Thiruchi Sri Thayumanavar Swamy

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By Saravanan Iyer


Tiruchirappalli, was earlier known asThirisirapuram, as a Rakshasa called Thirisiran worshipped Lord Shiva here. There are also stories that since there are three peaks on Rock Fort, occupied by three Gods Shiva, Parvathi & Vinayakar (Uchi Pillaiyar), the place was called Thiri-sikarapuram and later called Tirisirapuram. This place was also known as Sirappalli, Rishabachalam & Dhakshina Kailasam during ancient days. The Rock Fort hill is beleived to be formed lakhs of years back (Archeology and Scientific Sources).

As per the mythology, once there was a great tuffle between Aadhiseshan and the wind God Vaayu, on who is more powerful. Aadhiseshan encircled the Maha Meru hill (Himalaya) and challenged Vaayu whether he can take Himalayas off his clutches. Vaayu tried much and accepted his defeat. It is said that during the fight, there had been a lot of natural calamities like floods, cyclone etc. And 3 pieces of the mountain broke and flew off to different places. Out of the 3 peices which flew off, one is this Rock fort at Trichy. The other two are at Triconamalee (Ceylon) and Sri Kalahasthi (AP).

The Temple

Arulmigu Thayumanavar Swamy temple (Also Chevvandhinadhar) is situated on the Rock Fort enroute the Uchi Pillaiyar Temple at the hill top, at the heart of today's Trichy city. According to legend, there was a woman living on the other side of river Cauvery, who visited this temple everyday. She had been visiting the temple for many years, which she continued to do even during her pregnancy.One day after she finished the Dharshan, she found that the river was flooded and she cannot cross the river. As she waited for the river flow to subside, she developed severe labour pain. People around stopped her from going back home. She was thinking of her mother who can help her in labour.

Lord Shiva came to her in disguise of her mother and helped her in delivering the child safely and disappeared. Later her actual mother came asking about her, the woman realised that it was Lord Shiva who came to her rescue in disguise. As Lord Shiva himself served her devotee as her mother, here the main diety is called as "Thayumanavar" (God, who is also the "Mother") The same incident is celebrated as a festival called "Chettipenn Maruthuvam" festival on the 5th day of Chithirai Festival at the temple. The name of the Ambaal is "Mattuvarkuzhali".

Once you climb around 200 steps from foot hill of the "Malaikkottai", you can reach Thayumanavar temple. The temple is said to have built during 3rd Century by Pallavas. This temple was occupied by Jain Saints and later was destroyed by Mahendravarman and Shiva Temple was re-constructed by him. Pregnant women and their husbands pray Lord Thayumanavar for a safe labor and offer Plantains to the God after delivering healthy baby. One can see people carrying "Vazhaithaar" all the way up to the temple and after its offered to Thayumanavar, they distribute to other devotees in the temple.

Thirugnana Sambandhar, Thirunavukkarasar, Manickavaasagar & Thayumanavar have written many hymns in praise of Lord Shiva here. Thiruchi is well connected by ample trains and buses from Chennai and other parts of Tamilnadu. Lots of buses ply from both Central & Chathram bus stands of Trichy. One can alight at Main Guard Gate or Theppakulam to reach the temple. There are many good places for food and stay at all budgets.