Padal Petra Sthalams:
River Cauvery, which flows through Tiruchi and Thanjavur districts, has on its banks as many as 274 Siva temples along its course. Famous Saivite saints Appar, Sundarar, Sambandar and Manickavasagar, popularly known as Naalvar, had visited these temples and sung in praise of the Lord. Of these, 160 shrines, including Tiruchi, Kumbakonam, Thirunageswaram, Thiruvalanchuzhi etc on the southern bank, are noteworthy. On the northern bank, 63 Siva temples have this special significance attached. These include Thiruvanaikaval, Thiruvaiyaru, Chidambaram, Sirkali, Vaitheeswarancoil etc.
This ancient rock-cut Siva temple is visited by thousands round the year. The Lord is popularly known as Thayumanavar because, according to a legend, He disguised Himself as mother to help a poor woman at the time of her delivery.
Rock Fort Temple:
The temple on top of this rock enshrines Sri Vinayaka, popularly known as Uchi Pillayar. The shrine commands a panoramic view of the entire city below and river Cauvery. Before climbing the hill, pilgrims pay obeisance to Manicka Vinayagar at the foot of the hill.
There is a local legend connecting Uchi Pillayar with the famous Srirangam temple. When Vibhishana was carrying the Ranga Vimanam to Lanka, Vianayaka intervened in the guise of a Brahmachari boy and placed the Vimanam on the ground which got rooted. Vibhishana got angry and chased the boy. He run to the summit and transformed himself as Lord Vinayaka.
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