Monday, November 20, 2017

Ucchi Pillayar Temple, Rockfort – The Temple

Ucchi Pillayar Temple, Rockfort – The Temple
The Rockfort temple complex has three shrines, two of which are dedicated to Lord Ganesha, one at the foot and the Ucchi Pillayar Temple at the top, and the Thayumanavar Temple between them. The Thayumanavar temple, the largest of the three, houses a shrine for Amman (the Goddess) as well as the main deity. The shrine is revered as Kailash of South. The Rockfort is visible from almost every part of the city's north. The hill is 273 feet tall with 417 steps. When people view the hill from different directions, it appears as a Nandhi the vehicle of Shiva, Simha the Lion vahanam of Ambica and Vinayaka’s trunk – in three shapes.

The smooth rock was first cut by the Pallavas but it was the Nayaks of Madurai who completed both the temples under the Vijayanagara empire. The temple is situated at the top of the rock. The temple is mystic in its nature with an awe-inspiring rock architecture. The Ganesh temple is much smaller with an access through steep steps carved on the rock and provides a stunning view of Trichy, Srirangam and the rivers Kaveri and Kollidam.

Due to its ancient and impressive architecture created by the Pallavas, the temple is maintained by the Archaeological department of India. The hill fort was built during the rule of Mahendra Pallava-Gunaparan during the sixth century according to epigraphic evidences. The Thayumanavar temple at the foot of the hill is one of the celebrated Shiva temples of the state praised in Thevaram hymns.

The rocky place got converted to Uchi Pillayar temple. The Vinayakar was known by the name "Uchi Vinayakar" (Vinayaka who sat on the top). The place near river Kaveri where the idol was kept is known by the name "Srirangam", with the idol - known by the name - Sri Ranganatha Swamy as the presiding deity. Since Vibheeshana hit the boy on his forehead, one could see the cavity on the right side of the forehead of Uchi Vinayakar, even today.