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Uchhi Pillayar Temple, Rockfort  is a 7th century Hindu Temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha and is located at the top of Rockfort, Trichy, India. The shrine stands at a height of 273 ft, and one has to climb 400 stairs to get a glimpse of the great God.  Halfway to the peak is Sri Thayumanavar Temple. A panoramic view of the entire city from the top makes one feel like they are indeed in heaven. The Rockfort temple complex has three temples on the way to the Lord Ganesha temple. The Mannikka temple at the foot, The Thayumanavar temple in the mid of the stairs and the Uchhi Pillayar at the top. These shrines belong to Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha respectively.

The temple was earlier known as the Thirisirapuram Temple, after a demon named Thirisan, who worshipped here. As all the three deities have their temples at the same place, the place is called as Thirisirapuram. The legend says that Lord Rama (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu) rescued his wife Sita from the demon Ravana after killing him. In this fight of morality, the truth and moral abiding brother of Ravana, Vibhisana took the side of Lord Rama. Vibhisana got an idol of Lord Ranganatha (Lord Vishnu is called as Lord Ranganatha) as a token of love from Lord Rama. Devtaas (Gods) were skeptical of an asura (demon; Vibhisana was the brother of Ravana who was a demon) taking the supreme form of Lord Ranganatha. They wanted to have that idol, but it was futile to ask Vibhisana. Then they plotted against him, and Lord Ganesha gave his consent to help the devtaas.

One day, Vibhisana, thought of taking a bath in the Cauveri river and do his daily rituals. The idol he was carrying, if placed on the land could never be removed. So, he reuested a boy playing nearby to hold the idol while he completed the rituals.  He instructed the child not to place the idol on the ground. The boy told him that when he was tired,  he will call upon Vibhisana thrice and if he did not respond, he will put the idol on the ground and will go to play.

Vibhisana went to the river, and while he was taking a bath the child called upon Vibhisana. He did not respond, as he was in the deep water. The child put the idol  on the ground, and the idol started expanding. Seeing this, Vibhisana came out from the water rushing to the child. Seeing the idol on the ground he tried hard to lift it, but all his efforts were in vain. Infuriated by the boy’s actions, Vibhisana started chasing him. The boy ran to a hill and sat there. Vibhisana came running after the boy and knocked him on his head. The boy then revealed his true identity of Lord Vinyagar (Lord Ganesha).

The idol which is in the temple still has a knock on his head.

Jai Ganpati!

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