. This is the second of the two Stlaams in Tiruchirappalli, the first being the Rock Fort Temple. Uraiyur was the ancient capital of the
early Cholas and the ancient city is believed to have been destroyed by a sand storm.
Pugazh Chola Nayanar and Go Chenkan Cholan were born here, as was
Tiruppaanaazhwar. Also known as Mookkeeswaram this shrine is
considered to be the 5th in the series of Tevara Stalams in the
Chola kingdom located south of the river Kaveri.
Garuda, Kasyapa Muni and Karkotakan are said to have worshipped here. Shiva is said to
have manifested himself in five different shades of color to Utanga Munivar (Ratna Lingam
in the morning, Spatika Lingam at noon, Gold Lingam in the afternoon, Diamond lingam at
night and Chitra lingam later on at midnight).
Uraiyur is also known as Kozhimanagaram as legend holds that a fowl blessed with divine
powers defeated an elephant in an duel. Go Chenkan Cholan the builder of 78 Maadakkovils
is said to have born here.
Several legends are associated with this temple and the one involving the merger of 6
Shivalingsms into one, is commemorated in the month of Vaikasi during the annual festival.
This legend states that a Chola king saw the five daughters of Nagarajan worshipping a
Shivalingam each, on the banks of the Nagatheertham. He married the youngest of these
princesses and requested his father in law for the Shivalingam that was held in worship by
Nagarajan. Nagarajan handed over a half of the Shivalingam to his daughter, who in turn
handed it along with the five Shivalingams worshipped by the siblings; all of these merged
into one under a Vilva tree, under which, this temple originated.
The Temple: The Shivalingam held in worship here is very small in
size. There are shrines to Ambal, Vinayakar, Subramanyar and Mahalakshmi here. The sanctum
faces east while the Ambal shrine faces south. Images of Ganesha, Dakshinamurthy, Vishnu,
Bhrahma and Durga occupy the niches around the sanctum. There is a shrine to Utanga muni
directly across from the Nataraja shraine.
The temple is replete with sculptural work depicting legends associated with the
temple. For instance there are wondrous pieces of sculpture on some of the temple
pillars that appear as four women from one angle, and as a horse from another.
Festivals: Four worship services are offered each day. The annual
Bhramotsavam is celebrated in the month of Vaikasi, and the Panchapraharam festival in the
month of Aadi.
Templenet acknowledges Mr. C. Vedanarayanan (UK) for his contribution of the
image of the Uraiyur temple tower shown above.