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251. Vaatpokki


Location: Ratnagiri (Sivayam) near Kulittalai
(Chola Naadu -South of Kaveri)
Shiva: Vatpokkinathar, Ratnagireeswarar
Ambal: Haravatkeswari
Patikam : Appar
Travel Base: Tiruchirappalli
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Description: This Shivastalam is located at Ratnagiri near Kulittalai, near Tiruchirappalli. There are many literary works on Vaatpokki. It is considered to be of significance to visit Kadambar Kovil, Eengoi Malai and Ratnagiri on the same day. It is considered to be the 1st in the series of Tevara Stalams in the Chola kingdom located south of the river Kaveri.

The Temple: The Ratnagireeeswarar temple is built on a hillock reached by a flight of 1000 steps while the Sivapureeswarar temple is at ground level. Shiva and Ambal face each other in the Upadesa formation.

Legends: There are several colorful legends associated with this shrine where it is believed that Indra, Surya, Adi Seshan, Durga, Agasthya Muni and the Sapta Matas have worshipped. This hill temple is believed to be worshipped by lightning once every 12 years.

Festivals: Arudra Darisanam in Margazhi witnesses the procession of Nataraja in a decorated chariot. Thai Poosam represents the visit of the processional deity to Kadambanturai and the convergence of deities from several temples there. The 'Ther' or chariot procession highlights the 9th day of the Bhrammotsavam in Chittirai (Aries), while the float festival in Pankuni (Pisces) witnesses the procession of the deity on a horse mount, through the surrounding villages.

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