Somanatheswarar Temple, Somangalam – Legends
Chandra Bhagwan got rid of Dakshan Curse here:
As per Hindu Mythology, once Sri Chandra Bhagwan got cursed by Dakshan. Due to this curse, he lost his divine power and forgot all 16 forms of arts he had acquired. To get rid of this curse, he is said to have created a pond in this place called Soma Theertham (Vinai Theerthan Kulam, the tank that eliminates all bad karmas) and took bath in this Pond located at about half a km to the west of this temple and worshipped Lord Shiva here.
After this, he got back his beauty and wisdom. As Sri Chandra Bhagwan worshipped Lord Shiva here, Shiva here is known as Somanatheswarar and the place came to be known as Somangalam. This temple is a parihara sthalam for those having any Dhosham related to Chandra Bhagwan. Chandra Bhagwan has a separate shrine in the temple facing west.
Somanathar attained Jeeva Samadhi here:
Sources say that a sage named Somanathar attained Jeeva Samadhi at the feet of Lord Nandikeswarar, who is believed to have guarded Soman against any disturbances while doing penance.
Soma theertham (Vinai Theerthan kulam) at half a km to the west of the temple, created by Moon God and Chandeeswara Theertham adjacent to the temple created by Chandeeswarar.
Nandhi Unique posture of facing east instead of facing Lord Shiva:
There lived a king called Somakaanthan in this part of the country, who wished to build 108 Shiva temples throughout his country. While he was in the middle of the construction work for this temple, he had his enemies marching towards his territory for war. The king was shocked to hear this, because he was never prepared for a war at that time and had engaged all his soldiers in the temple construction work.
With much grief, he prayed Lord Shiva here to save him. Shiva was pleased with his devotion in constructing the temple, directed Nandikeswarar to fight against the king’s enemy. Nandhi turned towards east and blew away the entire troupes of the enemy just with his forceful breath. Lord Shiva made Nandhi to face east permanently to make sure that there were no further attacks to the king’s country by enemies. Here one can see Nandhi unusually facing east instead of facing the Lord in the sanctum. This is one of the very unique features of this temple.