The Divya desams of Trichy - 1

So it was that when I got a 2 days of rest, I've had to take the next train to Trichy without any other thought than visiting Sri Rangam. While I've been planning to visit Sri Rangam for sometime, now, I decided, is the time to go.

Since, I will be in Trichy for the day, thought of visiting some of the Divya desams around as well. Probably, the thought echoed around and it became a game of inclement weather, bad roads, leaky buses, broken Cameras and long queues in the quest to visit the six Divya desams around Trichy.

Of course, I could've rented a car and visited all six in style. But where is the fun in that but then I always use the public transport when it is available. So onto the story.

Thiruvellarai (திருவெள்ளறை)
"கஞ்சன் கறுக்கொண்டு நின்மேல் கருநிறச் செம்மயிர்ப் பேயை
வஞ்சிப்பதற்கு விடுத்தான் என்பது ஓர் வார்த்தையும் உண்டு
மஞ்சு தவழ் மணிமாட மதிள்திரு வெள்ளறை நின்றாய்
அஞ்சுவன் நீ அங்கு நிற்க அழகனே காப்பிட வாராய்."

So says PeriyAlvar.  Thiruvellarai is about 20 kilometers from Trichy in the Thuraiyur road (if you can call that, road).

So I reached Trichy by 5.30 in the morning, got ready, had breakfast and got into a bus going to Thuraiyur with stopping in Thiruvellarai by 7.30AM and was thinking I am making good time to manage all six by the evening. 

Roads of Thiruvellarai
And the moment the bus started, it started pouring like no tomorrow. Being old and cranky, the bus started leaking and started a mini downpour inside the bus. So it was that I was completely wet inside the bus and finally got down in Thiruvellarai to get wet in the actual rain.

The Praharam
I took shelter in a nearby tea shop and inquired where the temple is. It was about a kilo meter down the village road and since its raining, it is better to stand and wait. So I did. It took another 30-40 minutes for the rain to slow down a bit and I walked to the temple.

The front gopuram of the temple was a haunting replica of the Pazhayarai temple with a collapsed brick structure reminiscent of the Chola's architecture. There are the standard Chola motifs in the Gopuram entrance but once inside, the huge praharam and the temple it self is modified so much that it is difficult to find any trace of the oldness of the structure. 
Front Gopuram
 It is now that I found out my camera has gone bonkers. It did not get switched on and when it did, the lens was hazy and there was no point in getting any pictures. Though I did manage to take a few (focusing for a long time, like an old time photographer!), after sometime, I gave up.

செந்தாமரைக் கண்ணன் (Senthamarai Kannan) and செங்கமலவல்லி தாயார் (Sengamalavalli) are the names of the deities here and after an uneventful dharshan returned back to the bus stop for the bus to Thirukarambanur (Uthamar Koil).

Uthamar Koil - Thirukarambanur (திருக்கரம்பனூர்  - உத்தமர் கோயில்)

"பேரானைக்  குறுங்குடி எம்பெருமானை திருதண்கால்
ஊரானைக் கரம்பனூர் உத்தமனை முத்திலங்கு
காரார் திண்கடலேழும் மலையேழ் இவ்வுலகேழுண்டும்
ஆராதென்றிருந்தானைக் கண்டது தென்னரங்கத்தே"

So sings Thirumangai Alwar. Uthamar Koil lies about a kilometer from the Toll Gate stop in Trichy. I walked to the temple from here.

It was a day of Kalyanaurchavam for the swamy and so the crowd was unbelievable. It was relatively a small temple and the trinities (Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma) are all in the same temple.

It took about 30 minutes to see Perumal in Pujanga Sayanam (lying down on Adisesha!). It was raining and by the time I went around and completed darshan, the rain almost petered out. 

The temple has all the hall marks of being worked by the Cholas but except for a few inscriptions here and there, almost everything is getting white washed in the name of renovation. It was sad to see that these temples will almost lose every trace of their heritage in a few years time.

I came out and enquired around for a bus to Thiru Anbil, my next stop.

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