Tirukkozhi (Uraiyur)

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Location : Trichy, Tamil Nadu
Tirukkozhi Is Also Known As: Uraiyur And Nichulapuri
Birth Place Of: Tiruppaanalwar
Festivals Celebrated: Kalyana Utsavam During March-April

Tirukkozhi is within the city limits of Trichy, and is one of the 108-divya desams. It is also known as "Uraiyur" and "Nichulapuri". Uraiyur town was the capital for Chola nadu and is mentioned in many puranas.

The temple is about 2 miles from the Trichy and is in walKing distance from Srirangam across the Kaveri River. Many popular Kings such as Karikal Cholan, Kuloththunga Cholan, Nalangkili, Killivalavan, etc. ruled their Kingdoms from this town. It is also Tiruppaan aazhvaar's avvathara sthalam. Tirukkozhi is also the birthplace Tiruppaanalwar, who wrote Amalan Athipiran.

The Legend
A valiant rooster believed to have warded off an elephant with its beak, here and this place got the name "Tirukkozhi" ("Mookkeeswaram") possibly stems from this legend.

Once upon a time rishis were discussing as to whom among the trinity is the greatest. At this time Sage Brighu happened to pass by and they decided to entrust the issue to him for finding a solution. Brighu accepted and went to Mount Kailash first, where Dwarapalakas (gatekeepers) interrupted him and he was refused entry, as Lord Shiva and Parvati were alone and were not to be disturbed.

This upset Brighu, who then decided that since Shiva was not approachable at any time, he couldn't be the greatest. He then left to Satya Loka to see Brahma, who was busy in creation that he did not notice Brighu's presence. So at last the sage went to Vaikunta. When he reached Vaikunta (also splet as Vaikuntha), Lord Vishnu received him will great respect and made kind enquiries.

At this time Brighu desired a separate audience with only the Perumal being present. All present left except Sri Lakshmi, who has her place permanently on Lord's chest. She, however, requested the rishi to leave as the other members of retinue. This angered Brighu who cursed that Lakshmi would be born in the world among the human race. However, Brighu came to the conclusion that only Lord Vishnu among the trinity is Supreme as He showed absolute kindness and concern to the rishi when he went to Vaikuntam.

However, the Lord promised Lakshmi Devi that he would follow her to earth shortly. During this period a Chola King by name Dharmavarma and his queen lived in Kumbakonam, the capital for Chola nadu. One day he went for hunting in a forest known as "Kararanyam", which was a favourite place for rishis to perform tapas. He was moved by the beauty of the place and decided to stay. He also built a small town and named it after his queen as Nichulapuram.

All was fine, except the King was disappointed that he had no progeny. He was advised by Rishis to pray to Goddess Lakshmi, and she will be born to them as their daughter. So he performed the Lakshmi Tantra and Lakshmi Devi appeared in front and assured the King that Thaayaar herself would be born as his daughter. The baby was named Vasa Lakshmi. Days passed and the girl attained the age of marriage and King arranged for a swayam varam, where a lot of hopeful princes were assembled.

Sri Ranganatha also heard about the Swayam varam and was present there as a Raja kumara. The moment Vasa lakshmi entered the hall, she noticed Sri Ranganatha, identified Him as Lord Vishnu and went near him and adorned the garland around the neck of Ranganatha. The King and the queen celebrated the wedding of Vasa Lakshmi with Sri Ranganatha and King built a temple for Sri Ranganatha in his Kalyaana Tirukkolam. After some time, he entrusted the Kingdom to his son and reached Vaikuntam.

About The Temple
After entering the temple, one encounters a large Mandapam with pillars ornamented with exquisite sculptures. There are several Mandapams with shrines to the Alwars and the Acharyas in the temple Prakaram. There is a shrine to Tiruppaanalwar north of the temple tank.

Festivities
During the month of Pankuni (March-April), the image of Ranganathar from Srirangam is brought in procession to this temple and a grand Kalyana Utsavam is celebrated on the day preceding Pankuni Uthiram.

HOW TO GET THERE

Air: Trichy has an airport (5-km from the city). Various airline services connect Trichy with Chennai, Sharjah, Kuwait and Colombo.
Rail: Trichy is an important junction on the Southern Railway. It is connected with places like Chennai, Thanjavur, Chidambaram, Madurai, Tirupati, Tuticorin, Tenkasi, Quilon, Rameshwaram, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Mysore, Kochi, Kanyakumari and Mangalore.
Road: Trichy is well connected by road with the important places of South India.For local transport city bus service is available to all places of tourist interest from Central Bus Stand and from Chinthamani Guard Gate Bus Stand. Tourist taxis, auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws are also available for local transportation.

WHERE TO STAY

Accommodation is available at the luxurious and economic class hotels and lodges in Trichy.



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