Saturday, March 13, 2010

Trichy - Rockfort temple,

Rockfort temple stands tall on a magnificent hill which is believed to be 3500 million years old. This temple dates back to 7th  century. This hillock forms the landmark of bustling Trichy town.

 There are two temples here one for Siva and the other for Vinayagar known here as Ucchi Pillayair , Ucchi means  zenith . The deity here sits and watches the whole Trichy town from the summit. The  uchipillayar temple  is very small , one has to climb about 400 steps to reach the summit. One can have a panoramic view of the whole town from the top of the hill.

The legend is that after slaying Ravana , Rama before proceeding to  Ayoydha  presented an idol of Vishnu -Ranganatha,(the post soon to follow) to Vibeeshana , Ravana's brother. En route to Lanka  to his kingdom he reached Trichy. Many Gods were not in favour of him taking this idol to Lanka so they sent Vinayagar to prevent Vibeeshan from doing so. Vinayagar appeared in the form of a young lad and when Vibeeshana wanted to perform his ablutions he asked the boy to take care of the idol with the condition that it should not be kept on the ground. But Vinayagar kept it on the ground and it got routed there. Enraged by this Vibeeshana chased Vinayagar. It is believed that Vinayagar to escape the wrath of Vibeeshana came and hid in this rock. What ever the legend may be, the trip to the temple was a great experience.

Before ascending the Ucchi Pillayair temple, mid way through, there is a Siva's temple  very famous here known as Tayumanavar meaning "He became a Mother also" He here stands for Lord Siva. The legend is that a woman while giving birth to her child suffered as she was alone and prayed to Lord Siva. God appeared here as a mother( midwife) and helped her to deliver her child safely. Many mothers to be reach the temple and offer their prayers and seek the blessings of the Lord. 

The Sivalinga here is huge and around 6 feet high . Amman has separate sannidhi . There are shrines for Somaskandar, Nataraja- Sivakami, Subramanya, Vinayagar, Durgai and Kalabairavar.  Lord  Jeerakeshwar is special to this temple and he is adorned with sandal paste and it is believed that worshipping him would cure many ailments.There is a huge mandapam just outside the Tayumanavar sannidhi and it has exquisite paintings of the legend associated with the temple . The tower of Amman sannidhi can be seen at close quarters from this hall.

Amman sannidhi is few steps below the Siva's sannidhi and the dwajasthambam and Nandi mandapam  are also there in this level.  Photography is prohibited inside the temple. In between the Tayumanavar temple and Ucchipillayair temple lies the Pallvas cave and is a store house of brilliant art work.
  Have a look at the pictures I could gather during my recent visit.

How to reach: Well connected by air , road and rail from all important destinations.
Accommodation- Budget and luxury class hotels are available. 
Public conveyance -  City buses, auto rickshaws,  taxis and call taxis are available regularly.

Photos-1 & 2 The Uchipillaiyar temple, 3. steps leading to the temple 4, A tower on the rock, 5& 6 Tayumanavar temple 7,8, 9, 10, Pallava caves,11,Gold plated sanctum,12, Entrance of  Tayumanavar temple13, 14 A view of Trichy town the famous St. Joseph's church dating back to 18th century and bridge across river Cauvery.


  1. I have been in Trichy so many times, but never visited this temple. Next time for sure. Thanks for the photos

  2. when i went to this temple, i did not have a camera,and missed the opportunity of a lifetime... now i have to go again... but did u know that the story of the ganesha in gokarna is exactly the same, and also in the Baidyanath temple in UP???

  3. lovely place & so beautiful temple...

  4. The view from the top is so beautiful.

  5. One of my 'to visit' places! Thank you for the post!

  6. We have been to Uchchi Pillayar Kovil 4 times. We love visiting there and praying. Plus, the "rock" itself stands majestically. On the way to the temple, the St.Joseph College, the Theppakulam, Peria Kadai Veedhi, etc. are so beautiful. Thanks for bringing back our fond memories.

  7. This is an important temple in the history of South India. It was built when Mehendravarman Pallava conquered this region. It symbolised the extension of the Pallava power from the coast to the Kaveri Valley.

    There is an inscription referring to the Gangadhara Shiva on the wall of the cave which says that because Parvati was jealous of another woman (i.e., Ganga) taking a position on Shiva's head, Shiva assigned Ganga in the form of Kaveri to the King Mahendravarman. This shows the symbolic parallel between Ganga and Kaveri - the latter is called as Tenganaga i.e., the Ganga of the south in Tamil and has the same status in south as what Ganga has in the north, because the latter is far away from South India.

    It also shows perhaps the first evidence of the Tamil version of the legend of Gangadhara Shiva, in which Parvati feels jealous of Ganga, eventhough this inscription is in Sanskrit. The Sanskrit version of the story doesn't have this motif.

  8. I visited this cave-temple during my research. The above description I've given is about the cave-temple. The other temple was built much later - during the Nayaka period.

  9. Nice pictures and nice post again. I visited this temple on my 4th day of a South India Trip I took way back in 2000 after my 12th grade public exam results were out. My parents gifted me this trip because I had scored well. :-) I still remember the climb. More than the visit the climb to the temple is all the more exciting. Like you said, a panoramic view of a (any) city excites me and inspires me too. :-D

    About that story about Vibheeshana I have heard a similar story about Ravana carrying a Shiva Linga back to Lanka, which he was blessed with for his penance. He was intercepted by a disguised Lord Ganesha who willfully cheated him out of his possession. ;-) Then when Ravana tried to uproot the Linga, they were broken into pieces and became the 12 holy Jyothirlingas.

  10. Insignia,
    Thanks for the comment. You would certainly enjoy the trip up the hill

  11. Anu,
    I have heard of similar stories akin to this about many temples, Even in Namakkal temple there is a similar story.
    There are wonderful paintings in Tayumanavar temple and photography is not allowed.Thanks for the comment.

    I have plans to visit Gokarna also.Just back after a pilgrimage.

  12. Sushma
    Thanks for the comment.

  13. Mridula,
    That was really a wonderful trip and as we visited the temple in the morning we didn't find it difficult to climb.

  14. Archana dear,
    I know you have a lot to share with all of us. I am sure all the readers would also find it very useful. Thanks for the comment.

  15. Vittal
    Every legend I come across,in different regions there are many repetitions. All these are interesting things to read. This was my 2nd visit to the temple and this time I made it leisurely.

    Thanks for the comment.Just back from a few temple visits.

  16. SG
    Nice to know my post reminded you about your Trichy trip. I too like going to that place. Just back from Trichy, was on a pilgrimage.

  17. Nice and informative post!

  18. Welcome to my blog Padhu. Thanks for the comment.

  19. Hi chitra, i used store bought sour cream but u can make it at home itself...heres the recipe
    For sour cream

    1/4 cup fresh hung curds
    1/4 cup fresh cream

    1-2 tsp dried chives(optional)
    1 tsp vinegar

    1 green chilli finely chopped
    2 tsp freshly crushed peppercorn

    a pinch of salt
    a pinch of sugar

    Mix in all the ingredients mentioned under sour cream and then mix it well(makes about 1/2 cup) and can be stored upto 3 days...

  20. Everytime I visit your blog, I actually feel good as it really feels like a temple visit in 'person'. My mom will be happy as although I pray daily, I don't visit temples very regularly:-( I have been to this temple as a kid..Don't remember too much. Great post Chitra!!:-)

  21. Great post. Stumbled upon urs thro' a link and found it very interesting and informative. I have also compiled notes of the different temples I visited. Following u.

  22. lostworld
    It is always a pleasure reading your comments. They are encouraging and appreciative and it makes me very happy. Thanks a lot dear.

  23. Ms.Chitchat
    Welcome to my blog. Hope you would enjoy my posts as you also sseem to have similar interests. Shall visit you.

  24. Glad to be back after the hijacking of my blog, as usual it was a joy to visit you on your travels. 400 steps to the summit? I guess I'd be staying at the bottom, leaving someone else to take the photos from the top where you must have a spectacular view.

  25. PW
    I tried clicking your blog but I was getting 'no such page was found'. Now I understand.
    I am sure you enjoyed my post and it was indeed spectacular as we climbed early morning. We didn't get exhausted also.

  26. I have visited Rock fort temple at Trichy twice and liked it very much. Very beautiful description about the temple. Interesting as well as informative post.

  27. Babli
    Thanks a lot. It would have brought back the beautiful memories.

  28. Dear friend
    I don't understand what you have written. Thanks for the comment.

  29. informative blog...quite like reading a travelogue...

  30. Welcome to my blog nikhimenon. Thanks for the coment. Visit my blog when you find time.

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  32. Saras,
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  34. Thanks Samvedana. Your comments are encouraging.

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