1. Thiruvanaikoil: This temple is one of the Panchabhoota Stalams (signifying the 5 natural elements) and represents water ('Neer') or Jala Lingam. As an elephant worshipped the Lord here, this place came to be known as 'Thiru Aanai Kaa' (Thiru – Holy, Aanai – Elephant, Kaa (Kaadu) – Forest). Later the actual name ‘Thiruaanaikaa’ becomes 'Thiruvanaikaval' and 'Thiruvanaikoil'.
The goddess of this temple is 'Akilandeswari' ('Amman'). The Amman is also called as Akilandanyaki. Akilandeswari is pronounced as 'Akilam - Aanda 'Eswari' (Akilam means Universe, Aanda means Ruler, Eswari means Goddess).
Once upon a time Goddess Akilandeswari became fierce like 'Ugra Devatha'. Sri Adhi Shankara transferred her ferocity into 'Thadangas'(ear rings) and the adorned her with the 'Thadangas'. He also installed 'Prasanna Vinayaga' (Lord Ganesh), opposite to her shrine so that Goddess Akilandeswari might look on with a beneficent eye.This temple is 5 Kms from Trichy town.
2. Uthamar Temple: This temple is unique as this temple houses all the Trinities- Vishnu, Siva and Brahma . Brahma has very few temples in India and this is an added attraction for this temple. It is very simple and does not have huge towers like other temples. Facing east is the temple of Purushothaman (Vishnu) . Here he is in Sayana Kolam , meaning- reclining on Aadisesha. The Panchaloha idol of Purushothaman and his consort Poorna Valli Thayar are stunning. Garudalwar is facing the Vishnu's shrine.Outside there are separate shrines for Mahalakshmi and Poornavalli Thayar.
Facing South is the shrine for Dakshina Moorthy and on the West side is the temple of Siva known here as Bhikshadaneshwar and his consort is known as Soundarya Parvati . She has a separate sannidhi inside this temple. At the entrance of this temple there is a niche for Gnana Guru and Nandi is facing the Siva sannidhi. There are separte shrines for Krishna, Varadaraja, and Azhwars and Chakrathazhwar.
The legend goes like this- Siva removed one of Brahma's head in a fit of anger and he incurred a curse. To get salvation Siva went around the world with Brahma's skull to beg for food, hence the name Bhikshadaneshwar. Whenever some one filled his vessel with food it disappeared and he remained hungry. Finally he reached Uthamar koil and Mahalakshmi filled it with food thus ending Siva's hunger.
At the Northen side is the shrine of Brahma and next to it is his consort Gnana Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge. Brahma grants here all the wishes of his devotees as Vishnu directed him to do so. Childless couples offer their prayers at this temple to beget offspring.
It is also believed that once Vishnu wanted to test Brahma and He hid in a Kadambha tree. Brahma was worried and started searching and found the Lord here in the form of a Kadamba tree and worshipped him . Perumal blessed him by giving Him the privilege as the creator of all lives. Lord Brahma stayed here blessing his devotees.
The Story: Once upon a time, both Shiva and Brahmma had 5 heads. One day Parvati (Shiva’s wife) coming out of her pooja mistook Brahmma (because of his 5 heads) for her husband and began serving him by washing his legs. Shiva was furious when he saw this.
He thought that all this confusion arose because Brahmma too had 5 heads and that Brahmma had become arrogant (because he too had 5 heads). In a fit of anger, Shiva took off the middle head of Brahmma with his hand. Unfortunately for Shiva, the 5th head of Brahmma stuck to his hand.
To find salvation from the curse, Shiva went around the world on a pilgrimage begging for food, with Brahmma’s skull as the begging vessel. Every time someone filled the vessel with food, it vanished immediately, to Shiva’s horror. At Uthamar Koil, Goddess Lakshmi filled the vessel with food, thus ending Shiva’s hunger. However, to Shiva’s dismay, Brahmma’s skull still lay fixed on his hand.
Shiva prayed to Vishnu once again from here asking for salvation, who asked him to go to Kandiyur where he finally got salvation from Lord Kamalanathan.
As Shiva came to Uthamar Koil with a begging bowl searching for liberation from a curse, this place is called Pichandar (Bikshandar) Koil. Shiva can be seen here as ’ Bikshandar Murthy’. Brahmma is seen facing South, a unique feature.This temple is in Srirangam and is 5 Kms from Trichy town.
Temple timings : 6am to 12.30pm and 4pm to 8.30pm
3. Gunaseelam Temple: Prasanna Venkatachalapathy temple is a famous Vishnu temple in Gunaseelam. This temple attracts lot of pilgrims and people also believe that worshipping the deity here helps one to cure mental and physical ailments. Pilgrims stay here for about 48 days ,worship God and partake the prasadam from the temple and get relief from their problems.
The temple is noted for treating those mentally distarded. There is a rehabilitation centre for the patients. They are made to sit in the shrine during the afternoon and night pujas. The abishek theertha is spilled on their face.
4. Srirangam: Srirangam is the foremost of the eight self-manifested shrines (Swayam Vyakta Kshetras) of Lord Vishnu . It is also considered the first, foremost and the most important of the 108 main Vishnu temples (Divyadesams).
This temple is also known as Thiruvaranga Tirupati, Periyakoil, Bhoologa Vaikundam, Bhogamandabam. In the Vaishnava parlance the term "KOIL" signifies this temple only. The temple is enormous in size.
The temple complex is 156 acres in extent. It has seven prakaras or enclosures. These enclosures are formed by thick and huge rampart walls which run round the sanctum.
There are 21 magnificent towers in all prakaras providing a unique sight to any visitor. this temple lies on an islet formed by the twin rivers Cauvery and Coleroon.
This temple is 3 kms from Trichy City.
5. Rock Fort Temple: It is famous for its rock in the very heart of the town. The rock rises to a hight of 273 feet to be climbed by a flight of 417 steps. There are Two Vinayaka Temples at the foot and the top of the rock respectively and a Temple for Siva in between. Loard Siva is known as THAYUMANAVAR. It means the God who turned Mother. There is a legend about it.
Ratnavadi a lady of the Marchant class and an ardent devotee of Siva was eagerly waiting for the arrival of her mother to assist in her delivery. But the mother was held up on the other side of the River Cauvery due to floods. God himself came in the guise of the mother, acted as midwife and ministered to her needs puzzled. At once the God disappeared and gave Dharshan to both from the skies with his Divine Consort.
From the day the God is called Thayum Anavar. The Goddess is called Mattuvar Kuzhali Ammani which means the Long Haired Goddess wearing a garland of flowers imbued with honey.
a) Manikka Vinayaka: At the very entrance, at the foot of the Rock, we find lord Manikka Vinayakar seated in all his majesty, ready to confer his Blessings upon his Devotees. It looks as if nobody can reach the Temple of Lord Thayumanavar or Ucchi Pillayar, without first worshipping him and obtaining his blessings. The spacious Hall on the Western side contains pictures and carvings of Vinayaka in different names and postures.
The circular Pyramed-like structure on the top of this samll temple. VIMANAM as it is called, is recently gold- plated adn adds to the general solemnity and loveliness.
Devotees including all the Merchants and Shopkeepers and Employees of this busy area flock to the Temple in hundreds. Archanas are preformed
throughout the day. Abishekarms are performed twice a day and processions of the God round the temple are conducted Chathurthi Days. To sum up in one word, Manikka Vinayakar is the Patron Deity of the Town.
b) Ucchi Pillayar Vinayaka: The Temple of Ucchi Pillayar is situated on the top of the rock at an altitude of 273 feet. It is easily visible from any part of the town and from any direction. The panormic view of the town from the Temple, especially at nights is most pleasing to the mind and the heart. There is an intersting story about the frolic of this God. When Vibhishana returend home after the coronation of Rama, he brought with him an idol of Lord Ranganatha in a Lying posture.
He had been strictly warned not to put it down on the ground for any reason. When Vinayaka appeared before him in the guise of a Brahmin boy. Vibhishana asked hime to hold it for a while Vinayaka accepted his request on condition that he should come and relieve hime before he called him thrice. Vibhishana went to perform his evening ablutions. But within a short time Vinayaka called him thrice and put it down. The idol stuck to the ground. Try as he might, Vibhishana coul not take it out. He stamped his powerful first on the head of the boy. The Boy-God run away to the top of the hill. The depression on the head of the God can still be seen!
6. Vekkaliamman Temple: Sri Vekkaliamman Temple is situated in Woraiyur. The Amman is facing the north. It was believed by the ancient kings that Gods and Goddess who personify valour and facing north will bless the kings with victory in the battle. Hence all the ancient kings used to pray Vekkali Amman before leaving to the battle field.
The Story: An ancient saint, Sarama Rishi who lived in Woraiyur was having a wonderful garden with rare flowers in it. He used to worship Thayumanavar Swamy of Trichy everyday, offering garland made of flowers from his garden, to Lord Shiva.
A local florist, Pranthakan, saw the beauty of the flowers from his garden started taking flowers from Sarama Rishi's garden, and started supplying to the King in the palace, to keep himself in the good books of the king.
As the king was happy with the flowers, Pranthakan started stealing flowers from the garden regularly. Everyday, Rishi started finding the flowers missing from his garden.
The sage one day found that Paranthakan was the culprit and he went complaining to the King that the flowers were meant exclusively for Lord Thayumanavar and Pranthakan is stealing them everyday. The king didn't give an ear to it, as he already started liking those flowers.
With much grief, the sage went straight to Lord Thayumanavar praying him to put an end to Pranthakan's activity.
The Lord turned wild after hearing this. The God was facing the east till then. He turned facing west (towards Woraiyur), with his powerful eyes open, emitting anger which resulted in a huge sand storm started spoiling the whole city of Woraiyur.
Sand was filled everywhere burying the city. People were helpless and didn't know the reason for sudden sandstorm on Woraiyur. They went and surrendered to Vekkali Amman, praying to save them.
The Goddess went to Lord Thayumanavar and prayed to bring down his anger. Thayumanavar subsided his anger and the sand storm came to a halt. People thanked the Goddess for saving them.
Though the sand storm stopped, the people of the city lost their shelters already. Hence, Goddess also decided to live in a temple without roof, until everyone in the city gets a shelter for themselves.
From then till today, Vekkaliamman temple doesn't have any roof. The Moolavar is open to the sky, be it rain or shine. It is said that, many attempts have been made to build a roof for this temple at various times, which ended in vain.Located at just 7 kms from Trichy City.
7. Sri Subramanya Swamy Temple, Vayalur: Sri Aadinateshwar is located at the entrance of the Temple is a swayambu lingam. He is called Agnishwarar as he was worshipped by the fire god Agni; "Maha Devan" because he is the Lord of all devas. This place also gets the name Agnishwaram from the name of Lord Agnishwarar.
Behind the Shrine of Sri Aadinateshwar Swami we find the main Shrine of Lord Subramanya Swami with his two Divine consorts Sri Valli and Sri Teyvanai seated on the peacock.
Adjacent to the Shrine of Sri Aadinateshwar Swami facing south we find the Shrine of Sri Adinayaki, the divine consort. She is also called Munnilai Nayaki meaning the first.
In between the Shrines of Sri Aadinateshwar and Sri Subramanya Swami we find the Shrine of Sri Poiya Ganapati. Sri Poiya Ganapati is believed to emancipate mankind from the falsehood of life centered on the senses and help in Self-realization. The Lord holds the pomegranate fruits which symbolises the universe or in other word fullness.
Just in front of the Temple we find the temple tank called "Sakti Tirtham" which is believed to have been created with the Lord's vel. This is also called Kumara Tirtham and Agni Tirtham.
This temple is located 9km west of Trichy.
8. Samayapuram Sri Mariamman Temple: Samayapuram Mariamman Temple is one of the renowned Shakthi shrines of Tamilnadu. Those suffering from measles for a long time, come here and stay till they are cured, light Maavilakku (a lamp made of flour and Jaggery paste with ghee) and return back with their soul and mind left in the temple. They only physically go back.