Ucchi Pillaiyar Temple means ‘Ganesha Temple at the top’. There are actually three temples on the hill:
- Manikka Vinayagar Temple at the base.
- Thayumanaswamy Temple in the middle.
- Uchhi Pillaiyar at the top.
Temple Deity :
The Ganesha at Ucchi Pillaiyar Temple is a 3ft-tall granite idol and is generally encased in a silver kavacham (body match) and draped in necklaces of flowers and arugam grass.The lingam in Thayu manaswamy Temple is adorned in white cloth with rudraksha garlands and silver vibhuti stripes. Manikka Vinayagar may be the 1st shrine on the bottom of the hill. The idol is usually adorned with necklaces of arugam grass regarded as sacred to Ganesha.
In Panguni (Mar-Apr) the sun’s rays fall directly on the lingam in the sanctum of the Thayumanaswamy Temple, which is a mark of the architectural genius of its builders.
Special Events At Temple:
- Vinayaga Chathurthi (Aug-Sep) is observed with special pujas at both Ucchi Pillaiyar and Manikka Vinayagar Temples.
- Shiva ratri (Feb-Mar) is observed with pujas until midnight at Thayumanaswamy Temple.
The legend of Ucchi Pillaiyar Temple is connected to the Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangam. After Rama’s success against Ravana, his brother Vibheeshana left for Lanka, bearing an idol of Ranganatha. When he reached Srirangam, Vibheeshana stopped to bathe in the Kaveri for his night time puja. On the river bank stood a boy and vibheeshana bid him hold the idol in his hands until he returned from his bath. The boy promptly established the idol down and it took root there. It was obviously Ranganatha’s will to settle down on this beautiful island. An enraged Vibheeshana chased after the boy who ran significantly and climbed to the top of the hill. The boy turned into Ganesha on the hilltop. Vibheeshana begged his pardon and the Ucchi Pillaiyar Temple is located at the very spot.
Thayumanaswamy means ‘The god who became a mother too’. Once when Ratnavati, a devotee of Shiva, went into labor, her mother was unable to come to her aid because of the flooding of the river on her way. Shiva had been her mother and played the function of a midwife for a safe delivery.
Ucchi Pillaiyar Temple Timings:
- Manikka Vinayagar Temple: 5.30 AM – 12 PM, 4 PM- 9 PM
- Thayumanaswamy Temple: 6.30 AM – 12 PM , 4 PM – 8.30 PM
- Ucchi Pillaiyar Temple: 6 AM – 8 PM. Try to visit it earlier in the morning or later in the evening as the steps can get very hot during the day and you have to climb on barefoot.