Aakkoor Thanthondreeswarar Temple - Legends
Story behind the place name Aakkoor:
King Kochenganan was suffering from ulcer in the stomach. A voice said that he could be cured if he built in a temple at a place that had three sthala vrikshas-sacred trees. He saw Kondrai, Pakku and Vilwa trees here and began building the temple. During the construction, the wall built the previous day would fall the next day. He begged Lord Shiva for the solution. He was advised to feed 1000 Brahmins for 48 days. He found that one Brahmin short each day. He again fell at the feet of the Lord to help him.
On the final day - 48th day-all the seats were full with 1000 Brahmins present. The king politely asked the old 1000th guest to which place he belonged to. The old man replied “Yarukku Oor” meaning “place! to whom?” The security with the king was angry as the old man questioned back the king. The guest ran from there and disappeared in an anthill. When opened, a Swayambulinga was found in the anthill with an injury caused by the hit of the crowbar used to demolish the anthill. It is still visible on the Linga.
Vinayaka advising King for selecting the place for Temple:
This is a place that enjoys a higher importance than Kasi. Sri Vinayaka behind the temple is praised as Lord Poyya Vinayaka. He came in the disguise of a Brahmin to a king wandering around the place and enquired of his problem. The king replied that he was searching for a location to build a temple. Lord Vinayaka advised the king to stay at the bottom of the tank for some three and half hours (Nazhigai) to get the reply. The king stood confused. Lord Vinayaka said that the place was more holy than Kasi and what was left in Kasi could be recovered from this tank. The king obeyed the advice of the Brahmin and came out with the sanctum sanctorum. He was happy and built this temple.
Shiva came himself to a Chola King Annadhanam:
A Chola king used to feed 1000 members daily and one day the Lord Himself came as one of them (Aayirathil Oruvar) with a stick in his hand and took food. We can see this sculpture in the temple.