The Thayumanavar Temple is a temple situated in the Rockfort complex (Malaikottai ) in the city of Tiruchirappalli, India. The temple is situated close to the base of the Rockfort and was constructed by the Pallava king Mahendravarman I in the 6th century CE.Shiva is worshiped as Thayumanavar, and is represented by the lingam and his consort Parvati is depicted as Mattuvar Kuzhalammai. The presiding deity is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the nayanars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam. According to Hindu legend, a pregnant woman named Rathnavathi was an ardent devotee of Shiva and he arrived in the form of her mother to attend to her delivery. The presiding deity is thus named Thayumanaswamy, the one who acted as mother. The Rockfort is a fortress which stands atop a 273-foot-high rock, consisting of a set of monolithic rocks accommodating many rock-cut cave temples. Originally built by the Pallavas, it was later reconstructed by the Madurai Nayaks and Vijayanagara rulers. The major complex in the temple are believed to be built during the 8th century by the Pandyan Empire. The temple has six daily rituals at various times from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and twelve yearly festivals on its calendar. The Chittirai festival during the Tamil month of Chittirai (April - May) is celebrated for fifteen days, portraying the various incidents associated with the temple legend. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu. The temple priests perform the pooja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. Like other Shiva temples of Tamil Nadu, the priests belong to the Shaivaite community, a Brahmin sub-caste. The temple rituals are performed six times a day; Ushathkalam at 5:30 a.m., Kalasanthi at 8:00 a.m., Uchikalam at 10:00 a.m., Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m., Irandamkalam at 8:00 p.m. and Ardha Jamam at 10:00 p.m. Each ritual comprises four steps: abhisheka (sacred bath), alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Thayumanaswami and Mattuvar Kuzhal Amman. The worship is held amidst music with nagaswaram (pipe instrument) and tavil (percussion instrument), religious instructions in the Vedas read by priests and prostration by worshippers in front of the temple mast. There are weekly rituals like somavaram and sukravaram, fortnightly rituals like pradosham and monthly festivals like amavasai (new moon day), kiruthigai, pournami (full moon day) and sathurthi. The temple celebrates dozens of festivals throughout the year. The Chittirai festival during the Tamil month of Chittirai (April - May) is celebrated for fifteen days, portraying the various incidents associated with the temple legend. The car festival is held on the ninth day, when the processional deities of Thayumanswamy and Mattuvar Kuzhalammai are taken out in separate chariots around the temple in NSB Road, Nandikovil Street, North and East Andar streets and the Malaivasal. The Karthigai festival is celebrated during the Tamil month of Karthikai, between November and December, concluding with the celebration of Karthikai Deepam. A huge lamp is lit in a cauldron, containing three tons of ghee, at the top of the Malaikottai hills during the Deepam. To mark the occasion, the festival deity of Thayumanaswami circumambulates the mountain.