It is One of the 108 divyadesams and a temple for Shaiva-Vaishnava unity. it is a Divyadesam next to only Srirangam . It is The only temple where all the 3 moorthies are present with their consorts in separate sannidhis.
All the seven gurus – Brahma Guru, Vishnu Guru, Siva Guru, Sakthi Guru, Subramanaya Guru, Deva Guru, Asura Guru – are present here. This is the only temple where Lord Brahma himself is present as Lord Guru facing South in a separate shrine with the vimanam and Urchava moorthy. In other temples, only Lord Dakshinamoorthy will be present as Lord Guru. So this is a very significant Temple for Guru Worship.
Lord Brahma normally seen only as koshta moorthy in the outer prahara walls of the sanctum sanctorum is having a separate shrine here.
Goddess Saraswathi, seen in a separate temple only in Koothanur, is present here in a separate sannidhi with vimanam.
How to reach:
The temple is situated near the tollgate area of Trichy on the Trichy Salem road. As you proceed on the highway you can see a railway overbridge . The temple is to be approached below this flyover on to the right side. There are no rajagopurams for the temple
Legends asociated with the temple:
Siva incurred a brahma hatti dosham when he choped off the fifth head of Brahma who had become egoistic ( Shiva has had 63 avatarams and this avataram was to show the rishis that ego is bad and even Shiva can suffer from wrong conduct). The Skull cap stuck to his hand and would not dislodge hence he prayed to Vishnu to help him redeem himself.He devoloped so much hunger that the kapalam (skull ) in his hand would never be full.Shiva prayed to the thayar mahalakshmi who filled his kapalam and made the kapalam unstuck from shiva’s hand. Since Shiva was a beggar here it is called Bhikshandarkovil and the satisfying thayar is called poornavalli
(The reason why Shiva took the form of Bitchandar is explained in Sivapuranam as follows:
Once the rishis at Tharukavanam near here (now called Thirupparaithurai in the Trichy-Kulitalai route) were very egoistic feeling that their knowledge and spiritual powers are just sufficient to uplift the people. They felt God is not at all needed since one’s karma only is responsible for the pain and pleasure of him. Equally the rishis’ ladies were also very egoistic thinking that they were the most beautiful of all the worlds including the devaloka and the consorts of the 3 moorthies. Wanting to teach a lesson, Shiva took the form of a beautiful full nude beggar with all his sheen as Bitchadanar accompanied by Vishnu as Mohini.
To teach the lesson first for the ladies, they both went to Agraharam begging. On seeing such a divine personality with a magnetic voice for the first time, the ladies forgot themselves, forgot what they were doing and came to streets to see him. On seeing the beauty of the Mohini (Vishnu), they felt ashamed and embarrassed with their egoistic thinking about their beauty. Followed by the ladies of the rishis, both Bitchadanar and Mohini went to Tharuhavanam, 15 kms from Uthamar koil, where the rishis were doing a yagna.
On getting furious over their ladies getting attracted towards this nude beggar, the rishis did different things like creating an elephant, Tiger etc., through yagnas, sending mantras and vedas to fight Bitchadanar but nothing could stand in front of Him. Shiva finally revealed his true identity and did a furious dance in front of them. On knowing their mistake, the rishis at once surrendered to Bitchadanar. The rishis learnt hard way that learning all the mantras and vedas are only to promote the human lives and to do good to the society.)(from http://shanthiraju.wordpress.com/2007/11/26/visit-to-trichy-and-tanjore-temples/)
Brahma was once tested by Vishnu who hid in a kadamba tree and when Brahma grew anxious at not seeingMahavishnu he was given a darshan by Mahavishnu in the kadhamba tree
Sage Kadhambar did penance at the banks of this temple tank and got the dharshan of all the 3 moorthies with their consorts. The temple tank is called Kadhamba Pushkarani in his name.
Speciality of this temple’s history :
Sanaga, Sananthana and Sanath kumaras are given the first teachings on Saivam here and at the same time Maarkandeya Maharishi was given the darshan of perumal
At this divya desam There is a mangalashasanam by Thirumangai Alwar - 1 Paasuram.
Peraanai, Kurugkudiyum Perumaanai, Thiruthankal
Ooraanai, Karamabanur Uthamanai, Muthilangu
Aaratheninrunthaanai Kandathu Thenn Arangathe….
Azhvaars referring to Lord as ‘Uthamar’
Thirumangai Azhvaar called this Lord ‘Uthamar’ and hence the name ‘Uthamar Koil’. Among the Azhvaars, only Tirumangai Azhvaar and Andal have referred to the Lord as ‘Uthamar’. (Andal in Tiruppavai sings……Ongi Ulagalantha Uthaman Per Paadi……..). Belief is that Thirumangai Azhvaar stayed at this place and renovated the Srirangam temple. Thirumangai Azhvaar said that he could see the Uthamar from Srirangam.
Lord Brahma and Goddess Saraswathi are facing South
Lord Vinshnu as Purushothama perumal in sayana pose and Goddess Pooranavalli Thayar are facing east
Lord Shiva as Bhikshandar is facing west and Goddess Sondharya Parvathi, Vadivudai Nayaki facing south.
In the northeast, Vishnu Guru Varadharaja Perumal, Brahma Guru Lord Brahma and Knowledge Lord Goddess Saraswathi are present in separate shrines facing south.
Apart from this, Natarajar, Subramaniyar, Saneeswarar, Andal, Lakshmi Narayanar, Ramar, and Bama Rukmani samedha Venugopala are present in separate shrines.
Perumal as purushothaman is in the sayana kolam with poornavalli thayar in the sannidhi below
Shiva’s consort here is Soundarya Nayaki or Vadivudai Nayaki. .
Brahma and Saraswathi.are in seperate sannidhis inside the main praharam
There is a seperate Hanuman in front of the Vishnu sannidhi who is very powerful in granting wishes.Jayaveera Anjaneyar with his left leg in front
Thursdays are very crowded and best avoided . I went on a wednesday and itwas peaceful.
The annual brahmostavam for Perumal is in Chithirai (April) and that of Shiva during Vaikasi (May). The utsava vigraha of Lord Ranganathar of Srirangam is being brought to the Kadhamba theertham here during the Masi festival.
Here Lord Brahma got his privilege as the creator of all lives and so by worshipping Lord Brahma one is sure to get all his wants.
Here Goddess Lakshmi as Pooranavalli Thayar ended Shiva’s hunger by filling the begging vessel of Shiva and so by worshipping the Pooranavalli Thayar, one will be free from hunger and poverty and will be blessed with all ishwarya.
By worshipping Goddess Saraswathi present in a separate sannidhi one will be blessed with knowledge and education.
By worshipping Bitchadanar who ended the egos of the rishis, one will be free from his ego and bad wills.
6am – 12.30pm and 4pm – 830pm
Trichy 621 216
Read more http://templesoftamilnadu.co.in/2010/04/30/uthamar-koil-or-bitchandar-koil/