Tiruchirapalli popularly known as Tiruchirapalli or
Tiruchirapalli is about 320 km south of Chennai. Tiruchirapalli
has both a historical and mythological background to it. It was
once the capital city of one of the Chola kings. In the heart of
the city stands a rock on top of which is a Vinayakar temple. The
deity is called 'Uchchi Pillaiyar' because of the higher
elevation of the shrine. At the base of the rock is another
temple dedicated to Lord Shiva called Thayumanavar temple.
Tiruchirapalli is the second most important commercial town in
Tamilnadu and is easily accessible by road, rail and air.
The Steps to the Temple
Once there was a dispute between Adishesha, the serpent that
serves both as a canopy and the couch of Sri Mahavishnu, and
Vayu, the god of wind. They agreed to a contest to decide who was
the stronger of the two. Adishesha would coil round Mount Meru
and Vayu would try to dislodge the mount from the grip of
Adishesha. The challenge was taken up and Vayu threw himself with
all his might and tried to dislodge the mountain while it was
held firmly in the coils of Adishesha. The contest became very
intense and the whole world suffered from a deluge of rain and
battering storm. During this combat a chip of the mountain had
dislodged and fell on the earth. However, Vayu could not loosen
Adishesha's grip and conceded defeat. The chip of Mount Meru
that fell on the earth is believed to be the rock now called Rock
Fort in Tiruchirapalli .
There is also another legend associated with the deity at Rock
Fort. Vibishana of the epic Ramayana was returning to his country
Sri Lanka, carrying the 'Ranga Vimanam' presented to him
by Sri Rama. He stopped near the river Kaveri for his daily
religious rites. There he handed over the 'Ranga vimanam'
to a boy standing near by with strict instructions that the
vimanam should not be put on the ground. When Vibishana returned
after his ablutions in the river he found that the boy had placed
the vimanam on the ground. He became angry and tried to lift it
on to his arms. The vimanam got stuck where it was placed and
would not budge. Vibishana became so angry that he slapped the
boy on his face and chased him to give him more blows. The boy
ran away to the top of the rock and stood transformed into
Vinayaka. Thus a shrine was built where he stood transformed.
Devotees believe that the depression on the deity's face was
the result of Vibushana´s slap.
On the way to the Vinayagar temple, there is a shrine
dedicated to Lord Shiva cut into the rock. The deity is called
Once upon a time a woman devoted to Lord Shiva was living on
the other side of the river Kaveri. She visited the temple daily
even during her pregnancy. One day she could not return home as
the river was in spate. While she waited for the waters to
subside she developed labour pains. She had no one to look after
her as all her relatives were on the other side of the river.
Then suddenly her mother arrived at the scene and attended to her
as a midwife. When the child was safely delivered her mother
disappeared. That was when she realised that it was the Lord, to
whom she was devoted who had come in the disguise of her mother
and had helped her in her hour of need. From that time the Lord
in this temple came to be known as Thayumanavar. (One who became
The eastern part of the rock looks like a bull with its head
raised. The temple appears on its hump and the bell house on its
crest. Because of this the temple is also called
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