We left early morning to the Rockfort after a quick gulp of invigorating Murali's coffee. The Rock Fort Temple complex in Tiruchirappalli is a collection of three temples - the Manikka Vinayakar temple at the foot of the hill, the Uchhi Pillayar Koyil at the top of the hill and the Taayumaanavarswamy Tevara sthalam on the hill. The rock is reported to be more than 3500 billion years old. Shiva is revered here as Taayumaanavar (Swayambu) or Matrubhuteswarar & Ambal is Mattuvaarkuzhali, Sugandha Kundalambika.
All the famous saints Sambandhar, Appar & Sundarar have sung here besides Iyadigal Kaadavarkon, Arunagirinathar, Thaayumaana Swamy. The Brahma Theertham is where Theppa Utsavam (float festival) takes place. It was dug by Karikal Cholan, it measures 611 feet width and 330 ft length. The Sthala Guru is Sri Mouna Guru Swamy & Shiva Lingam is the 4th biggest Lingam in T.Nadu. Lord appeared as Mother and helped a woman in child-birth hence the name Taayumaanavar. Tiruchirappalli is hailed as Dakshina Kailasam, as the hill is said to be one of the three 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.
After offerring prayers to Manikka Vinayakar we climb up to the shivasthalam. After climbing 200 steps you turn West for shiva temple & right to go Uchi Pillayar. We turn left through a small passage which carries pictures depicting the legend of Taayumaanavar. We reach a big hall with a tall Dwaja sthambam, arupathi moovars on the left, Meenakshi & Sundareswarar on the other side. Then we climb up to the Ambal Sannithi which is one level below Siva sannithi.
We climb up another flight of stairs to reach the main prakaram - entry is from East side & Siva is facing West.
Along the Eastern wall you see idols of Chandran,Naalwars, & along the South wall are 63'ars (utsavars). South West corner - Tripurasundari. West side - Mahisasa Mardini,Sevvanthi Vinayakar, Somaskandar. To the North prakaram - Subramaniar,Valli & Devayani, Chandrasekhar & Anandavalli. North East corner - Jorahareswarar . Kosthtam - Dakshinamurthy, Bhikshadanar.
In the same level is the Chitra Mandapam adjacent to the prakaram- beautiful hall which contains exquisite paintings of gods & goddesses & tells many legends. The top of the Ambal Sannithi Vimanam projects into the chitra Mandapam. The Vimanan carries superb sculptures & is multicoloured.
For legends and other details log on to : http://www.pradosham.com/thayumanavar.php
Tirupaalthurai : 10 Kms from Tiruvanaikaval on the Kallanai Road - into Panayapuram village This is a Tevara sthalam (sung by Sambandhar) located in a remote village. The road is kuccha & one can easily get lost. Shiva: Aadi Mudalvar, Moolanathar & Ambal: Moga Nayaki, Mekalambikai.Tirtham is Kollidam,sthala Vriksham is vilvam. Markandeyan & Suryan have worshipped there. Shiva pleased with Markandeyan's worship showered him with milk - hence the name Tiru paal thurai. The sun's rays illuminate the sanctum on both the summer and winter solstices. The Vimanams were looking bright & it appears some renovation work (tiruppani) was in progress as was evident from a crude but ingenously assembled ladder that was found there. Maintenance was poor - the temple appears to be sufferring from a paucity of funds. Many of the lesser sannithis were closed - probably pujas are not done on daily basis. Even the temple priest was not available at the time & we had to go to his house and fetch him for doing the karpooram. He appeared to be nonagenarian who was totally deaf. Not withstanding all this we enjoyed the drive through the rural setting to this much neglected thevara sthalam.
Koviladi :Located about 25kms East of Trichy on the Kallanai -Thiruvayaru road, Koviladi AppaKudanthan temple in ThiruPer Nagar is situated right on the banks of Cauvery. This is a temple that dates to a period before the Srirangam Ranganatha temple. In centuries gone by, people used to visit Koviladi and walk 2 kms across the Coloroon to reach Anbil Divya Desam.It is said that Appaala Ranganatha measured the steps for Srirangam Ranganatha and hence the name ‘Kovil - Adi’ (Srirangam is called the ‘Kovil’ among the Divya Desams, Adi is ‘steps’)
The Lord can be seen blessing Markandeya with his right hand & the silver appakudam is behind the rishi. The left hand is held upright with fist closed to represent garva bhangam of Indira. Bhoomi Devi is near his feet. This is only Divya Desam where Appam is offered daily to the Lord. Thirumangaialwar, Nammalwar & Thirumazhisaialwar have sung praises of Appallaa Ranganathar. It is believed that Namazhwar attained Moksha at this place. Perumal is Bhujanga sayanam west facing & Thayar is Idira Devi or Kamalavalli. This is one of Pancharanga Kshetrams. The tirtham is Indira tirtham,Kollidam. For legends & trivia log onto : Sri Appakkudathaan Perumal Temple (Thirupper Nagar) - Wikipedia ...