Monday, June 26, 2017

Vekkali Amman Temple, Woraiyur, Trichy

Vekkali Amman Temple, Woraiyur, Trichy
Vekkali Amman Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Vekkali, a form of Hindu deity Parvathi. It is located in Woraiyur, a suburb in Tiruchirappalli, TamilnaduIndia. The central shrine of the temple houses the image of Vekkali Amman and the major feature of the temple is the absence of roof over the sanctum. The temple is known from the period of early Cholas, but there are no historical records. The people of Woraiyur see Vekkali Amman as their guardian deity. The temple has six daily rituals in its calendar and celebrates six annual festivals. The north facing of the idols present in this temple is also one noticeable feature. Special days of this temple are Tuesdays and Fridays.






The temple chariot is made of gold and was launched during 2010. Woraiyur also has other names as Vasapuri, Kozhiyur and Mukkeeswaram.  The place was developed by Sooravaditya Chola. It was the Capital city of ancient Chola Empire. One of the Azhwars called "Tirupanazhwar" was also born here. Two Chola Kings, Pugazh Chola Nayanar and Kochengata Cholan were born here. Vekkali Amman Temple is located at 10°49'47.9"N 78°40'13.1"E or 10.829961, 78.670295. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamilnadu.





Legends
For brief details, please refer below link;
The Temple
For brief details, please refer below link;
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Pooja Timings
For brief details, please refer below link;
Festivals
For brief details, please refer below link;
Religious Significance
The roof over the sanctum was constructed during different times, but is believed to be burnt by the power of Vekkali Amman. The position of the leg of Vekkali Amman is different from other Shakti temples without roof where the right leg is placed over demon. As per Hindu legend, the position requires lot of energy and while Nataraja, during his dance switched his legs, Vekkali Amman remained in the position to show her energy levels. The posture is also believed to signify kindness, love, affection and compassion to her devotees. Historically, temples facing north are considered to provide victories on endeavors. The Cholas worshipped the deity before proceeding to military campaign. The people of Woraiyur see Vekkali Amman as the savior deity during difficult times.
Religious Practices
The temple priests perform the puja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. The temple rituals are performed seven times a day; Viswarupa at 5:15 a.m., morning abishekam at 5:30 a.m., Deepa dharisanam at 6:15 a.m., Uchikalam at 12:00 p.m., Uchikala Deepa at 1:00 p.m, Maazhai Tharisanam at 7:00 p.m. and Ardha Jamam at 9:00 p.m. Each ritual comprises three steps: Alankaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and Deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for Vekkali Amman. The worship is held amidst music with nagaswaram (pipe instrument) and tavil (percussion instrument), religious instructions in the Vedas (sacred text) read by priests and prostration by worshippers in front of the temple mast. There are weekly, monthly and fortnightly rituals.
Prayers
People worship here in a unique way. They write their requests and needs on a piece of paper and then put them at the feet of Sri Vekkali Amman and then hang them on trisulam. Devotees also believe that the evil effects of planets do not harm them once they worship here. People use to submit their problems in writing and tie it in the trident. They believe that Amman will go through their petitions and redress their grievances. They light lamps in her shrine for removal of obstacles in marriage talks and also solve the adverse aspects on their children. Devotees perform abishek to Amman with vastras.
Contact
Arulmigu Vekkaliamman Temple
Woraiyur, Trichy District
Phone: +91 431 2761869 / 2767110
Mobile: +91 9994706452
Connectivity
Woraiyur is located at about 7 Kms from Trichy Center, 3 kms from Trichy Railway junction, 2 Kms from Chathram Bus Stand, 5 Kms from Trichy Central Bus Stand and 10 Kms from Trichy Airport. Plenty of town buses are available from Chathram bus stand or the central bus stand. Auto rickshaws charge around Rs 50 to Rs 100 (max). If you drive your car, it is easily accessible. Nearest Railway Station and Airport are located at Trichy.

Vekkali Amman Temple, Woraiyur – The Temple

Vekkali Amman Temple, Woraiyur – The Temple
This temple has several unique features about its presiding Deity. First, Amman faces north, secondly, her seating position is different; thirdly the temple has no roof over the sanctum sanctorum. Firstly, the presiding deity Sri Vekkali Amman faces northerly direction. This particular direction is meant to bless the devotees seeking victories in their events or tasks or initiatives. The legend has it that Chola rulers used to worship her before proceeding to the battlefield.





Secondly, Sri Vekkali Amman sits with her right leg folded while the left leg is in resting position and is kept on the asuran. It is said that this posture of Sri Vekkali Amman requires tremendous energies and that she has used those extraordinary energies to put evil forces under check. But this is contrary to the usual position where Goddesses sit with their left leg folded while resting their right legs on the ground. The legend has it that during a dance contest between Lord Natarajar and Kali Amman, Lord Natarajar changed his leg position. In response to this Sri Kali Amman too changed her sitting posture, which is seen at this temple.




Also it is believed that Sri Vekkali Amman’s posture signifies kindness, love, affection and compassion to her devotees. To signify the importance of this posture, a pair of the holy feet (padham) of Sri Vekkali Amman has been set up all around the sanctum sanctorum. The upper right hand carries a Damaru (a Udukkai with a snake rolled over it); lower right hand carries Tirusoolam; the left upper hand pasam; and the left lower hand kabalam. The holy head of Sri Vekkali Amman signifies nine Agni jwalai or nine sacred flames with a snake embedded across it.




Thirdly, the temple has no roof over the sanctum sanctorum. It is said, the roof has been mysteriously burnt down as and when the roof was laid on the sanctum sanctorum. It is believed that Sri Vekkali Amman herself has burnt down the roof as and when built over it. There are several important idols seen around its prakaram. They are Sri Viswanathar and Sri Visalakshi; Sri Vallaba Ganapathy; and Sri Mayura Murugar along with his Consorts Sri Valli and Sri Devasena; Kathavarayan, Periyannan and Madurai Veeran.




The special attraction in this temple seems to be the idol of Sri Pongu Saneeswarar for many devotees. Many devotees believe that offering worship to Sri Pongu Saneeswarar will bring about prosperity, peace and happiness in lives. The temple has a golden chariot 9.75 ft. (2.97 m) in height, made of 10.5 kg (23 lb.) of gold and 25 kg (55 lb.) of silver. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamilnadu.



Vekkali Amman Temple, Woraiyur – Festivals

Vekkali Amman Temple, Woraiyur – Festivals
The temple is conducting the Sarva Chandi Homam for the past 23 years in the month of Avani-August-September. 5 day festival in Chithirai (April-May), Panguni Poochoridal in March-April), Mango abishek on the last Friday of Vaikasi (May-June), Navarathri in Purattasi (September-October), Fridays in Thai (January-February) and Fridays and Tuesdays in Aadi (July-August) are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
Chithirai:
Chithirai Festival begins with Flag Hoist and Car riding on the day of Hastha Nakshatram and ends in the day of Chithra Nakshatram with Holy bathing in the river at morning and de-hoisting the flag the evening. During this Ten days of ceremony the Uthsavamoorthis (festive deities - Siva, Vishnu) will be taken out on different types of Vahanas for Dharshan.
Vaikasi:
Mango Abishekam will be done on the Last Friday.
Aadi:
The 18th day of Aadi Tamil Month is the day for Holy both in river Cauvery. During this function the Uthsavamoorthi will be taken to the river bank and there will be a function called "Deepam" conducted by Thirukkoil, at 6.00 P.M. The Last Friday of the Aadi Month is the day of making decorations to all deities with sandal powder.
Aavani:
Sathasadi Velvi and Deepa Tharisanam are the festivals celebrated in the Month of Aavani. The Sarva Chandi Homam has been performed in this temple for the past 23 years in the month of Avani.
Aipasi:
Aswini Nakshathra of Aipasi Tamil Month is the day of Annabishekam (Abishekam with cooked rice) to Lord Magudeshwara and Sasti Festival of six days duration which ends with the Soora Samhara. The Seventh day function is the Marriage Ceremony of Lord Muruga with Valli, Devasena.
Karthikai:
Krithika Nakshathra day of Karthigai Tamil Month is the day of "Karthikai Deepam" (Day of light). The last Monday of this month is the day for the "108 Sankabishekam" (conches filled with Kaviri water).
Margazhi:
Thiruvathirai Nakshathra day of Margazhi Tamil Month is the day for Lord Nataraja; Nataraja abishekam is a process of specialized pooja for the dancing Sivaperuman. Processional Festive deities will be taken out for the public Dharshan. The "Ekadasi" is the day of entering in the Gateway to reach "Vaikuntha" (Heaven of Mahavishnu). This function is followed by the procession of "Uthsavamoorthis".
Thai:
Pushpa Nakshathra of Thai Tamil Month is the day of "Theerthavizha" and Amman Purapadu.
Maasi:
Mahasivarathri is a grand Saivite festival to receive the bless and bliss from the Supreme Diving grace Sivaperuman.
Panguni:
Uthra Nakshathra day of this Panguni Tamil Month is the day of Chithirai Peruvizha. Panguni (March-April) Poochoridal (showering of flowers) attracts many devotees.

Vekkali Amman Temple, Woraiyur – Pooja Timings

Vekkali Amman Temple, Woraiyur – Pooja Timings
The six Kaala Pooja are conducted according to the Karana Nagama Pooja system.
S.No
Poojas
Timings
1
Viswarupa Pooja (Sun Rise Pooja)
05.15 A.M
2
Morning Abishekam
05.30 A.m
3
Morning Deepa Dharisanam
06.15 A.m
4
Uchikala Abishekam (Noon)
12:00 P.M
5
Uchikala Deepa (After Noon Pooja)
01:00 P.M
6
Maalai Tharisanam (Eve Pooja)
06:00 P.M
7
Night Tharisanam (Night Pooja)
09:00 P.M
8
Thanga Kavasa Pooja (Payable)
(Friday)10.15 to 11.45 A.M
9
Pournami Valipaadu (Every Pournami Days)
Evening Time

Vekkali Amman Temple, Woraiyur – Legends

Vekkali Amman Temple, Woraiyur – Legends
Vekkali Amman saved people from fire rain created by Lord Shiva fury:
A Chola King was ruling the region then. His Guru Sarama Munivar was a staunch Shiva devotee. He created a garden for Thayumanaswamigal in Trichy Fort growing flowers for puja to the Lord. The garden has lot of flowers of various varieties. But the king was taking those flowers for his wife. His men took the flowers. Sarama Munivar told the king that he was doing wrong but the king not only humiliated the Acharya and proudly said that only flowers remaining there would be allowed for his puja. The Guru appealed to Lord Shiva. 
Infuriated Lord Thayumanavar turned west and opened his forehead eye. Woraiyur was reduced to ashes with the fire rain from the Lord’s forehead. King’s fort was destroyed. People began to run for safety. The only place that was not affected by the Lord’s fire was the open ground where Vekkali Amman stayed. People surrendered to her. Responding to the prayers of the people to get back their homes, Mother Vekkali took the form of a full moon and appeared before the Lord to quench his fury. Lord calmed. The fire rain stopped.
Queen Bhuvanamadevi was also caught in the fire rain. She was pregnant then and it was in an advanced stage. Unable to bear the fury of the flames she jumped into the Cauvery and was drawn by its current. A Brahmin saved her at Utamacherry and took care of her. She delivered Karikal Peruvalathan in his house. She was a staunch devotee of Vekkali Amman whose mercy protected her and the Chola dynasty survived. Woraiyur people are very grateful to Vekkali Amman and continue to worship her as their protector Goddess for generations.
Tying Prayer Papers:
Annai Vekkali (Mother Vekkali) relieves the devotees of their distress and blesses everyone impartially with her protecting hands. The devotees, who write their problems in “Prayer papers” that are sold at the temple, place them at the glorious feet of Goddess Vekkali and hang them in the Trishul, which is in front of the Goddess. Once a devotee does this he is sure of his problems being solved. This Holy place is the most ancient, Glorious and extraordinary “Sakthi Sthalam” in Tamilnadu. That those who worship Annai Vekkali need not fear the evil effects of planets is an everyday experience.
Vekkaliamman without a roof:
In another story, narrated by the renowned Tamil poet Ottakkoothar, it is said that Lord Shiva created a sand storm. The storm stopped but the people of the city had lost their homes in the storm and now had no shelter. The people prayed to the Goddess and she too decided to live in a temple without a roof, until everyone in the city had built a shelter for themselves. From then till today, Vekkaliamman Temple does not have a roof. The Moolavar, or the reigning deity is open to the sky, be it rain or shine.
Legend says that many people have tried to build a roof for this temple on numerous occasions but in vain. Even today, the main deity of Vekkaliamman does not have a roof over her. Since then, the people of Woraiyur have been grateful and loyal to Vekkali Amman and continue to worship her as their protector Goddess for many generations. This historic temple and the kings of those days prayed to the goddess for valor and strength. A visit to this temple and propitiating the goddess before going to the battlefield was a common occurrence.

Thanthondreeswarar Temple, Woraiyur, Trichy

Thanthondreeswarar Temple, Woraiyur, Trichy
Thanthoneeswarar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, located in Woraiyur, a suburb in the town of Tiruchirappalli in TamilnaduIndia. The temple was built by the Pandya ruler Varaguna Pandiyan II during the 9th century. It has inscriptions dating back to 885 AD during the rule of Cholas. The temple has six daily rituals at various times from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and three yearly festivals on its calendar. The temple is maintained and administered by hereditary trustees.

Legends
Thanthoneeswarar, the presiding deity of the temple, derives its name from Tamil word Thanthondri, meaning the one who formed on his own. As per Hindu legend, Chola queen Kanthimathi was an ardent devotee of Shiva and worshipped Shiva in Thayumanavar swamy Temple. When she was pregnant, she could not climb the hill to reach the temple. Shiva was pleased by the devotion of the queen and is believed to have appeared to her in the form of lingam (an iconic form of Shiva) at this place on his own and blessed her with a safe delivery.

History
The temple was built in the 9th Century by the Great Pandya king Varaguna Maharaja II. There are many references to the early Chola capital, Woraiyur. The Panchavarneswarar temple here has been glorified by Sambandar in his hymns. The Kamalavalli Nachiyar temple has been referred by Thirumangai Azhwar in his Paasurams. Thirupaan Azhwar hailed from Woraiyur. According to Dr. R. Kalaikkovan, director, Rajamanickar Centre for Historical Research, Varaguna Maharaja II belonged to the dynasty of the early Pandyas, who ruled the south from 600 A.D. to 900 A.D.

The inscription dated 885 A.D. has referred to donation of gold coins to the village Sabha for performing pujas in the temple. Inscriptions in the Rockfort Thayumanavar Temple, Thiruvellarai Siva temple, Lalgudi Saptharsheeshwara temple, and temples in Kumbakonam, Senthalai, Tiruvakovil, Tiruviyalur, and Tiruchottuthurai also speak of the donations by this great Pandya king.

The Temple
The temple was built by the Pandya ruler Varaguna Pandiyan II during the 9th century. It has inscriptions dating back to 885 AD during the rule of Cholas. The temple, in modern times, is maintained and administered by hereditary trustees. Thanthoneeswarar temple complex has a single prakaram (outer courtyard) and a two-tiered Vimana (tower over the sanctum). At the entrance, a beautiful and richly decorated Nandi greets the visitor. The temple has a maha mandapam, ardha mandapam and sanctum sanctorum.

The central shrine faces east and holds the image of Thanthoneeswarar (Shiva) in the form of lingam made of granite. The shrine of Kunkumavalli, the consort of Thanthoneeswarar, faces north and is depicted with Ankusham and lotus in her two hands. Close to the shrine, one can see the images of Mahavishnu, the Sun God, Lord Saneeswara and Kala Bhairava moorthy. The temple precinct is surrounded by granite walls.

The granite images of the deities Ganesha (son of Shiva and god of wisdom), Murugan (son of Shiva and god of war), Nandi (the bull and vehicle of Shiva) and Navagraha (nine planetary deities) are located in the hall leading to the sanctum.  In the Ardha mandapam, at the entrance of the sanctum sanctorum, there are two brilliant six-feet-tall Dwarapalakas with typical 9th century features. Both the images are brilliantly decorated.

The Koshta in the southern wall of the sanctum sanctorum is adorned with Dhakshinamoorthy and the northern wall Koshta with Lord Brahma. The magnificent Arthanareeswarar in the southern wall koshta is an indication of the antiquity of the temple. Similar images are seen in the temples at Tiruvaiyaru and Koviladi. The two-tier Vesara type Vimanam of the temple sports Lord Dhakshinamoorthy, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma on the southern, western and northern sides.

The four-feet-tall granite idol of Chandikeswara inside the shrine on the northern side is one of the tallest granite idols. Chandikeswara had prevented his own father from causing obstruction to the performance of puja to his Lord. The temple, renovated in 2002 by the hereditary trustees A. Karunamoorthy and Chitra Karunamoorthy.

Worship & Religious Practices
The temple priests perform the puja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. Like other Shiva temples of Tamil Nadu, the priests belong to the Shaiva community, a Brahmin sub-caste. The temple rituals are performed six times a day; Ushathkalam at 5:30 a.m., Kalasanthi at 8:00 a.m., Uchikalam at 10:00 a.m., Sayarakshai at 5:00 p.m., Irandamkalam at 7:00 p.m. and Ardha Jamam at 8:00 p.m. Each ritual comprises four steps: Abishekam (sacred bath), Alankaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and Deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Thanthoneeswarar and Amman.
The worship is held amidst music with nagaswaram (pipe instrument) and tavil (percussion instrument), religious instructions in the Vedas (sacred texts) read by priests and prostration by worshippers in front of the temple mast. There are weekly rituals like Somavaram (Monday) and Sukravaram (Friday), fortnightly rituals like Pradosham and monthly festivals like Ammavasai (new moon day), Kiruthigai, Pournami (full moon day) and Sathurthi.
Connectivity
Woraiyur is located at about 7 Kms from Trichy Center, 3 kms from Trichy Railway junction, 2 Kms from Chathram Bus Stand, 5 Kms from Trichy Central Bus Stand and 10 Kms from Trichy Airport. Plenty of town buses are available from Chathram bus stand or the central bus stand. Auto rickshaws charge around Rs 50 to Rs 100 (max). If you drive your car, it is easily accessible. Nearest Railway Station and Airport are located at Trichy.