I had the good fortune of visiting this temple recently.My paternal grandfather was named after this lord. This temple is praised by Sri Appar in his compositions. When Appar was tied to stones and pushed he prayed to this lord . The place is also associated with kundalini yoga .
How to reach?
Legends and stories of the temple:
Sage Markandeya was directed by Narada to pray here to obtain freedom from death though he was saved from Yama at Thirukadaiyur his tapas here pleased the lord to bestow chiranjeevi status here,Pleased the sage carried the lord in a palanquin to surrounding 7 villages during chittirai month which is regularly enacted here
Parvati was re united with Shiva after being killed at Daksha's yagna she re united here . This place is considered to bring together couples after separation and strengthen the Thali bagyam of devotees.
Parvathi prevented the hala hala poison from descending down the throat of Neela kantar and nurtured him with medicinal oils.The shivalinga is rough here and oil abhishekam with litres of oil also does not cause any shine and miraculously the oils absorbed by the Shivalinga and not a drop remains on the lord!!
The pandavas are supposed to have prayed here and there are five lingas here in the temple each is considered a moolavar
During the month of chittirai the suns rays fall on the navagraham in the evening in this temple hence in the navagraha sannidhi all the navagrahas are tuned to face the sun in the centre
Brahma prayed to a moksha lingam here to repent for his dalliance with Urvashi, Kamadhenu did penance here to get relief from Vashita’s curse.Vishwamitra is also said to have done penance here
The temple is sung about by Appar, Thirugnana sambandar and Neelakanta nayanar
Once you enter the main gate you see the dwaja sthambam and Nandi
This gate leads us into the outer praharam where there are many idols
Markandeya idol with the stala purana
The nayanmars Appar, Sambandar, Neelakandanayanar
The temple is under the control of the Thiruvavaduthurai adheenam
The Main sannidhi has the Shivalingam which is greyish and is of a coarse finish
Next is Dakshinamurthy
The ambal sannidhi has two sanctums one for the Tapas Parvati(Bhaktha bheeshta pradhayini) who attained Shiva here and another for Anubhamasthadarii who nursed Shiva back to health
The navagrahas Facing Suryan
Over all an ancient and well maintained temple with a Pond in front