of Sudha Mahamunivar lies in the outer precinct of the temple. * Appar, Sundarar and Sambandhar sang hymns on Shiva of this place. The Sorudaieswarar shrine is associated with the divine poet Appar. * There is also a good fresh water spring, 2 kms north of the temple on the way to Sri Pundarikatsha Perumal temple at Thiruvellarai. At 2 kms from the water spring, a plantain tree is being decorated and worshipped. Theertam: Appar theertham. Sthala Vruksham: Neeli, a variety of plantain which is not grown in any other part

Shiva temple at Mutharasanallur Location: 7 kms from Trichy to Karur. Main Deities: * Rathnagreeswarar and Aralakesari amman in different sanctums. * Engoinadhar and Maragadha valli amman in different sanctums. * Kadamba vaneswarar and Bala Kujalambikai in separate sanctums. Legend: A king by name Mutuarasu used to worship Kadamba vaneswarar of Kulithalai in the morning, Rathanagreeswarar of Ayyarmalai in the noon and Thiru Engoinadhar of Thiru Engoi malai in the evening everyday. When he became old he could not continue his worship as before and so was sad and prayed to Shiva. Shiva came in his dream and asked the King to take the three idols that are lying in the ground near the vanni maram and build a temple there. In the morning, the King found the idols of Shiva and Goddess also and later built this temple. The place is named after him as Muthrasanallur. Temple: There are three sanctums for Shiva and three sanctums for Goddess. Those who could not go to Kulitalai and worship all the three temples can visit this single temple to get the same benefit. Other shrines are Murugan with Valli and Devayanai, Dakshina moorthy, Ganapathy, Chandeeswarar, Navagraha, Bairava, Sani and Surya.

Shiva temple at Tiruchendurai Location: 12 kms from Trichy to Karur. Main Deity: Swayambu Linga known as Chandrashekara swamy and Maanendiya valli. Significance: This is one of the Vaippu sthalams. Temple: Shiva linga looks like jack fruit. Ambikai has deer in her hand. Usually Nataraja in all temples will be attached to Thiruvasi at the back but in this place Nataraja standing on single leg without support is special. Sthala Vruksham: Jack fruit tree.

Vada Theerthanathar Temple at Andanallur Location: 13 kms from Trichy in the Trichy-Karur route between Allur (Jeeyapuram) and Thiruchchendurai. Main Deity: Vadateertheswarar as Swayambu lingam with Balasundari Ambikai. Temple: This small ancient Chola temple is a Thevara Vaippu sthalam. Andanallur is called Andavanallur in inscriptions. The temple is also called Thiru Alandurai Mahadevar temple.

Rudhrakoteeswarar temple at Kodiyalam Location: 3 kms from Trichy between Jeeyapuram and Mukkombu (Elamanur); 1 km east from Mukkombu Main Deity: Rudhrakoteeswarar with Komalambikai amman

Sri Panchandeeswarar temple at Allur The Panchanadeesvarar temple is situated in Allur 10 kms from Trichy on the main road to Karur. The deity is called Thiru Vadagudi Paramesvarar (or) Mahadevar.

Sri Viswanathar temple at Pazhur Pazhur is located in the Trichy-Karur route about 800 meters before Allur. This temple for Viswanathar-Visalakshmi is famous for Navagraha worship and devotees throng the temple. The Navagrahas are present on a platform inscribed with the 12 rasis along with their respective consorts, vahanas and yandhras. The navagraha mandapam was installed in 1932 as per the instructions of Kanchi Maha Periyavar Sri Chandrasekarendhra Swamigal.

Tharuka vaneswarar at Thirupparaithurai – Thevara temple Significance: One of 275 sacred Shiva temples glorified by the Thevara hymns Location: 15 kms from Trichy. Main Deity: Paraithurai nadhar/ Tharuka vaneswarar as Swayambu lingam facing East with Pasumpon myilammai, Hemavarnambal facing South. Legend: This place was called Tharukavanam and once the rishis here were very egoistic and feeling that their knowledge and spiritual powers were just sufficient to uplift the people. They felt God is not at all needed since one’s karma only is responsible for the pain and pleasure of that person. The rishis’ wives were also equally egoistic, thinking that they were the most beautiful of all the worlds including the devaloha ladies and the consorts of the 3 moorthies. Wanting to teach a lesson, Shiva took the form of a beautiful full nude beggar with all his sheen as Bitchadanar accompanied by Vishnu as Mohini. To teach the lesson first for the ladies, they both went to the Agraharam begging. On seeing such a divinely personality with a magnetic voice for the first time, the ladies forgot themselves, forgot what they were doing and came to streets to see him. On seeing the beauty of the Mohini (Vishnu), they felt ashamed and embarrassed with their egoistic thinking about their beauty. Followed by the wives of the rishis, both Bitchadanar and Mohini went to Tharukavanam where the rishis were doing a yagna. On getting furious over their wives getting attracted towards this nude beggar, the rishis did different things like creating an elephant, Tiger etc., through yagnas, sending mantras and vedas to fight Bitchadanar but nothing could stand in front of Him. Shiva finally revealed his true identity and did a furious dance in front of them. On realizing their mistakes, the rishis at once surrendered to Bitchadanar. The rishis learnt by hard way that learning all the mantras and vedas are only to promote the human lives and to do good to the society. Temple: The temple is situated in the place where parai trees are large in number, hence the place is known as Paraithurai. Indhra, Kubera and Saptharishis worshipped Shiva here. Other deities present in the temple are Vinayakar, Murugan, Mahalakshmi, Durgai, Dakshina moorthy and Navagraha. Sambandhar and Navakarasar sang hymns on Shiva of this place. Meditating under the Parai tree here is considered very special. Sthala Vruksham: Punnai tree. Theertham: Cauveri.

Sri Sundareswarar Temple at Nangavaram Nangavaram is 18 kms from Trichy and about 3 kms south of Perugamani in the Trichy-Kulitalai route. It has an ancient Sundareswarar temple and a Pidari temple. It is said that the daughter of a Chola king of Woraiyur was born with the face of a jackal and by her devotion to the Lord of this place she got the normal human features. Hence this place is called Mangai-varam (or) Nangai-varam, which became as Nangavaram. The village is called Arinjigai Sathur Vedhimangalam. A stone panel with 24 Jain Theerthangaras is also seen here.

Shiva temple at Pettaivaithalai Location: 23 kms from Trichy to Karur. Main Deity: Madhyarjuneswarar with Balambikai. Temple: The temple at Pettaivaithalai is about 1km inside from the Trichy-Kulitalai main road. The temple was built by 3rd Kulothunga Chola. In a pillar we can see Potralam poovai chittar. The Jeeva samadhi of Potralam poovai chittar is present here. Worshipping Shiva in this place is recommended to get rid of Brahmahatti dosha. Other deities like Bitchadanar, Saraswathi, Dandayudhapani, Mahalakshmi, Surya, Chandra and Navagraha are there. Significances: All types of ladies specific problems like mensus, uterus, menopause related are said to be cured by worshipping Shiva at this place.

Kulitalai and Musiri are on the opposite banks of Cauvery, whereas Kulitalai is in the Trichy-Karur route running along the southern bank of the Cauveri, Musiri is in the Trichy-Salem route running along the northern bank of the Cauveri. Both are at about 40 kms from Trichy and connected by a bridge across the river. The cauvery here is called “Aganda (wide) Cauvery” and has a width of more than 1 KM.

Morning Kadambar – Noon Chokkar – Evening Thiruvengi nadhar There are three important sacred shiva temples in this region glorified by the Thevara hymns and Agathiar used to worship all the three in a single day. Agasthiar was not satisfied even after worshipping so many temples in south and finally got satisfaction after worshipping these three temples. He worshipped Kadamba nadhar at Kadambar koil in the morning, Rathnagresswarar temple at Ayyarmalai (Thiruvatpokki) in the noon, and the Thiruvengi nadhar at Thiru-engoi-malai in the evening. It is considered that worshipping all of them in a single day will get us salvation.

Kadambar Koil at Kulithalai Location: Kulithalai town Significance: One of the 275 sacred Shiva temples glorified by the Thevara hymns; north facing temple like Kasi, considered equivalent to Kasi and is called Dakshina Kasi; considered equivalent to Madurai and is called Vada Madurai Main Deity: Kadambavaneswarar/ Sundaresar/ Soundareswarar with Mutrila mulaiamai/ Bala Gujambigai Legend: The legend has been described in the Kanda Puranam * Brahma got fatigue over his job of creating lives and prayed to Shiva for salvation. Per Shiva’s guidance, Brahma penanced here for 1000 Deva years and got finally the dharshan of Lord Shiva in his Rishaba vahana * Once there was a fight between Goddess Durga and demon Dhoomralosan. When the demon got stronger in the fight, the Saptha Kannigas joined Durga devi and made the demon run away. The demon ran and hid at the place of Sage Kathyayanar. The Saptha Kannigas mistook that the demon was hiding in the form of Sage and so killed the sage cruelly. Due to this, they got the Brahma harthi dhosham and got it relieved off only after worshipping Shiva here. At the sanctum sanctorum, behind the moolavar, the Saptha Kannigas are present in a sculpture. * Per the request of Devasarma, Shiva gave the dharshan of his wedding with Goddess Meenakshi and so this place is called Vada Madurai. So He is called Sundaresar. * Demon Somugan once took away the four Vedas and hid it in the Bhadala logam. So Lord Vishnu worshipped Shiva here and with His blessings went under the ground in the Machavathar and brought back the Vedas. So this place is called Vedhapuri * When Shiva was preaching Pranava mantra to Paravthi devi, Murugar, without any Guru, learnt it by overhearing. So he became a Moogar and to get rid of the curse, He worshipped Shiva in many places and finally came here and got the curse cleared. Uma devi kissed murugar on his forehead and made him sit by the side of Shiva. So this place is called Kandhapuram Temple: The temple has 2 praharams and the amman shrine is facing east. There are shrines for Vinayagar, Subramanyar, Natarajar, Somaskandar, Navagrahas, Jeshtadevi, Nalvar, 63 nayanmars, Sekkizhar, Viswanathar and Gajalakshmi. Vishnu shrine is present in the Agni corner at the banks of the Brahma Theertham. Arunagirinadhar sang Thiruppugazh on this Shiva. Theertham: Brahma Theertham

Thaipoosa Festival: This is a highly popular festival for this region conducted on a grand scale during the Poosa star day of tamil month Thai. The urchava idols of the following seven surrounding temples come here for the cauvery river bath and give dharshan to the devotees. The celebrations take place for the whole night with discourses, musical and dance performances at various places – a typical village temple festival, to be witnessed by everyone once in lifetime, especially the younger generations of the city. 1) Sri Madhyarsneswarar from Rajendram 2) Sri Madhyarsneswarar from Pettavaithalai 3) Sri Rathnagreeswarar from Ayyarmalai 4) Sri Simmapureeswarar from Karuppathur 5) Sri Maragathachaleswarar from Thiru-engoi-malai 6) Sri Chandramouleeswarar from Musiri and 7) Sri Thirukkameeswarar from Vellur (Location)

Rathnagreeswarar Temple at Ayyarmalai Location: 8 kms from Kulithalai and 40 kms from Manapparai in the Kulitalai-Manapparai road. Significance: One of the 275 sacred Shiva temples glorified by the Thevara hymns; the first in the list of South of Cauvery temples; water for abishekam is being carried everyday from the Cauvery river 9 kilometers away and through the 1017 steps of the hill Main deity: Rathnagreeswarar/ Rajalingam/ Valpokki with Karumbar Kuzhali. Theertham: Cauvery Sthala Vruksham: Neem Legend: * Ayyarmalai is one of the peaks of Meru Mount and the Linga is a Jyothir Linga * Worshipped by Brahma, Vishnu, Indhran, Vayu, Adhiseshan, Surya, Agni, Durgai, Saptha Kannigas and Sages Agathiar and Romasar * Both Vayu and Aadhi seshan got into the sin of defecting the Mount Meru and in order to get rid of their sins, they worshipped Shiva here * Indhran once behaved improperly with the wife of Sage Gouthamar and so was cursed. After visiting so many temples, finally he got his curse cleared by worshipping Shiva here * Once the Navarathna crown of King Aryarajan could not be found and he prayed to Shiva. He came here and tried to fill a big bowl called Kopparai meant for storing the abisheka water. But it did not become full even after pouring the Cauvery water endlessly. The angry King took the sword and threw it on the Linga which began to bleed. The king reconciling from the fury fell at the feet of the Lord, who in turn pardoned him and also got back his lost crown. The scar is still visible on the Linga and that’s why the deity is called Vatpokki. * A devotee, Vaira Perumal of Kancheepuram vowed to offer his head to Rathnagreeswarar if he gets a child. He kept his promise sooner the wish was achieved. The head came to the peak of the mount while the feet stayed down. Honey and Coconut milk is used for the abishek for this head. The garlands used for the presiding deity is then offered to this head. * Sundharamoorthy Nayanar received gold from Shiva * Once a crow spilled the milk bowl of a devotee and the crow got burnt. From then on, no crow flies on the hill above this particular height. There is a mandapam called crow mandapam to indicate this.

Temple: The temple is on a steep hill of 1178 feet height and has 1017 steps with a circumference of 4 kms in 110 acres area. There are many resting mandapams for every 100 feet. The swayambu Linga is in the midst of 8 rocks and this is the 9th rock. All these are revered as Navarathnas. During the month of Chithirai, April-May, the sun rays fall on the Shivalinga through the nine holes in front of the sanctum sanctorum. The special thing about this temple is that the water for abishekam is being carried everyday from the Cauvery river 9 kilometers away and through these 1017 steps. There is a beautiful temple tank at the base of the hill. The temple is praised in the hymns of Thirunavukkarasar and Arunagiriar Thirupugazh. The snakes here have no poison. The Lord offers dharshan on the 1st day of Karthikai, wearing a priceless crown. Devotees in large number undertake Girivalam during the Full moon days. Trichy Rockfort and Srirangam temple tower which are 40 kms away are visible from here Note: During the summer, while coming down, due to excessive heat you may have to literally run down from one mandapam to the other mandapam. It is advisable to go prepared with a pair of socks to escape the heat from the floor.

Thiruvengi nadhar Temple at Thiru-engoi-malai Location: 40 Km from Trichy and and 5 kms from Musiri towards Thottiam. Main deity: Swayambu lingam known as Maragathaleswarar/ Malaikozhnthar with Goddess Maragathambigai / Maragathavalli Place: The hillock is otherwise called Maragathamalai /Thenkailayam /Sivasakthimalai /Malaikovil / Erattimalai. Legend: * The name of the place is said to be derived from Thiru-i-ongaimalai (‘i’ meaning bee in Tamil) and to have been so called because the sage Agasthiar, finding the gates of the temple closed one evening, took the form of a bee and entered the temple to perform his worship. * When Sundarar went to see the Lord, He hid himself in tamarind and when Sambandhar asked for gold, He gave the tamarind from the tree which became gold. * Ambal worshipped Shiva here and so the hill is also called Sivasakthi malai. Temple: The temple is on a hillock on the bank of the river Cauvery and 500 steps lead to the temple. The river ‘Surpanathi’, also called Kondayurumarai or Kondamarai, passes by the side of the hillock. The original Swayambu lingam of the temple called Maragatha lingam is said to be transparent and also to throw a green shadow when camphor is burned. Sadly, such a precious and sacred lingam was stolen a few years back and is one of the many temple thefts that are still happening as a day to day news. The God is connected with the deities of Kadambar kovil and Ayyarmalai. At the base of the temple lies Siddhar Bogar temple. Poet Nakkeerar has sung 70 songs named ‘Engoi-Elupathu’. Note: Very nearby in the foothills of Thirueengoimalai is the “Chayapeedam” of Shri Lalithamba (One of the 51 shakthi peedams). The whole temple is being maintained by yogini ladies (Brahmacharinis).

Shiva temple at Shivayam Location: 1.5 km from Ayyarmalai Main deity: Sivapureeswarar with Periyanayahi Significance: Natarajar here is very beautiful Temple: There are two gopurams, the first one is a 5 stage gopuram and the next one is a 3 stage one. The temple walls are big and the wooden door to the first entrance, called Ramayana door, is huge with the sculptures of Ramayana and other legends. There are 100 pillars and 16 pillars mandapams.

Mariamman temple at Kulitalai

Perumal Temple at Kulitalai

Mahalakshmi Temple at Mahadhanapuram

Shiva Temple at Mahadhanapuram

Sri Kuranganathar temple in Srinivasanallur Location: This temple is at about 50 kms from Trichy between Thottiyam and Musiri in the Trichy-Salem highway, on the banks of the river Cauvery. Significance: This has been declared as a monument, being maintained by Archeological Survey of India (ASI) and is not a living temple. Temple: It is a stunningly beautiful piece of early Chola architecture. Very intricately carved sculptures proclaim the rich artistic skills of the period. The vimana of the temple is unique with a two tier structure and a smaller central third tier with a square dome and a finial. Inscriptions of Parantaka Cholan dating 935 – 950 CE and further more are found on the walls of this temple.

Vishnu Temple at Thiru Narayanapuram Location: Thottiam taluk; 1 km from Varadaraja puram; while going from Musiri to Salem, take the left side road at Thottiyam (right side road goes to Namakkal/ Salem) that goes to Kattuputhur, Thiru narayanapuram, Arasalur and Mohanur Main Deity: Veda Narayanar in lying posture with Sridevi and Bhoodhevi Thayars Significance: Swayambu Veda Narayana Perumal on Aadhi seshan with 10 heads. Legend: * Once Mahabala chakravarthy Vanarayar was travelling to Mysore via this place to fight and expand his kingdom. At night they had to halt here and the King had a dream that Vedanarayana perumal is under the mud and He has to be uncovered and installed in a temple. The King did the same and the pooja and then only proceeded further. No doubt, the King then won the fight without any effort. * Another legend being that the Arayar family came here for worship. That day fire broke out and the temple with temporary structure got fire and Arayar with his family laid on the idol to save Him from fire and attained moksha. * After Hiranya vadham, Perumal was in anger. Prahaladha worshipped Him and asked Him to be in santha swaroopam in this place forever. * Once Brahma was in ego as a creator of lives and so Perumal wanted to teach him a lesson. He created an ugly person and sent him to Brahma. Looking at the person Brahma was confused as to who could have created such an ugly person. To clear his doubt he asked the Veda Narayana perumal and the Perumal replied him that since Brahma is the God of creation it could be none other than Brahma. Brahma’s ego was shattered and the ugly person disappeared. Brahma asked Veda Narayanar to preach him Veda and got it preached and so we can see the right palm of Perumal is kept open in a posture of preaching Brahma. Temple: The place is also called Chathurvedimangalam and Vedapuri. In the Sanctum, Perumal is reclining on Aadhiseshan and the four vedas are used as pillows. Sridevi and Boodevi are by the side. This is a very ancient temple with additions constructed during the Nayakar period in the 15th century. This temple has two prakaram and two main shrines for Perumal and Thayar. There is also a separate shrine for Goddess Saraswathi. Anjeneya in the front pillar is special here as people keep him as a judge for their issues. Prahaladha as a small boy is also seen in the temple. The temple is a small one but well maintained. This temple is considered to be an important one as Lord Perumal is preaching Brahma. Theertham: Cauvery Sthala Vruksham: Vilva tree

Viralimalai Sanctuary : Viralimalai is a small town situated at a distance of 30-km from Tiruchirappalli and 40-km from Pudukkottai. It is famous for its Murugan temple and the Peacock sanctuary. The town is bestowed with a large number of wild peacocks, which roam around the Murugan temple.

Sittanavasal : Located at a distance of 58-km from Trichy is Sittanavasal, a site of an ancient Jain monastery with fine fresco paintings in a rock cave. Many of them are typical of the 9th century Pandyan period and include exquisitely detailed pictures of animals, fish, ducks, people gathering lotuses from a pond and two dancing figures. There are also inscriptions dating back to the 9th and 10th centuries. Fresco paintings from the 7th century can be seen on the ceiling of the Ardhamandapam.

Government Museum at Thirukokarnam, located near the Pudukkottai station, at a distance of 40 km from Trichy. The rare collections in the sections of Geology, Zoology, Paintings, Anthropology, Epigraphy,Historical Records, etc., are very interesting. The museum is open on all days except Mondays.

Kudumianmalai : Kudumianmalai temple is located at a distance of 25-km from Trichy. The presiding deity is Lord Sikhagireeswara. There are beautiful sculptures and a thousand pillar-hall within the temple.

Gangaikondan Cholapuram located in Udayarpalayam Taluk is at a distance of 100-km from Trichy. Rajendra I, a Chola ruler established GangaikondaCholapuram as his capital city and built a magnificent temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Apart from the huge Nandi, there are some beautiful sculptures including a dancing Ganesha, a lion-headed well and a stunning piece depicting Rajendra being crowned by Lord Shiva and Parvati.

Kodumbalur or "Moovarkoil", is 36-km from Pudukkottai and 42-km from Tiruchirappalli. It was formerly the seat of Irukkuvelirs, who were related to the Cholas. Of the three shrines of Moovarkoil only two exist now. Boodhi Vikramakesari built these temples in the 10th century AD. The architecture of the temple is unique among south Indian temples. The sculptures of Kalarimurthi, Gajasamharamurthi Ardhanariswara, Gangadaramurthi, etc. are interesting masterpieces of art. Nearby is the Muchukundeswarar temple of the early Chola period.

Avadayar Koil : Avadayar Koil, previously known as "Thiruperunthurai", is an important Shivasthala located at a distance of 8 miles from the Arantangi railway station and about 94-km from Trichy. The sculptural work of the temple is exquisite. It is perhaps the best architectural marvel in South India.

Gunaseelam at a distance of 22-km from Trichy is Gunaseelam, a place famous for its temple for Lord Vishnu, known as "Prasanna Venkateswara".

Elakurichi 65-km from Trichy, a place famous for the ancient church built by the famous Catholic Missionary, Constantine Joseph Beschi, popularly known as "Veeramamunivar".