(Last Updated on : 17-09-2010)
This is second of the two Stlaams in Tiruchirappalli, the first being the Rock Fort Temple. Uraiyur was the ancient capital of the early Cholas. Also known as Mookkeeswaram this shrine is the fifth in the series of Tevara Stalams in the Chola kingdom located south of the river Kaveri.
Garuda, Kasyapa Muni and Karkotakan worshipped here. Shiva manifested himself in five different colors for 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 according to legend a fowl blessed with divine powers defeated an elephant in a duel. The legend also 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 to the other five siblings; all merged into one under a Vilva tree where this temple came about.
Temple: The Shivalingam worshipped here is very small. There are shrines for Ambal, Vinayakar, Subramanyar and Mahalakshmi here. The sanctum faces east while the Ambal shrine faces south. Images of Ganesha, Dakshinamurthy, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga occupy the niches around the sanctum. There is a shrine dedicated to Utanga muni opposite the Nataraja shrine.
The temple has some great sculptures depicting the temple legends. The pillars are also wells sculpted -they appear as four women from one angle, and as a horse from another.
The annual Bhramotsavam is celebrated in the month of Vaikasi, and the Panchapraharam festival in the month of Aadi.