Location: Tiruvasi, near Trichy, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights:One of 274 Paadal Petra Stalams (the most important temples of Lord Shiva)
Nearest Railway Station:Trichy
How to reach:Well connected by road from Trichy
Hotel: Go to Trichy where there are a lot of options
Restaurants: Go to Trichy where there are a lot of options
Tiruvasi is a village located near Trichy in Tamil Nadu of South India. It has an important Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is considered as the 62nd site among the Tevara Paadal Petra Stalams (274 most important temples of Lord Shiva) located in Chola country north of Kaveri river.
Tiruvasi's original name is Tiruppachilasramam
The region was once a part of Mazhanadu and was ruled by a prince named Kolli Mazhavan. His daughter was suffering from a severe disease and stomach pain which no one could cure. The saint Sambandar sang the hymns in the praise of Nataraja. Nataraja transformed the disease into a demon named 'Muyalakan' and cured it. Hence, the shrine in this temple has Natarja with a serpent instead of Muyalakan on his feet. It is a unique posture.
The site was sung by Sambandar and Sundarar.
The original temple might have been built by the Cholas. Rajaraja Chola, Kulothunga Chola I, Sundara Pandian, Krishnadeva Raya, Hoysala and Nayak kings have renovated the temple during their respective period and provided grants.
A big temple in 2 acres area.
Worshipped to get child boon, marriage boon and to get rid of some specific diseases and stomach ache.
The legend related to Kolli Mazhavan's daughter is given in the previous section already. Apart from this, there is another legend related to this site. The saint Sundarar used to get gold coins from Lord Shiva and distribute the same to his followers. Once he came to Tiruvasi and started singing the hymns of the Lord. As the God did not give gold coins as usual, he got angry and started singing accordingly. Now, the Lord appeared and gave a bag full of gold. The saint was somehow suspicious about the purity of gold. Two men appeared and they confirmed the purity of gold after evaluating the same. The saint felt guilty and decided to sacrifice his life through fasting. The Lord appeared and explained him that the two men were none but himself and Lord Vishnu. As the Lord came in the form of goldsmith he is called as Mattrurai Varadar (maatru means purity of gold in Tamil language).
As per another legend, the Goddess Balambika was born as the daughter of a merchant named Kamalan. She performed penance under the Vanni tree to marry the Lord.
The temple has a big tower (Raja Gopuram) as well as an internal tower. In the area between both the towers, there is a big mandapa called as Avudaiyappillai Mandapa.
The sanctum sanctorum has a slightly bigger Shiv Linga named as Mattrurai Varadeeswarar. The maha mandapa outside the sanctum has a sub shrine where all the copper utsava idols are kept. There is another mandapa outside the maha mandapa where the idols of Ganesha and Bhairava are found; the highlight of the mandapa is the sub-shrine of Nataraja; Nataraja generally has free hair; however, here he has his hair tied. Also, instead of the demon Muyalakan there is a serpent found at his footsteps. Hence, he is called as 'Sarpa Nataraja'. A small Nandi idol is found facing the main shrine. The entire main shrine including all these sub shrines are located on a raised platform (maada koil architectural style).
The prakara surrounding the main shrine is long and broad with a lot of sub-shrines and idols located on a raised platform with pillars (thinnai). Some of the idols found in the prakara include Polla Pillaiyar, Ayyanar, Pechchi Amman, Sapta Matas, 63 nayanmars, 4-5 Shiv Lingas with Goddesses, two Bhairavars and three Ganeshas. Some of the sub-shrines in the prakara - Kodi Vinayaka, Siva Subramanya sitting on peacock along with his consorts and Gaja Lakshmi.
The Goshta idols found on the wall surrounding the main shrine include Nardana vinayaka, Dakshinamurthy, Ardha Nareeswarar, Brahma, Durga and Chandikeshwarar.
In Avudaiyappillai Mandapa, there is Navagraha shirne - here Surya alone is found with his consorts; all the remaining 8 Navagrahas are placed towards the direction of Surya. This form of Navagraha is generally found only in this region (Chola kingdom) and not anywhere else.
The west facing Balambika (Goddess) is located in a separate shrine in the outer prakara. The outer prakara is surrounded by big and thick walls. The entire prakara is full of trees and plants. There is a big Ganesha idol called Selva Vinayakar found in this prakra. Also, a separate shrine for Sahasra Linga is found here.
The Avudaiyappillai Mandapa also has the Nandi idol, bali peetha and dwajastambha.