Chidambaram is a very sacred town which houses many temples. The Natarajar temple is world famous and it is the first among the temples sung about by the nayanmars on the northern bank of the cauvery. There are 3 more padal petra sthalams in Chidambaram which are equally ancient but rarely visited as the Nataraja temple dwarfs the other temples by its uniqueness.
All four temples are within 2-3 kms radius in the southern direction from the Nataraja temple .
This is the fourth Padal petra sthalam on the northern bank of the cauvery
HOW TO REACH:
Head towards the bus stand and ask for the Annamalai university . The road crosses the Coleroon river and at the far end of the bridge here you take a right turn and in a KM you will see the Annamalai university .
Proceed straight for about 2 kms in the same road you will cross mariappan nagar on the right the road will curve right , you enter the present day Sivapuram.You can see the pond of the Thirunelvayil temple with the majestic temple behind on your right. A half KM away is the Sri Palvanna nathar Siva temple in the same road on the right.
LEGENDS AND STORIES ;
The temple was originally further away but during a floods in the Kollidam about 500 years ago was washed away the idols were retrieved and a new temple was built here.
Saint Agastya received the vision of Shiva Parvathi wedding here and they are enshrined in figures being the lingam
Saint Kapila built the shivalingam for his pooja but a king rode on this lingam and it received a hoof mark on the top. When Kapila rishi wanted to re build the lingam he received divine vision of both Siva and Parvathi who poured milk of Kamadhenu on this idol and fortified it and made it white. Till today only milk abhishekam is done to this lingam and all other offerings are placed below.
The Bhairavar sannidhi here is very famous. in fact the locals call it Bhairava koil only. Every new moon day and ashtami and during Rahukalam special poojas are done to this Bhairava. Unlike in other places Bhairava is not accompanied by his vahanam . he has a loin cloth, a sacred thread of 27 strung skulls, a tuft and lions fangs and smiles here. The lord Shani is supposed to worship Bhairava here. Shani underwent training in sastras under Bhairava and both Guru and Sishya are very peaceful here.
The Bhairava here is supposed to be as famous as in Kasi and the place is called Dakshina Bhairava ksethram and the lord as Swarna Bhairava
Thirugnana sambandar and Thirunavukkarasar have sung many padigams about this lord
The east facing temple hall has a east facing Shivalingam which is quite small jus,t the size of an ordinary brick but sparkling white with a wedge on top The back wall has
the figures of Shiva and Parvathi as seen by Agastya and Kapila maharishis
(Pic from the net thanks to Dinamalar.com)
The south facing Vedanayaki ambal sannidhi can be seen on the right
The Bhairava sannidhi is next and is remodeled with modern construction and I was asked not to click that
The Sthala Vriksham is Vilwam
Its a very famous destination as Bhairavar koil