Rathnagiriswarar Temple, Thirumarugal – Legends
Lord Brahma and Sage Parasara penance on Lord Shiva:
It was here that Lord Brahma and Sage Parasara did penance, the former to regain his powers and the latter to rid him of sins.
Scar on the Lingam:
The Lingam here, which is a Swayambhu, was unearthed by King Kusakethu, the Lord's ardent devotee, and bears the scar caused by the king's spade while he was digging the earth.
The history of this temple also states that lord Rathinagireeshwarar had showered Rathina mazha to eradicate the famine in that place.
The Lordess Mahalakshmi here in this Temple resided in this place where "Varalakshmi Nonbu" had started. History stated that Lordess Mahalakshmi had prayed to Lord Shiva taking Varalakshmi Nonbu and reunited with Vishnu. Hence the Theertham (temple pond) at this place is called Lakshmi Theertham.
The Pathigam “Sadayay ennumaal Sarani ennumal”:
Legend has it that once a merchant who had seven daughters promised his nephew that he would give his eldest daughter in marriage to him. However, the merchant was greedy and later married her to someone else. He promised his nephew that he would give him his second daughter in marriage. As time went by, one by one he got his first 6 daughters married to other men of wealth.
The last daughter was unhappy about her father breaking his word. One day she eloped with that young man planning to get married in another town. On their way, they stopped for the night at Thirumarugal, and that night a snake bit him and he died. The girl was in distress as she had left her parents and the man she was planning to marry was dead and she was stuck in an unfamiliar place. She was crying and lamenting and praying to Siva.
Tirugnanasambandar happened to pass by on his way to the temple in the morning and heard her cries. He was moved by her plight. He went to the temple and sang the song "Sadayay ennumaal Sarani ennumal" pleading to God, explaining the girl's plight. God was moved by the song and resurrected the young man and Thiruganasambhandar had them married in front of Siva. This episode is re-enacted to this day during the Chaitra festival.
The name Thirumarugal:
The place got the name from a plantain tree known as ``Marugal'' which is found in the temple. It is believed that the tree has been there since time immemorial on the northern-side of the temple and if its branch is cut and planted elsewhere, it does not grow. The place is also known as ``Kadalivana Kshethram'' in Sanskrit.