Thirumanicherai Udayar Temple, Periyamalai, Injimedu – Legends
Thazampoo, as Sthala Vriksham here:
Once on an ego battle between Brahma and Vishnu, they set off to reach the top and bottom of Shiva as a competition. During that time Thazhambu gave a false witness to Shiva that Brahma had reached the top of Shiva. Knowing this, Shiva cursed Thazampoo that it should not be used in any Shiva pooja. In order to get rid of the curse, it stands here as the Sthala Vriksham. Nandhi’s footsteps are seen here.
Divine Wedding of Lord Shiva & Parvathy:
Mythology has it that the wedding of Lord Shiva with Parvathi was performed at Mount Kailash, the eternal and ethereal abode of Lord Shiva. All the Devas, Rishis, Saints, along with Lord Vishnu, Brahma and their consorts assembled to witness the marriage. The northern part Himalayan Mountain sunk in whereas the Southern part has gone up. So to make it balance, as desired by Lord Shiva, Agastya Rishi stood on top of the Mount and hence the Mount sub-merged into the earth. Rishi Agastya witnessed the marriage of Lord Shiva with Parvathi from the top of this Mount. Therefore the prayers of the devotees for their marriages are getting fulfilled.
Later, a sage performed penance on Lord Shiva here. When he was deep in his meditation, an elephant brought water from the spring, spilled on the sage. Yet he was motionless deep in his penance. The animal tried to reach the sage but was stopped by a fire circle around the sage. Pleased with the determined concentration of the sage, Lord Shiva appeared before him and asked what he wanted. The sage prayed that the Lord should stay here and grace people. Lord Shiva obliged. The sage made the Navapashana Linga and installed it in Injimedu.
Nandi became Vahana of Shiva:
Nandi, son of saint Siladara performed penance seeking blessings and acceptance of Lord Shiva. It is from this Holy Hill Periya Malai that Lord Shiva blessed Nandi to be his Vehicle, for the first time. Since then, this hill is venerated and worshipped by the Saints and Devatas as a sacred place.
Worshipping Lord Nandeeshwara of this temple is regarded as very sacred as he grants the prayers. The village was called “Nandipuravinnagaram” (Sky high village, Nandipuram) as Periyamalai was very tall once upon a time.
Sacred place for performing Srardha:
The place is considered sacred for performing Srardha (an annual remembrance ceremony for the departed ancestors). Sage Silathiar had the boon from Lord Shiva to reach Kailash in his own human body. Devarishi Naradha met him on the way and told him that his ancestors were wandering here and there in space for food and water, without Shrardha offers. Silathiar immediately picked up the Ilanji grass (Darba grass) and gave Shrardha offer to his ancestors. In the days that followed, the place became to be known as Injimedu. Since then the practice of offering shrardhas to departed elders began here.