Uchchi Pillaiyar, Tiruchirappalli, Tiruchirappalli
Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Uchchi Pillaiyar||Ambal / Thayar:||–|
|Timing:||6 to 12 & 1 to 8||Parikaram:|
|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
According to the legends of the Ranganathar temple at Srirangam, Vibhishana carried an idol of Vishnu back with him from Ayodhya (Sri Rama’s coronation). En route, he stopped at (what is now) Srirangam, to have a bath. One condition of carrying the idol was that it should not be set on the ground, so he handed it over to a local cowherd (Vinayaka in disguise, at the request of the Devas to prevent the idol from being taken to an Asura land – Lanka), with instructions not to set it on the ground. The cowherd actually did set it on the ground (and the temple built around it is the Srirangam Ranganathar temple). Vibhishana chased the cowherd, who climbed over a nearby hill to escape. Vibhishana caught up with him and hit the cowherd on the head, upon which Vinayaka revealed his true form. The Uchchi Pillaiyar temple is built on that hill that the cowherd climbed. A slightly different version of the same story is that Vibhishana was forced to take a nature break, which was caused by Vinayaka.
The is located at a height of 83m on the hill, and can be reached by climbing the 417 steps to the very top. There are no other options to reach the temple.
The temple can be seen from the NH45 when driving past Trichy. Look right when coming from the north, and left when coming from the south.
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.)