RockFort Car Festival
Rock fort is the iconic representation of the city Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu. The rock is said to be three billion years old, attracting thousands of tourists every year. The Rock naturally has formed in three levels. Rock - fort is actually a fortress atop the 273 feet high rock.
The various dynasties reigned this region have constructed rock - cut temples which illustrates their architectural excellence even today.At the foot of the hill, there exists the “Manicka Vinayagar Temple”. one has to climb around 420 steps to reach the top of the hill where there is another temple for Lord Ganesh called “Uchi Pillayar Temple”. In between the two, there is another temple in the second layer of the rock fort called the “Thayumanava Swamy Temple”, dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The 6th century temple, built during the Pallava Dynasty, houses a sub shrine for His consort “Mattuvar Kuzhalammai”. Thayumanavar means one who could act like a mother and protect her children. An ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, Rathnavathi who was in her labor called her mother for help. As her mother could not reach Rathnavathi in time due to the heavy floods in the Cauvery, Rathanvathi was very much afraid and prayed to Lord Shiva. Pleased with her devotion, Lord Shiva took the form of her mother and helped Rathnvathi deliver her child. After a while, when Rathnavathi’s mother arrived, everyone came to know about the benevolence of the God and from then onwards, he was called as Lord Thayumanava swamy.
As in other Shiva temples, the rituals and poojas are carried out in this temple six times a day with the procedures as anointing, decoration, offering the food and waving the lamps. Out of the dozens of festivals celebrated in this temple, the Chithirai festival celebrated during April - May is of high significance. The ninth day of the fifteen days long festival is renowned as Rock fort Car festival attended by lakhs of devotees across the region.
The processional deities of the Thayumanava Swamy and His consort are taken out in procession in decorated chariots. The procession circumambulates the temple through the heavily crowded streets, witnessed and enjoyed by lakhs of devotees.
The fifteen days festival includes several rituals and special poojas commemorating the various incidents relating to the God and His consort. The city goes into a festive mood with lots of cultural programmes, entertainment shows, exhibitions enacting the history in various art forms.Visit Thayumanava swamy and get his blessings during this auspicious car festival!