The weekend before last, I had been to Trichy. To begin with, the road from Tindivanam to Trichy was very bad, thanks to the work going on for converting the highway to a four-lane one. I would say it is better not to go via this road till the work is over, which is around April 2009! I visited quite a few temples at Trichy. I am going to just write whatever I remember about each temple. These temples are already famous ones. So you might already know about them. Due to time constraint, I was able to take very few photos only.
Uttamar Kovil, also known as Bikshandar Kovil, is situated a few kms before Trichy while you are going from Madras. It is one of the 108 divya desams. The uniqueness about this temple is that all the trimurtis, Siva, Vishnu and Brahma, are present here along with their consorts. Vishnu here is in the form of Purushottamar (so the name of the temple is Uttamar kovil), in Bhujangasayanam. PoorvAdevi thAyAr is also present along with the perumAL in the same sannidhi as the perumAL. Poornavalli is the other thAyAr. Separate sannidhis are there for BikshAndEswarar, Soundara PArvati (representing Lord Shiva and His consort), Brahma and Saraswati too. The other deities present in this temple are: AndAL, varadarAjaperumAL (whose idol is so tall!), venugopAlaswamy, rAma, vinAyakar, dakshiNAmurty, durgai, subramaniyar, saneeswaran, Anjaneyar, etc. – As you can see, both the deities generally present in Siva temple as well as perumAL temples are present here. Though this is not as big a temple as many old ones are generally, this is a very nice one. Since it was on a Saturday that I visited this temple, it was a bit crowded.
I liked the view from the bridge over Utthamar kovil that had the gOpuram of Srirangam temple and the railway track running over the river, koLLidam. The view of the gOpuram of Srirangam temple when travelling by the bridge over koLLidam was also too good. And so was the view of the ucchi piLLayar kovil when travelling by the bridge over KAveri River. All these would make for great photos! Here are a few snaps taken while travelling over the bridges. Since these were taken from inside a car, the view wouldn’t be as great as the one when taken from a higher level like bus.
Amazed on seeing the temple! This is also again, one of the 108 divya desams. Such a beautiful temple with so many deities to be seen that you would need to spend the whole day at the temple to see it completely! The beauty of these sorts of old temples is that you just need to enter the temple and you will experience the divine atmosphere immediately. The golden gOpuram, a lot of sculptures on all the gOpurams, the beautiful idols of Sri RanganAthaswamy, the gigantic Garuda, Hanuman, the tall idols of kodanDa rAmar, sitA (should notice the anklets on sitA’s legs! Beautiful), Lakshmana, a tall AnDAL (again notice AnDAL’s anklets!), Hayagreevar, the many perumALs including Srinivasa perumAL, vittal krishnar, etc. – the list is endless!
Since the thAyAr sannidhi was closed when we went, we had to return without getting a darshan of thAyAr. I wanted to take so many photos at the temple. The next time I go there, I will make sure I have enough time for taking photos.
This is a very small temple near Srirangam that has a gigantic narasimhar/singaperumAL along with His consort sitting on His lap (Lakshminarasimhar). The temple is supposed to have been inside a forest and hence the name. Even now we can see a lot of greenery and trees surrounding the temple. Apart from narasimhar, the only other deity that I remember being there is a small piLLayAr on a pillar.
This is one of the Panchabhoota stalams and it represents the element, water. Even today water is continuously coming out naturally from the floor in front of the Siva lingam. JambukEswarar and akilAnDEswarI are the presiding deities. Jambukeswarar is present at a little lower level from the ground. Make sure you get the special ticket and go down and see the Siva lingam from close quarters. (I don’t know whether special tickets are needed usually. But on the day when I had gone, special tickets were being sold) It is on the akilAnDESwarI here, has Sri Mutthuswamy Dikshitar composed the beautiful kriti, akilAnDESwarI in raagam, Dwijawanti. A photo of the gOpuram of the temple and the gOpuram of piLLayar sannidhi below the main gOpuram: (Since it was getting dark already, photos haven’t come out well!)
It was late in the evening when we reached the ucchi piLLayAr temple. The place around the temple tank was so crowded that it made me feel that the crowd in Ranganathan Street might be better! Considering that it was the Saturday after Diwali, why was the place still so crowded? Made me wonder if people ever get tired of shopping!
The ucchi piLLayAr temple has three temples, that of mANikka vinAyagar at the foot of the hill, thAyumAnaswamy kovil (MAtrubhootEswarar) at the middle and the ucchi piLLayAr on top of the hill. There were some beautiful paintings on the ceiling at the thAyumAnaswamy temple – paintings in the shape of some animals including elephant that on first glance, appear to be just a painting of some historic incident, but on careful observation, are in shapes representing some animals. A set of steep steps carved on rock have to be climbed to reach the ucchi piLLayAr temple.
By the time I reached the top, I was so tired! But the amazing view of the city that presented itself on reaching the top of the hill made me forget my tiredness! Since it was late evening, the whole city was illuminated with lights and presented a dazzling view. But I felt refreshed not until I had a cool drink. It must be really difficult for all those shopkeepers continuously carrying trays after trays of cool drink bottles to the top. But think about the workers who would have, hundreds of years ago, climbed the rocky hill and carved all the steps and built the temple that is now termed as an excellent piece of architecture!
This was a trip that yet again, made me marvel at the beauty of the old temples, that not only make an amazing piece of architecture but have also preserved in them the divine atmosphere.
P.S.: It would be great if the bloggers from Trichy can add more info on these temples in and around Trichy and correct the mistakes in this post, if any. 🙂