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196. Tiruppachilaasramam


Location: Tiruvaasal near Bhikshandar Kovil .
(Chola Naadu -North of Kaveri)
Shiva: Maatrarivaalar, Saameevaneswarar
Ambal: Angilamangai, Balasundari
Vriksham: Vanni
Theertham: Bhrama Theertham
Patikam : Sambandar, Sundarar
Travel Base: Tiruchirappalli
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Description: This  Shivastalamis located on the banks of the Kollidam, 12 km away from Tiruchi enroute to Salem. Uthamar Kovil is about 5km away from here. Paachil was the name of the region. Tiruvaasiramam became Tiruvaasi. It is considered to be the 62nd  in the series of Tevara Stalams in the Chola kingdom located north of the river Kaveri.

The Temple: A 5 tiered Rajagopuram and 2 prakarams adorn this temple. The Ambal shrine is in the 2nd prakaram. There is a vast mandapam in between the 2 prakarams. In the first prakaram are shrines to Natarajar, Vinayakar Somaskanthar and others. Niche images of Dakshinamurthy, Ardhanareeswarar and Durga adorn the sanctum wall. The demon Muyalakan is not seen under Natarajar's foot here, instead there is an image of a snake.

Sambandar is said to have relieved the daughter of a devotee (Kolli Mazhavan) of the Muyalakan disease, hence this feature in Nataraja's shrine. Shiva is said to have blessed with Sundarar with a thousand copper coins upon hearing 8 of his hymns, and upon hearing another four, is said to have caused Vishnu to turn them into gold.  The Tapana mandapam is where Shiva is said to have blessed Sundarar with gold.

Parantaka Cholan, Rajaraja I, Krishna Deva Rayar and others have made several endowments to this temple. Raja Raja's inscription in the temple refers to the entrance of the Ardha Mandapam as 'Keezhi Koduttaruliya Tiruvayil'. The name 'Maatrarivaradar' comes from a dialog between Shiva and Sundarar where Sundarar had compared the tamarind fruits that had turned to gold at Eengoimalai, with the gold received here, and Shiva is said to have asked of him 'Maatru Kuraiavillaye'.

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