Vinayaka Chathurthi

Uchi Pillaiyar of Tiruchy

Uchi Pillaiyar Koil is a 7th century temple dedicated to Lord Vinayaka and located on top of Rock Fort in Tiruchy. This rock is the place where Lord Ganesha ran to from King Vibhishana after installing Lord Ranganatha in Srirangam.

The Rock Fort temple stands 83m tall atop the rock.

The Ganesha temple is small with access through steep steps carved on the rock and provides a stunning view of Tiruchy, Srirangam and the rivers Cauvery and Kollidam.

After winning the war against Ravana in Lanka, Lord Rama, as a token of affection, gifted Vibhishana, who helped him in the war, an idol of Lord Ranganatha.

Vibhishana, though he supported Rama, was basically an Asura and so the Devas wanted to stop him from taking the idol to his kingdom. They requested the help of the Remover of Obstacles, Lord Vinayaka, and he accepted their plan. Vibhishana, while on his way back to his kingdom, was passing through Tiruchy and wanted to have a bath in the Cauvery. However, he had been told not to place the idol on land, as it then cannot be removed.

As a solution, Vibhishana looked for someone to hold the idol while he had his bath. He found Lord Vinayaka disguised as a cowherd boy. As per the plan, when Vibhishana was having a dip in the Cauvery, Vinayaka placed the idol on the shore.

On seeing this, an angry Vibhishana chased the boy. But the boy kept running and climbed over the rock near the Cauvery bank. Vibhishana finally caught the boy and gave a knock on his forehead. Only then did Vinayaka reveal himself to Vibhishana who immediately apologised. Lord Vinayaka gave him his blessings and sent him to Lanka barehanded.

The place where the Ranganatha idol was left later got covered in deep forest and after a very long time, it was discovered when a Chola king, chasing a parrot, found the idol accidentally. The Pallavas built the Vinayaka temple and the Thayumanaswamy temple in the rock which Vinayaka used to escape from Vibhishana.

A visit to Tiruchy is not complete without paying obeisance at the Uchi Pillaiyar Koil

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