Vedaranyeswarar Temple, Vedaranyam – Legends
The town Vedaranyam is named after Vedaranyeswarar, the presiding deity of the Vedaranyeswarar Temple, a temple dedicated to Shiva. The place was earlier known as "Thirumaraikadu", meaning the place where Vedas, oldest scriptures of Hinduism, originated. The 7th century Saiva canonical work Tevaram by Appar and Tirugnanasambandar mentions the place as "Thirumaraikadu".
As per Hindu legend, the Vedas worshipped Shiva in this place, giving the name "Vedaranyam" to the place.
Rama worshipped Shiva here:
According to another Hindu legend, Rama, the seventh avatar of god Vishnu, is believed to have visited Vedaranyam to absolve himself from sins committed in the war against the demon king Ravana. The footprints of Rama are preserved in a place called Ramar Padam near Vedaranyam.
Vedas locked the Main Entrance of the Temple after worshipping Lord:
On their journey to various Shiva temples spread over the state, celebrated Saivite Saints Tirugnana Sambandar and Tirunavukkarasar (Appar) came to Thiru Marai Kadu Temple. They sung Pathigams-set of 10 verses- at each temple in praise of Lord Shiva. They were shocked to see that the main entrance of this temple was closed. They also saw devotees entering the temple through a side entrance. They enquired with the priests how this happened. They were told that the Vedas worshipped Lord Shiva here and returned after closing the door.
Hearing that Vedas, the holy scriptures of land themselves worshipped the Lord here, Gnanasambandar requested Tirunavukkarasar – Appar to sing a hymn on Lord to open the doors. Appar, tears flowing from his eyes sang ten verses beginning with line “Pannin Ner Moshiyal” and begged Lord to open the doors of the temple. Excited by the graceful response of the Lord, both entered the temple through the main entrance and worshipped Lord. While coming out, Appar wished Gnanasambandar to sing a hymn so that doors could be opened and closed for the worship of the devotees as in all temples.
Child saint Sambandar sang a Pathigam – 10 verses – beginning with the line “Chathuram Marai” closing the door. Since then, main doors of temple began to function in usual manner as in other temples.
Agasthiyar had darshan of divine marriage:
Agasthiyar had darshan of Siva and Parvathy marriage in this place.
Rat rebirth as Mavali Chakravarthy:
A rat climbed on the lamp, to drink the ghee in it. The light was becoming dim. The rat tried to taste the ghee, in this act the string which was in the lamp got disturbed, and it started glowing bright. By this act which happened without the knowledge of the rat, in his next birth it was Mavali Chakravarthy.
Birthplace of Paranjothi Adigal:
This place Thirumarai Kadu is birth place of Paranjothi Adigal who is the composer of Thiru Vilaiyadal Puranam (Siva Leela).
People worshipped Shiva here:
Sage Agasthiyar, Gowthamar, Vishwamitra, Vashista, and Lord Brahma are reported to have worshipped Lord Shiva at this thalam. Great emperors Manu, Mandhadha, Dasaratha, Lord Rama, Pandavas, and Mahabali were blessed by Lord.
Vedas worshipping Shiva in the form of Trees:
The “Four Vedas” which worshiped Lord Siva here, left the place when the kali yugam started and they are worshipping Lord Siva in the form of trees and Vriksham. The place is called as “Vedaranyam.”