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Sri Maatrurai Varadeeswarar temple at Thirupachilachiramam (Thiruvasi)

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One among the 276 Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams and the 62nd Shiva Sthalam on the Cauvery river’s northern bank, the temple is in Chola Nadu (Vadakarai). Lord Shiva here is a Swayambumurthi or self-manifested. Here, Saint Sambanthar cured a girl of Muyalagan disease by singing a hymn. This disease is also called Apasmara and is characterized by neurological conditions like epilepsy. Saint Sundarar is believed to have received a purse full of gold from Lord Shiva at this temple. The temple faces east and has a Rajagopuram or main tower with 5 tiers and two corridors. It was on June 14, 2017, that the last Kumbabishekam or consecration ceremony was held here.

Temple History

Sri Maatrurai Varadeeswarar Temple

This temple is believed to be 1500 years old. It was built and renovated by Hoysala, Chola, and Pandiya kings. It is situated on the Kollidam river's northern bank. Historically, this place is called ‘Pachil Kutrathu Achiramam’ though now it is known as Pachilachiramam. Stone inscriptions dating to the Chola and Pandiya periods state that the place was called “Parchi Lutram’ then, and the village nearby was called Thiruvachiramam. Later, it became Thiruvasi. Long ago, this place had many Vanni trees. Hence, the Lord here is called Sameevaneeswarar and the place, Sameevanam. The Lord is also called Brahmapureswarar as he was worshipped by Lord Brahma, here.

Legends of the temple

Legend has it that this region was called Mazhanadu once, and was ruled by a king called Kolli Mazhavan. He had a daughter who suffered from Muyalagan disease or epilepsy. No doctors in the kingdom could cure her, so the king left his daughter in this temple, hoping that the Lord would cure her. One day, Saint Thirugnanasambanthar , who was on a pilgrimage, visited this temple. The king told him about his daughter and requested his help to cure the girl. Saint Sambanthar sang a Pathigam praising Lord Natarajar. The pleased Lord turned the disease into a snake and danced on it. Then he blessed the girl who was immediately cured of her sickness.

Because of this event, Lord Natarajar is seen with his hair in a knot. While he is usually depicted as standing on Muyalagan, here, he is seen standing on a snake. He is also revered as Sarpa Nataraja. In Tamil, sarpa means snake. This posture of the Lord is quite rare.

There is another legend about a childless businessman called Kamalan from Pachur. The man was a great devotee of the Lord. Once, when he was on his way home from the temple, he heard a child crying and came upon an abandoned baby girl. He took her to his house and raised her as his own child. The girl was called Amalai. When it was time for her marriage, he decided to marry her off to his brother-in-law. Amalai too was a staunch devotee of the Lord and it was her wish to marry Lord Shiva. The Lord, pleased by her prayers, came in the guise of Kamalan’s brother-in-law to her house and married her. Soon after the marriage, the couple left, telling Kamalan that they were going to the temple. Some time after they had gone, Kamalan’s real brother-in-law arrived. It was then that they realized what had happened. When they rushed to the temple to look for Amalai, the Lord appeared before them. He was seated on his mount, the bull, and Amalai was also with him as Goddess Parvati. The goddess threw her anklet on the ground. At the place where it fell, water started flowing, and a river was born. It was initially known as Silambam river, but later it became known as Panguni river.

One of the legends about this temple is associated with Saint Sundarar. Shiva used to give him gold with which the saint would feed his followers. Once, after worshipping Shiva at Thiruvanaikaval, the saint arrived at this temple and sang praises of the Lord, hoping to get gold. But there was no response from Lord Shiva. The angry Sundarar continued to sing in a loud voice asking if there was anyone called Lord Shiva at the temple. After this, Shiva gave him a purse containing gold. Doubtful about its purity, Sundarar examined it. Just then, two men came there and asked him why he was doing it. Sundarar asked them to help him in assessing the gold’s purity. They did so by scratching it. After confirming the purity of the gold, the two men disappeared. Sundarar began to sing again, saying that it was not his aim to doubt or insult the Lord. At that moment, Lord Shiva appeared and said that he and Lord Vishnu were the two men who had helped him assess the gold. This is the reason why the Lord here is called “Matru Urai Nathar”. It means ‘the God who confirmed the purity of gold’. “Matru” means quality, while Urai” refers to the process of scratching the gold on a stone to assess it. “Nathar” is a suffix that denotes respect in Tamil.

Lord Brahma, the Goddesses Parvathi and Lakshmi, and Sage Agasthiar, are believed to have worshipped the Lord here.

Temple Deities

Apart from the shrines of Shiva and Parvati, there are shrines and idols for Vinayakar, Natarajar, Murugan, Nalvar, Dakshinamurthy, Ardhanareeswarar, Durga, Brahma, Chandikeswarar, Suryan, Chandran, Navagraham, 63 Nayanmars, Sahasra lingam, and Bairavar. These are seen in the corridor. Suryan is seen with his two wives, Usha and Pratyusha. The other planets are seen looking at him.

A separate temple for Goddess Balambikai can be seen on the left side of the temple entrance. Opposite this are the shrine of Lord Selva Vinayakar and the sacred well, Annamam Poigai.

Special Features

Goddess Balambikai is seen here in a unique posture, where her left hand resembles a crab. Supposedly, this is the only temple where Goddess Parvati’s hand is like this. People whose children have balarishta dosham in their horoscope, come to worship the goddess here. This dosham means that the child will often suffer from inexplicable ailments that cannot be cured by conventional medical treatments. Consuming the abishekam milk offered to the goddess on 3 consecutive Sundays is believed to give relief in such cases.

The temple is significant for 3 major attributes – Murthy (glory of the Lord), Sthalam (sanctity of the land), and Theertham (holy water or temple tank). Devotees who come here pray to Lord Shiva here by lighting lamps with ‘iluppai’ oil. This is believed to ensure the well-being of their family, and removal of any evil around them. Those who are childless pray to Goddess Balambikai at this temple.

Significance of the temple

Visiting Thiruvasi is believed to be the equivalent of visiting Kasi (Benares). This temple is a famous Parihara Sthalam for those afflicted by Balarishta Dosham. If one worships the goddess here for 5 successive Fridays, it can help remove obstacles to marriage. Those suffering from epilepsy, stomach problems, nervous disorders, and paralysis, can worship the Lord here for one mandalam or 45 days for getting relief from such problems.

Important Festivals

Many important festivals are celebrated in this temple. They are

  • 11-day Brahmotsavam in Vaikasi month (May-June)
  • Thirukarthikai in Karthikai month (Nov – Dec)
  • Arudra Dharisanam in Margazhi month (Dec – Jan)
  • Poosam in Thai month (Jan – Feb)
  • Monthly Pradosham is a regular observance here.

Thiruvasi is around 13 km from Trichy. It is on the Trichy-Salem route via Ayyanpalayam. Uttamarkoil, 5 km away from here, is the nearest railway station. Other Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams nearby are – Thiruchirappalli (Tiruchy Malaikkottai), Thiruvanaikkaval, Anbilanthurai, Thiruppatrurai, Thirumanthurai, Mukkeecharam (Uraiyur), Thiruppainjeeli, and Thiruverumbur.

Temple Address

Sri Matrurai Varadeeswarar Temple,
Trichy District,
Tamil Nadu – 621216.
Tele: +91 431 6574 972, +91 94436 92138.

Temple timings

8.00 am to 12.00 pm; 5.00 pm to 8.00 pm

S No Day/Temple Pooja Timing Timings
1 Monday 8.00 am to 12.00 pm; 5.00 pm to 8.00 pm
2 Tuesday 8.00 am to 12.00 pm; 5.00 pm to 8.00 pm
3 Wednesday 8.00 am to 12.00 pm; 5.00 pm to 8.00 pm
4 Thursday 8.00 am to 12.00 pm; 5.00 pm to 8.00 pm
5 Friday 8.00 am to 12.00 pm; 5.00 pm to 8.00 pm
6 Saturday 8.00 am to 12.00 pm; 5.00 pm to 8.00 pm
7 Sunday 8.00 am to 12.00 pm; 5.00 pm to 8.00 pm
8 Temple Closing Timings 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm

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