|Location of the temple||TiruMookkicharam (woraiyur, Trichy)|
|Lord Shiva known as||Panchavarneswarar, Thanthondreeswarar|
|Female deity known as||Kanthimathi Ammai|
|Pathigam||Sambandar - 1|
|How to reach||This temple is located in Tiruchirapalli city at a locality known as Uraiyur.One can travel by auto from Chatram Bus Stand to reach this temple, It is about 3 Kms. from Chatram bus stand.|
Map showing location of Tirumookicharam temple
Map courtesy by: Google Maps
Temple: Uraiyur, the heart of Tiruchi Town hardly 1 Km from the Cauvery, sports one of the oldest and greatest Shiva Temples in Chola Naadu. This temple tucked away behind tall business complexes on Salai road was built in the 8th century by the great Pandiya King Varaguna Maharaja II. The inscription dated 885 AD has referred to the donation of gold coins to the village sabha for performing poojas to the temple. Inscription in the Rcokfort Thaymanavar temple at Tiruchirapalli also speak of the donations by the great padiya king Varagunaa Maharaja II.
At the entrance, a beautiful and richly decorated Nandi greets the visitor. The temple has a maha Mandapam, ardha mandapam and a sanctum sanctorum. The lingam in the sanctum is small in size. Lord Shiva is known as Panchavarneswarar as he is said to have manifested Himself in 5 different colours to Utanga Munivar. The shrine for Utanga Munivar is situated directly across the main sanctum. Inside the sanctum sanctorum is the magnificent, tall lingam of Thanthondreeswarar, with a huge impressive base. Goddess Kanthimathi Ammai, the consort of Panchavarneswarar adorns Ankusam and Lotus in her two hands and faces north. Close to the shrine, one can see the images of Mahavishnu, the sun god, Lord Saneeswara and Kala Bhairavamurthy.
In the arthamanadapam, at the entrance to the sanctum sanctorum, there are two brilliant six feet tall Dwarapalakas with typical 8th century features. Both the images are brilliantly docorated. The southern wall of sanctum sanctorum is adorned with the image of Dakshinamoorthy and the northern wall with that of Lord Brahma. The 4 feet tall granite idol of Chandikeswara inside the shrine on the northern side is one of the tallest granite idols.This temple was renovated in the year 2002.
Garuda, Kasyapa Muni and Karkotakan are said to have worshipped here. Pugazh Chola Nayanar and Ko Chenkat Cholan, who built 78 Maadakkovils for Lord Shiva, were born here.
Legend: There are many references to the early chola capital Uraiyur. Uraiyur is referred as Tirumookicharam in Tevaram hymns (Pathigams). It is said that the great chola king Karikalan was once crossing this sivasthalam with his army. The legend holds that a fowl engaged in a battle with an elephant of the king's army and defeated it. King Karikalan realised that when a fowl of this place can defeat an elephant, the place should have been blessed with divine powers. The king constructed a city at this place and named it as Uraiyur.
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