Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Thayumana Swami||Ambal / Thayar:||Sugandha Kunthalambigai|
|Timing:||6 to 12 & 4 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Tiruchirappalli||District:||Tiruchirappalli|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Tiruchirappalli (5 km)||Perambalur (61 km)|
|Perambalur (61 km)||Pudukottai (64 km)|
The temple is the heart of Tiruchirappalli, which is quite centrally placed in Tamil Nadu, almost half-way between Chennai and Kanyakumari. This makes Tiruchirappalli a hub or base for visiting several temples nearby.
Sthala puranam and temple information
Thayumanavar in Tamil literally means the one who became a mother (the equivalent in Sanskrit is Maatrubhooteswarar, see sthala puranam below). Located in central Tiruchirappalli, this is a hill-temple built by Mahendravarman Pallavan, and is located at the lower level of the same hill that houses the Uchchi Pillaiyar Temple. Even though this is a Paadal Petra Sthalam, the popularity of the son (Pillaiyar) seems to overshadow his father (Siva)!
The hill in which the temple is located, is said to have been created by the breaking of a part of Kailasam, which landed here. (Refer Manicka Vinayakar puranam here). According to the Srirangam Ranganathar temple’s puranam, it was Vinayakar who caused Ranganathar’s murti to not leave the land. After his intervention in Vibheeshana’s travel with the murti to Lanka, Vinayakar went to the top of the nearby hill (on which this temple is located) to show Vibheeshana his viswaroopam.
A trader named Danakuththan and his wife Ratnavati were devotees of Lord Siva. The trader’s wife was in an advanced stage of her pregnancy, and had asked her mother to come over to assist with her delivery. Unfortunately, the mother could not come due to floods in the Kaveri river. Visualizing the agony of the pregnant woman, Siva took the form of her mother, assisted with the childbirth, and stayed with her till the floods subsided. When the real mother eventually arrived, she and her daughter were surprised to see her look-alike. It then dawned on them that it was Lord Siva in the form of the mother. Since Lord Siva took the form of the mother, he is called Thayumanavar or Maatrubhooteswarar.
A demon named Trisiras was a staunch devotee of Lord Siva. He undertook a severe penance upon Lord Siva, but the Lord wanted to test his devotion. Trisiras lost his patience and plucked two of his heads and threw them in the fire. As he was about to pluck the third one, Lord Siva appeared and prevented him. As the Lord saved Trisiras, the place came to be known as Trisira-malai, later converted into Tiruchirappalli. (The Srirangam sthala puranam has a different story for the origin of the name Tiruchirappalli.)
Sage Saroma grew sevvanthi (chrysanthemum) flowers in his garden to offer to Lord Siva every day. Once, a thief stole the flowers and gave them to the king. The king liked them so much, he asked for those flowers eery day. Seeing the flowers go missing every day, Sage Saroma was surprised to see flowers missing every day, and complained to the king about the theft, but the king did not take any action, and so Sage Saroma pleaded with Lord Siva. The Lord made sand rain on the palace, after which the king realized his fault and begged Sage Saroma for pardon.
This temple is also one of many that are referred to as Then Kailayam (south Kailasa).
Ambal Mattuvarkuzhali (Sugnanthakunthalambikai) is in a separate shrine, blessing pregnant women for a safe childbirth.
This a hill temple built in the reign of Mahendravarma Pallavan.
Other information for your visit
Trichy has accommodation options across all budgets. It is also a central point to visit several temples in and around the area.