Avinashi Lingeswarar Temple, Avinashi – Legends
Sundarar bringing back the life of a boy swallowed by a Crocodile:
Sundaramurthi Nayanar was passing through the town of Avinashi on his way to meet Cheraman Peruman. While going along a street he observed two houses overlooking each other. He couldn't help but notice the contradictory auras emitting from both houses: one of joy and the other of sorrow. Enquiring about the event he came to know the reason behind the incongruity. Two boys, of the same age went for a swim in a river nearby. While they were having their bath a crocodile appeared all of a sudden out of nowhere and consumed one of them.
The child who managed to survive was 8 years old and was going through his 'Upanayanam' (Sacred thread ceremony) on the specific day. Hence one of the houses was in a joyous mood celebrating the boy's escape from the jaws of death. The other house which had lost a boy was mourning over his death and therefore was filled with sorrow. For the irony was that had the other boy been alive he too would be going through his 'Upanayanam'.
Sage Sundarar immediately went to the temple and demanded the Lord to direct the crocodile to give back the boy it swallowed three years ago when he was four. He prayed to Lord with a Pathigam (10 verses). As he sang the fourth stanza begging the Lord to direct the crocodile to return the boy, to the joy of all around him, the crocodile brought back the boy with the growth he would have at the age of seven. Sundarar took the boy to the parents and arranged his Upanayanam too.
This is a great event related with this temple. During the Panguni Uthiram festival in March-April, Mudalai Vai Pillai – boy in the grip of the crocodile – Utsavam is celebrated for three days. There is a shrine to Sundarar on the banks of the temple tank. Since the boy came out of crocodile's mouth, the place is called Pukkoliyur.
Temple relationship with Mysore Royal Family:
The temple has a close relationship with Mysore royal family. In early days, the king designate in the family, will go to Kasi, bring a Linga from there and perform the puja in this temple and only then assume power and other responsibilities, it is said.
People worshipped Shiva in this Temple:
Avinasi indicates the one that cannot be destroyed indicating Shiva's grace to his devotees. Brahma is said to have worshipped the Shiva here for hundred years. The elephant of Indiran, Iravadham is said to have worshipped at this temple for twelve years.