Indulge in the spiritual richness, cultural heritage, and timeless stories that weave the tapestry of Trichy's historical temples.
Embark on a spiritual odyssey exploring the 6 Divya Desams around Trichy. From Srirangam’s divine vibes to the sacred sanctuaries of Nachiyar Kovil, Thiruvellarai, Anbil, Koviladi, and Uttamar Koil, each temple unfolds a unique chapter in devotion.
Embark on a spiritual journey at Srirangam, an island-town merely 7 km from Tiruchi. Enveloped by the Cauveri River and Kollidam tributary, this 600-acre haven houses the majestic Sriranganathaswami Temple within seven ancient walls. Dating back to the 14th-17th centuries, the temple’s narrative intertwines with the Cheras, Pandyas, Cholas, Hoysalas, and Vijayanagar rulers. The monumental gopuram, towering at 73m since 1987, guards the main temple dedicated to Vishnu.
At the heart of Srirangam is the Vishnu temple. People of all faiths, including Muslims, found comfort here. While non-Hindus can’t enter the main sanctum, they’re welcome up to the sixth wall. Explore the bustling bazaars and Brahmins’ homes between the outer walls, keeping your shoes on until the fourth. At the shoe deposit, buy a ticket for a panoramic view from the wall. Engage a guide to uncover the stories—from detailed sculptures to a museum. It’s a day to soak in the spiritual beauty of this enchanting place.
Join the lively Car Festival in January, where a splendid chariot parades through Srirangam’s streets. In mid-December, immerse yourself in the Vaikunda Ekadasi, the Paradise Festival at the Vishnu Temple. Explore the treasury of ivory sculptures portraying Lord Vishnu and images of Nayak Kings with consorts from 17th-century Madurai. Discover the beauty of Pavai lamps from the Marati period, crafting a Nataraja image on a pearl screen. Collect historical coins from British, Dutch, Tiruvanquor, Hyderabad, Gowalior, and princely states. The site preserves firm leaves inscriptions, intricate stone sculptures, colossal temple lamps, and copper plates from the Vijayanagara Kings.
- 7:30 AM – 9:15 AM
- 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM
- 5:45 PM – 6:45 PM
Service Time (Darshan)
- 6:15 AM – 7:30 AM
- 9:15 AM – 12:00 PM
- 1:15 PM – 5:45PM
- 6:45 PM – 9:00 PM
Thiruvanaikaval stands as a revered Shiva temple, representing one of the Panchabhoota Stalams, embodying the five elements—wind (Kalahasti), water (Tiruvanaikka), fire (Tiruvannamalai), earth (Kanchipuram), and space (Chidambaram). The sanctum holds an undying natural spring, symbolizing the primordial element of water. Legend intertwines with a mystical forest of Jambu trees near the Chandrateertha tank, where Shiva manifested as a Lingam beneath one of these sacred trees.
A captivating tale unfolds, involving two devotees cursed into the forms of a white elephant and a spider. Their worshipful rivalry, born of fate, weaves through time, creating a poignant narrative of devotion, animosity, and eventual transcendence. The spider, reborn into the royal Chola family during the Sangam period, narrates an intriguing tale of birth and destiny. His parents’ fervent prayers to Nataraja of Chidambaram, the royal astrologer’s auspicious predictions, and the promise of a ruler of great fame add layers of mystique to the temple’s spiritual tapestry.
As the imminent hour of birth approached, the royal queen, in a bid to delay the arrival of the child, instructed her attendants to tie her legs and suspend her upside down. Despite the unconventional birth, the royal offspring emerged with reddened eyes, earning the name ‘Chenkannan’—the red-eyed one. In his lifetime, Ko Chenkannan erected numerous elevated temples, strategically beyond the reach of elephants, echoing the legend of his past animosity with an elephant.
- 5:00 AM – 11:00 PM
The sacred tree (stala vriksham) is said to have sprouted from a devoted munivar’s worship to Shiva. Akhilandeswari (Parvati) is believed to have meditated on Shiva at this site, and her shrine holds profound significance. Originally an Ugra Devata of intense fury, Akhilandeswari’s energy was transformed into a manifestation of peace by Adi Sankaracharyar. The temple features shrines dedicated to Vinayaka and Subramanya, facing Akhilandeswari, with historical patronage recorded from the Chola Pandya, Hoysala, and Madurai Naik kings.
The temple, attributed to Chola King Ko Chenkannan, held profound significance for the Chola kings. Renowned in Tamil literature for constructing over seventy temples, Ko Chenkannan is historically placed in the Sangam period, the early years of the Christian era. Tenth-century AD inscriptions attest to continued Chola patronage.
Hoysalas, with a base near Samayapuram, built four temples in Northern Tiruvanaikkaval. Pandyas and Hoysalas contributed to the Eastern tower. Adi Sankara adorned the Akhilandeswari shrine with chakram-symbol ear-rings, visiting the temple. A shrine to Adi Sankara stands within this vast 18-acre temple, featuring lofty gopurams, 5 prakarams, and ornate mandapams. The second and third prakarams date back to the 13th century, boasting grand sculptural work in the dwajasthampa mandapam. The fourth prakaram houses the Akhilandeswari shrine, and the Eastern tower, with seven levels, displays fine sculptural specimens of musical scenes. The Western tower, with nine levels, and the renovated first prakaram showcase the temple’s architectural splendor.
Annual festivals like Pankuni Bhrammotsavam, Vasanta Utsavam, the float festival in Thai (Capricorn), Aadi Pooram (Cancer), and the Pancha Prakara festival add vibrant cultural celebrations. For detailed insights, explore the Templenet Special Feature on Tiruvanaikkaval.
Samayapuram Mariamman Temple, nestled along Tiruchirappalli Chennai NH 45, 20 km north of Tiruchirappalli town, is a revered shrine in Tamil Nadu dedicated to Mariamman, an embodiment of the primeval energy Shakti as the mother Goddess. Every Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday witness devotees thronging the temple for Poojas. Offerings, including the common Mavilakku Mavu made of jaggery, rice flour, dal, and ghee, reflect diverse forms of worship. Mariamman, a manifestation of Kali, is associated with prosperity and health, believed to cure diseases like smallpox and chickenpox.
Legend has it that Shiva created Kali from the poison he swallowed, naming her Kaali. Mariamman, also known as Mahamaayi or Seethala Gowri, is worshiped by Dasaratha, Rama’s father. The processional image of Mariamman, once in Vijayanagar monarchs’ possession, found its way to Tamil Nadu in an ivory palanquin. When the empire neared destruction, attempts to lift the image failed, leading to the establishment of a temple near Tiruchirappalli. Vijayaranga Chokkanatha Nayak of Madurai expanded it in the 18th century.
Samayapuram, the local capital of Vijayanagar rulers, known as Vikramapuram, features separate shrines for the processional image of Mariamman and the moolavar in the sanctum. A shrine to the local deity Karuppannasaami adds to the sacred ambiance. Festivals, celebrated during Thai Poosam and in the Tamil months of Pankuni and Chittirai, commence on the last Sunday of Pankuni. The chariot festival unfolds on the first Tuesday in Chittirai, followed by the float festival a week later.
- 6:00 AM – 1:00 PM
- 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Thirupattur – Brahmapureeswarar Temple
Embark on a transformative journey at Sri Brahmapureeswara Temple in Siruganur, Tirupattur. Despite being a Shiva temple, it houses a six-feet tall idol of Lord Brahma seated on a lotus flower in Padmasana. As devotees touch the Nandi, Lord Shiva’s bull vehicle, a lifelike sensation of a real bull is experienced.
This temple is revered for its ability to alter the destiny of worshipers, a belief rooted in the narrative of Lord Shiva changing Lord Brahma’s fate. The Shotasalinga, adorned with 16 stripes and worshiped by Lord Brahma, finds its place in a dedicated hall, symbolizing the moment when Lord Shiva lifted a curse from Brahma. Another notable aspect is the presence of the Jeeva Samadhis of Saints Padhanjali and Vyakrapadha, adding a spiritual depth to the temple’s ambiance.
- 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Thanjavur Brihadeeswarar Temple
Discover the divine aura of Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur, just 60 km from Trichy. A sacred haven dedicated to Lord Shiva, it stands tall at 216 feet (66 meters), a testament to its holiness and architectural marvel. Crafted entirely from granite, the temple boasts an imposing entrance adorned with a colossal sacred bull, Nandi, measuring thirteen feet in height and sixteen feet in length. Immerse yourself in the spiritual grandeur of this revered site, where the sacred and the architectural seamlessly converge.
- 6:00 AM – 8:30 PM