Veeratteswarar Temple, Vazhuvur – Legends
Legend of Bitchadanar:
In the legend of Bitchadanar, once the rishis of Tharukavanam thought penance itself will provide everything and there is no superior God and their ladies were also equally egoistic. Shiva took the form of a beautiful full-nude beggar as Bitchadanar accompanied by Vishnu as Mohini with all their sheen to teach them a lesson. On getting furious over their ladies getting attracted towards this nude beggar, the rishis did different things like creating a snake, tiger, elephant etc., through yagnas, sending mantras and vedas to fight Bitchadanar but nothing could stand in front of him. It is believed that the heroic feat of vanquishing the rogue elephant that came from the Yagna was staged at Vazhuvur and Shiva is being portrayed as Gajasamhara Moorthy in this act. When the elephant approached Shiva, He assumed a miniscule form and jumped into the trunk of the elephant. He then took his Viswaroopa inside the elephant’s body and came out explosively bursting through the stomach of the rogue elephant and wore its skin as a garment. Therefore, this aspect of Shiva is also known as "Kirthivasa" or "one who wears an elephant skin as garment". Shiva finally revealed his true identity and did a furious dance in front of them. On knowing their mistake, the rishis at once surrendered to Bitchadanar. The rishis learnt hard way that learning all the mantras and vedas are only to promote the human lives and to do good to the society.
Jyestha Devi & Saptha Mathas worshipped Shiva here:
The temple has been visited by Jyeshta Devi and the Sapthamadhas, and the Lingas that they had worshiped can be seen even today.
Shiva saved Vikrama Chola from Sani Bhagavan:
Sani Bhagwan in the temple appears fighting with King Vikrama Raja. Defeated by Sani, the king fell in the Theertha the holy spring. Bathing in the spring, the king worshipped Lord for relief. Sani Bhagwan sought the pardon of Lord. His leg got damaged. There is a separate shrine for Sani in the temple holding a bow.
As the place eluded (Vazhuvudhal in Tamil) destruction by pralaya floods, the place is called Vazhuvur.