Haridwaramangalam Padaleswarar Temple – Legends
A contest arose between Lord Brahmma and Vishnu to establish their superiority over the other. It was agreed that the one finding first the feet and/or head of Lord Shiva would be the winner. Brahmma rode on his Swan vaahana towards the head of the Lord Shiva but could not. Incidentally, the Thazhampoo (a flower) was falling down from the head of Lord Shiva. Lord Brahmma asked the flower to say that he found and worshipped the head of Shiva. The flower too agreed to the false deal. Lord Shiva condemned the false deal of both and disqualified Thazhampoo for use in Poojas and that there would be no temple on Earth for Brahmma.
Lord Vishnu took the form of a swine, dug the earth to reach the feet of Shiva but failed. Lord Vishnu honestly admitted his defeat. Thus the place was named Hari - Vishnu, Dwara-making pit, Mangalam-auspicious place – Haridwaramangalam. This incident happened on the 14th day of the waning moon period or Chaturdasi of Krishnapaksham in the Tamil month of Panguni or Phalgun month. This day is celebrated as Mahasivarathri.
This temple was once in a forest of Vanni trees and today, there is a lone tree standing in the temple premises, testifying itself as the Sthala Vriksham.
Covered pit in front of Shrine:
A covered pit in front of the shrine is said to have been dug by Vishnu in his Varaha Avatharam and enraged by this Shiva broke the horns of Varaha Moorthy and wore it as an ornament. The nearby Avalivanallur Shivastalam is also connected with Vishnu’s Varaha Avatharam legend.
Pancha Aranya Sthalams:
This is one of the Pancha Aranya (five jungles) shrines of Lord Shiva. It is believed that one should see all the five Pujas in these five temples in a single day and get the blessings of Lord Shiva. Thirukkarugavur is the Ushat Kala or wee hours, Avalivanallur Kalasanthi or morning, Haridwara Mangalam is the Uchikala or midday, Alangudi is Sayaratchai or twilight and Haridwaramangalam is the Arthajama or night. It is the staunch belief of the devotees that worshipping these temples simultaneously would reward the devotee of his worship in Haridwar in north. Haridwaramangalam is the third among this group of temples to be visited between 11am and Noon.