Presiding deity: Rathnagireeswarar
Holy tree: Neem
Holy Water: Cauvery
Speciality: Temple on a mount
Height: 1178 feet
Those who have no knowledge of their family deities (Kula Deivam) may adopt Rathnagireeswarar as their family deity. The Easwara grants boons of marriage, business development, children. Freedom from depression is attained here. Majority of the devotees visit the place for mental peace alone. While going up on the steps, the devotee breaths the air from the various herbal plants on both sides and get relieved from Asthma, Blood pressure, chest pain, joint pains etc. The experience can be felt even in a single trip. Those doing so often are completely cured of these problems and this is the truth practically experienced by the devotees.
Devotees offer bell lamps (Manivilakku) to the God besides usual archanas etc. Abisheks are offered in oil, milk, tender coconuts. They undertake some fasting also and do charities. Dhyana, penance and such silent prayers are undertaken by the devotees. This is a special Shiva temple for devotees seeking mental peace. Preparations offered to the deity are distributed to visitors.
The unboiled milk used for abishek does not go stale till the evening though some dust from the incense sticks fall on the milk. Instead, it becomes a good curd the next morning. This is a miracle that could be seen only in this temple.
A devotee, Vairagya Perumal of Kancheepuram vowed to offer his head to Rathnagireeswarar if he got a child. He kept his promise sooner the wish was achieved. The head came to the peak of the mount while the feet stayed down. Honey and Coconut milk is used for the abishek for this head. The garlands used for the presiding deity is then offered to the head. The other surprise here is, that no crow flies on the hill. Tradition has it that once a crow upset the milk bowl of a devotee and got burnt. From then no crow flies on the hill. The presiding deity is also known as Rajalingam and Valpokki. The shrine is praised in the hymns of Thirunavukkarasar and Arunagiriar Thirupugazh. The abishek water is carried each day from the Cauvery river in the plains, 9 kilometers far. The scriptural names are Iyermalai and Shivayamalai.
The swayambu Linga is in the midst of 8 rocks. This is the 9th rock. They are revered as Navarathnas. Green and red stones are available in plenty below the earth. The temple is built above the 1017 steps. During the month of Chithirai, April-May, the sun rays fall on the Sivalinga through the nine holes in front of the Sanctum Sanatorium. The snakes here have no poison. It is here an Arya King got back his crown and Sundararar a purse. The Lord offers Darshan on the 1st day of Karthikai wearing a priceless crown.
Karur 40 Kms. Kulithalai 8 kms, Trichy 44 kms and Manaparai 40 kms.
Devotees from other places can stay in the private lodges in Kulithalai or Karur, the charges ranging from Rs. 200 to 500. The temple is on the Karur-Trichy Road. One can reach Kulithalai and can take the Manaparai bus to reach Iyermalai. The temple is in the heart of the city. Nearest railway station is Kulithalai, the airport Trichy.
The crowd would be too huge for 15 days during the Chithirai Festival and on Mondays of the Karthikai month, especially on the 3rd and 4th Mondays touching two lakhs. Devotees go up rolling. During Pradosham days, transition of Guru (Jupiter) and Saturn and Poornima (full moon day), week end days, Tamil months 1st. day the crowd will be huge for Girivalam (around the mount).
Iyermalai is one of the peaks of Meru Mount. The Linga is a Jyothir Linga. Also Swayambu.. The prayers begin at Kadambar temple on the banks of Cauvery, proceeds to Rathnagireeswarar in Iyermalai and ends in the Thiru Engoimalainathar temple. The abishek water is stored in a big bowl called Kopparai. Once it so happened that the Kopparai did not become full though people went on pouring the Cauvery water. The angry king took the sword and threw it on the Linga which began to bleed. The king reconciling from the fury fell at the feet of Lord, who in turn pardoned him and also offered precious stone. The scar is still visible on the Linga.