(Last Updated on : 05-12-2015)
Excursions around Trichy will lead the tourists to a number of religious sites. The temples around Trichy will include the ones at Srirangam, Tiruvanaikaval, Kodumbaloor and others.
The first stopover for the pilgrims will be Srirangam. It is located at a distance of 9 kilometers from Trichy. This ancient and sacred shrine to Vaishnavites is situated in an island formed by Cauvery and its tributary Kollidam. Lord Ranganatha is seen in His Ananthasayanam posture with Sridevi and Bhoodevi by His side.
The divine consort Ranga Nachiyar is enshrined separately. The shrine contains fine sculptures belonging to the Nayak period and paintings on Ramayana
and Vishnu Purana
The deity was once upon a time worshipped by Brahma and Ikshavaku kings, the ancestors of Rama. According to legends at the time of Rama's Pattabhisheka, Vibhishana obtained the Ranga Vimana from Rama as a gift.. It is a special chariot-like conveyance carried by Veda Murtis with Vishnu sitting inside. While carrying it to Lanka, Vibhishana halted at Srirangam. Contrary to the injunction he had received Vibhishana placed it on the ground and it got rooted here.
The processional deity is known as Azhagia Manavalar. There is a separate shrine for Andal, who married Lord Ranganatha in Srirangam. There are other shrines dedicated to Garuda Alwar, Narasimha, Anjaneya and Beebi Nachiar. Srirangam is also considered as a 'Navagraha Sthala' dedicated to Shukra.
The giant 13-storied gopuram of the temple is visible from several miles. The huge shrine has 21 gopurams and the numerous prakarams and mandapams were built over the years by Pallava
and other rulers. All 12 Alwars have sung in praise of Lord Ranganatha. Sri Ramanuja
, Nathamunigal, Vedanta Desika and other Vaishnavite saints were closely associated with Srirangam. Moreover the Tamil poet Kambar is said to have recited his epic work Kamba Ramayanam here.
Another pilgrimage site near Trichy is Tiruvanaikaval, lying at a distance of 7 kilometers. The presiding deity here is Sri Jambukeswara. He is also known as Appu Lingam. The sanctum, in a low level, is always damp with water. As one of the Pancha Bhutha Sthalas a lot of significance is attached to this pilgrimage centre. The deity is said to have been installed by Goddess Parvati. To signify that the Devi is worshipping the Lord, even today the priest wears a sari and performs the noon pooja. The Goddess is also referred to as Akhilandeswari. Adi Sankara had offered Sri Chakra as Thaadanga (ear rings) for the Devi. There are nine Theerthams in the temple.
An elephant and a spider once worshipped a Swayambu Lingam, sprouted under a Jambu tree here and attained salvation. Hence the name Tiruvanaikaval or Jambukeswaram. Legends say that Devi Parvati made a Lingam out of water particles and offered prayers to Lord Shiva. She took Upadesa from the Lord and hence it is also known as Upadesa Sthala.
Other shrines around Trichy comprise of Kumara Vayalur. It is at a distance of 8 km.
Then there is the Subramanya temple. Thiruvellarai, a Vishnu temple in a cave, is 12 kms away.
The pilgrims can also drop in at the following temples around Trichy or Tiruchirapalli:-
Mariamman temple in Samayapuram (20 km)
Murugan temple in Viralimali (30 km)
Jain pilgrim centre in Sittannavasal (58 km)
Moovar temple, Kodumbaloor (42 km)
Pasupatiswarar temple in Karur (76 km)