Monday, May 28, 2007

Thiru Karambanur Uthamar Koil

Only Divya Desam dedicated to Tri- Murthies
Brahmma provides darshan facing South
One of the two Divya Desams where Azhvaars praise the Lord as Uthamar
Located just under 10kms North West of Trichy on the banks of Coloroon off the Trichy-Salem highway, Uthamar Koil is the only Divya Desam with ‘Tri Murthies’ - Brahmma, Vishnu and Shiva providing darshan.

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. 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 invoked the blessings of Purushottam asking for liberation from Brahmma's curse. He was directed to Kandiyur where he finally got salvation from Lord Kamalanathan.

As Shiva came to Uthamar Koil with a begging bowl searching for liberation from Brahmma's curse, this place is called Pichandar (Bikshandar) Koil. Shiva can be seen here as ’ Bikshandar Murthy’. 

Brahmma is seen facing South, a unique feature at any divya desam.

Blend of Vaishnavism and Saivism
While as per Vaishnavism legend, Shiva came as a beggar to get liberated from his curse, as per the Saivaite belief , Shiva was born here as a beggar to get rid of the arrogance of the rishis(Shiva has 63 avataars).

Azhvaar refers to this Divya Desam Lord as 'Uthaman'
பேரானை குருங்குடி எம் பெருமானை,
திருத்தங்கள் ஊரானை 
கரம்பனூர் உத்தமனை 

முத்திலங்கு தின் கடல் ஏழும் மலை ஏழ் 
இவ் உலகு ஏழ் உண்டு 
ஆறாது என்று இருந்தாளைக் கண்டது 
தென் அரங்கதே
Thirumangai Azhvaar refers to the Lord of this Divya Desam as ‘Uthamar’ and hence the name ‘Uthamar Koil’. Among the Azhvaars, only Tirumangai Azhvaar and Andal have referred to the Lord as ‘Uthamar’. (Andal in Tiruppavai says ஓங்கி உலகளந்த உத்தமன் பேர் பாடி).

Thirumangai Azhvaar stayed at this place and renovated the Srirangam temple. Thirumangai Azhvaar in his verse says that he could see the Uthamar from Srirangam.

During the month of Karthigai, Lord Vishnu and Shiva are taken on a street procession together.
Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam comes here once a year and that’s a special event at this temple.
Chithirai- Perumal Chariot Festival
Vaikasi- Shiva Chariot Festival

Childless couple who pray here will be blessed with children. Dasharatha himself performed a yagna here before Rama was born. Legend has it that Vishnu ordered Brahmma not to refuse anything to devotees who come here and offer their sincere prayers.

4 Divya Desams in one go
In centuries gone by, Uthamar Koil formed part of ‘Foursome Divya Desam’ wherein devotees used to first visit the Uraiyur (in Trichy), walk across the Cauvery to the Ranganatha temple in Srirangam and then cross the Coloroon to Uthamar Koil and then to Thiruvellarai, thus covering four divya desams in one go.

Quick Facts
Moolavar : Purushottamar in an East Facing Standing Posture
Goddess : Poornavalli Thaayar
Paasuram : Thirumangai Azhvaar – 1 (Periya Thirumozhi)
Time        : 6am – 12.30pm and 4pm – 830pm

Contact: S. Varadharaja Bhattar 0431 2591 351, 99424 62145 / 94891 66288
Address : Uthamar Koil, Manachanallur Taluk, Pichandar Koil, Trichy 621 216

How to reach Uthamar Koil:
Number of buses from Chathiram Bus stand in Trichy
One can also come by bus to Toll Gate (Just after the old Coloroon road bridge) and walk about 5-10 minutes West to reach the temple

The temple is just adjacent to the Uthamar Koil railway station.

One can combine a visit to this Divya Desam with Thiruvellarai, another Divya Desam, which is about 10 kms North of here on route to Thuraiyur.


serendipity said...

Thanks for the wonderful narration of the story!
Wish u could have added the perspective of the Vaishnavism legend too, the part where Lord Shiva came as beggar to destroy the arrogance of rishis!
I visited the temple recently, it is an amazing experience!!

Prabhu.S said...

Thank You for your comments.

Will do that


Raman said...

Excellant .Azwar thirukkulam is there. It requires renovation. Now that rightly said, Srirangam Rajagopuram can be viewed nicely from uthamar kovil. Independant festivals for Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are celebrated.

Prabhu.S said...

Many thanks for reading and the comment.


The Strider said...

Thanks for the info! Recently visited the temple. Interesting background for the temple.

PRabhu S said...

Thank You for the comments.