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.