March 3, 2013

Uyyakondan Thirumalai Temple

Site Name: Uyyakondan Thirumalai Temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  Uyyakondan, near Trichy city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: One of 274 Paadal Petra Sthalams (the most important temples of Lord Shiva)
Nearest Railway Station: Trichy
Nearest Airport: Trichy
How to reach: Well connected by road from Trichy 
Hotel: Go to Trichy where there are a lot of options 
Restaurants: Go to Trichy where there are a lot of options

Uyyakondan is a village located near Trichy city of South India. It has an important Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is considered as the fourth among the Devara Paadal Petra Sthalams (274 most important temples of Lord Shiva) located in Chola country south of Kaveri river. 

Highlights:
  • Appar, Sundarar and Sambandhar have revered the temple in their verses in Devaram.
  • The site was originally called as 'Karkudi' which means an adobe on rocks (it should be noted that the temple is a hillock temple).
  • The temple was built by Nandivarma Pallava in the 7th century CE.
  • It acted as an infantry for the French army and British army during the battle in the period 1753-54 CE.
  • The main deity is in the form of Shiv Linga on a square 'aavudai'. 
  • God - Ujjevanatha Swamy, Uchchi Nathar, Mukteesar or Karpaganathar
  • Goddess - Anjanakshi or Maivizhiyammai, Balambikai
  • Sthala Vruksha (holy tree) - Vilvam
  • Teerth (Holy water) - Ponnoli lake, Kudamurutti river (not the one in Tanjore; it's different), Gnana Vavi, Engona Teerth, Narkona Teerth

Legend:

As per the legend, it is the site where Lord Shiva promised Markandeya to save him from Yama. Near the flag post, the footstep of Lord Shiva can be found; in an attempt to save Markandeya, he moved away from the main shrine.

Karan, the Rakshasa brother of Ramayana fame Raavan, worshiped the God in this site.

Temple Layout:

Uyyakondan Thirumalai is a hilltop temple located on top of a small 30 feet high hill. At the foothills, the shrines of Lord Ganesha and Subramanya-Valli-Devasena are located. After the fleet of few steps, you can enter into the temple through a small temple tower. The entire temple complex is surrounded by fortress walls.

The east facing temple has flag post, Nandi idol and bali peeth, all facing the direction of main shrine, as usual as in any other Dravidian temple architecture. However, the entrance to the inner temple is not found opposite to the flag post. It is unusual; the entrance is located on the right side in the south direction.

It is a maada kovil architecture; the entire temple excluding the outer prakara area is located on a raised platform.

The sanctum sanctorum has a small Shiv Linga idol named as Ujjeevanatha Swamy. On the left side of this east facing main shrine, there is another shrine facing the same direction with almost of similar size which is dedicated to the Goddess Anjanakshi; she is found in the standing posture with four arms; the idol looks very attractive. It is unusual to find two Goddesses in the temple; there is another shrine facing western direction dedicated to Goddess Balambikai. All the three main shrines have separate Nandi idol facing them.

The prakara surrounding the Shiva shrine has the sub-shrines of Ganesha, Lakshmi, Saraswati and Subramanya with his consorts. The idols of Bhairava, Surya, Chandikeshwarar and Shaneeswara are also found in the same prakara. The wall has the Koshta idols - Dakshinamurti, Ardhanareeswarar, Brahma and Durga.

The prakara surrounding the shrine of Anjanakshi has the sub-shrines of Ganesha and Subramanya. The idol of Chandikeshwari is also found here.

The temple also houses the shrine of Nataraja-Sivakami and Jyeshta Devi. It should be noted that Jyeshta is still worshiped in this region. There is a theory that Jyeshta Devi worship has been stopped which is not correct.

When you get a chance to pass by Trichy, ensure that you visit this interesting site.

Happy travelling.



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4 comments:

  1. wish you had a photo of Jyeshta Devi. I collect them particularly [along wi dvarapalakas and bhutamalas]

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    Replies
    1. I think I could not take the photo in this site. However, I have the snap of Jyehta in another link - Vallam.

      http://indiancolumbus.blogspot.com/2011/10/pallava-era-cave-temples-of-vallam.html

      Delete
  2. Was there last January and had the most memorable darshan of my long 4 week travels. Most Inspiring Sthalam.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Useful information Thank you sir

    ReplyDelete