Trichy, The All Religious Hub of Tamil Nadu, South India
Trichy is on the banks of the famous river Cauvery in
south India. It lies 320 km to the south of Chennai and is the fourth largest city in the state of Tamil Nadu. Trichy (also known as Tirusinappalli, Thiruchirappalli, Thrissinappally, Tiruchy and Trichinopoly) is a fine blend of tradition and modernity built around the Rock Fort. It also serves as a good base to see central Tamil Nadu. Temples are the most notable features of Trichy.
In India, Bhubaneshwar, the capital city of Odisha (Orissa) is known as "The Land of 1000 Temples". You can see temples everywhere in Bhuvaneshwar. Though not a match for Bhuvaneshwar, Trichy has an indisputable presence of temples. All the temples are ancient and the great symbol of architectural excellence of a lost glory.
Trichy can be considered as a base point (spot) to see Central Tamil Nadu. The well-known religious hubs such as Thanjavur, Kumbakonam, Nagoor (Nagapattinam), and Velankanni are near Trichy. All these places are reachable within one to three hours from this city. Palani Madura and Chidambaram, the most popular Hindu pilgrimage centers too are within a reach of three hours journey.
In my earlier hub "Trichy, A Vibrant City of Tamil Nadu in South India", I had given a brief on some of the popular temples like Sri Rangam, Thiruvanaikovil, Samayapuram, Rock Fort Temple, Thiruvarumbur. Hence, here I skip the description on those temples. What missed there are detailed here. Anyhow, for a comprehensive knowledge on Trichy Temples, you are requested to read the above hub as well.
All Religious Hub
Though Trichy and nearby towns and districts are Hindu dominated places and their pilgrim centers, it has the presence of some of the very popular pilgrimage joints of Muslims and Christians also. It is because of the fact that these areas have a decent concentration of people belong to these religions as well.
While mentioning about popular pilgrimage centers of non-Hindus, the first place gaining importance is Velankanni. The Christian shrine here is on the banks of the Bay of Bengal. The Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health is located at the small town of Velankanni. The Roman Catholic Latin Rite Basilica is devoted to 'Our Lady of Good Health'. The Basilica attracts thousands of devotees and tourists every day across India. People of all faiths reach and pray here.
The Nagore Dargah, is a prominent pilgrimage spot of Muslims. This shrine attracts people of other faiths too. Pilgrims to Velankanni make a visit to this old mosque. Both Velankanni and Nagore Dargah is a symbol of religious tolerance. A great number of Hindu devotee visit both these pilgrimage centers belonging to Christians and Muslims. To reach here, one needs to travel through Trichy. Similarly, to visit Thanjavur and Kumbakonam, you need to travel via Trichy. I hope these all will explain why Trichy is considered as a base point to see Central Tamil Nadu. Your journey to all the above religious hubs can easily be managed from here. Thus, Trichy is an important destination for Hindus, Christians and Muslims alike. It has good road and rail connectivity with other towns in Tamil Nadu and that of other states of India. The roads are in excellent condition.
We go for a round to some of the known and unknown shrines in Trichy.
Ψ Sri Thayumanavar Temple
This temple was built by Chola kings. The 'lingam' is imposing and over five feet high. The legend of Thayumana Swami is moving illustration of the 'maternal' compassion of God towards his devotees. The consort of the Lord here is Mattuvar Kuzhal Ammal, who is grace personified. Here, you can find Brahma in the form of Jureswara, who cures all illness.
Ψ Sri Azhagiya Manavala Perumal Temple
This temple is one of the 108 'Divyadesams'. It is also the birth place of Tiruppanalwar. Here Lord Vishnu dedicate as Ashagiya Manavalar in a standing posture facing north, with his consort Komalavalli in the same sanctum in a seated posture. These are the presiding deities here.
Ψ Sri Vekkali Amman Temple
(See the photo)
Ψ Vayalur Sri Subramanya Swami Temple
9 km from Trichy, it is a Murugan temple. Traditionally most temples to Murugan are hill temples, but this one is located amidst fields.
Ψ Tiruppattur Sri Brahmapuriswarar Temple
Tiruppattur is a small village, is about 30 km from Trichy and about 5 km from Siruganur, en route to Chennai.
Ψ Sri Uthamar Temple or Bhikshantar Temple
It is situated 8 km away from Trichy, 4 km from Sri Rangam. The special feature of the temple is that it has shrines dedicated to Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi, Brahma and Saraswati, Shiva and Parvati.
Ψ Tiruppainneeli Sri Neelivananathar Temple
An ancient temple, 20 km away from Trichy and about 5 km from Sri Uthamar Temple. This temple is considered to be the 61st in the series of 'Tevara Stalams' in the Chola kingdom located north of the river Cauvery.
Ψ Tiruvellarai Sri Pundarikasha Perumal
27 km from Trichy and 13 km from Sri Rangam. It is a beautiful temple. Ramanujar is said to have lived here. A vast temple with imposing walls. There are 7 'theertam' within the temple complex.
Ψ Tiruvaasi Sri Maatrarivaalar Temple
Located on the banks of the Kollidam, 12 km away from Trichy. It is considered to be the 62nd in the series of 'Tevara Stalams' in the Chola kingdom, located north of the river Cauvery.
Ψ Gunaseelam Sri Prasanna Venkateshwara Temple
Gunaseelam, a small hamlet, about 24 km away from Trichy. It is on the north bank of river Cauvery. A place for worship, festivals and also for mental relief or alleviation.
Ψ Sri Paraitturai Nathar Temple, Tirupparaitturai
A Siva temple, 15 km from Rock Fort, Trichy and is on the banks of Akhanda Cauvery.
Ψ Viralimalai Sri Subramanya Swami Temple
25 km from Trichy. It is a Murugan temple. The area around this temple is said to abound in peacocks.
Velankanni, The Most Famous Church in South India
- Velankanni Mother Mary My Pilgrimage Center
Vailankanni fondly known as the 'Lourdes of the East' is a sacred place where the pilgrims converge in large numbers to receive the blessings of Mother Mary.
© 2013 Sunil Kumar Kunnoth