Friday, September 16, 2016

Vedapuriswarar Temple, Cheyyar – Legends

Vedapuriswarar Temple, Cheyyar – Legends

Thirugnana Sambandar converting Male Palm Tree to Female Palm Tree:

During the Nayanmars period, the temple walls were getting destroyed due to the frequent floods in Cheyyar river as the temple was situated in the river bank. A Shiva devotee who looked after this temple raised the banks and planted palm trees to control the flooding of the temple. However, all the palm trees were male and did not yield any fruits. The Jains laughed at him and started mocking him by saying that this is the power of Lord Shiva who couldn’t change the male palm trees into fruit bearing (female) palm trees. Further, they challenged him that they would convert to Shaivism if their Lord Shiva change the male palm tree to fruit bearing female palm tree.

Thirugnana Sambandar visited this temple during this time. The devotee mentioned about the challenge made by Jains to him. Thirugnana Sambandar sung a Thevara pathigam and surprisingly all the male palm trees were transformed into female fruit bearing palm trees by the grace of Lord Shiva. On seeing this miracle, all the Jains in this place converted to Shaivism. A stone palm tree can be seen in front of the goddess Parvati shrine in this temple in memory of this event. Also, five fruit bearing female palm trees can be seen in the prakaram. It is believed that these trees are descendants of the transformed trees during Sambandar era.

Dakshayani performed penance here:

As per legend, Dakshayani, daughter of Dakshan and the granddaughter of Lord Brahma was married to Lord Shiva. Once, when Dakshan was performing a grand yagna, he intentionally failed to invite Lord Shiva. Dakshayani felt insulted and decided to visit the Yagna against the wishes of her husband to get clarification from her father to know the reason behind of not inviting his husband for the Yagna.

Daksha was arrogant and avoided interacting with Dakshayani. Further, he humiliated both Dakshayani and Lord Shiva. Dakshayani got furious and cursed her father that his Yagna would not be successful. She felt bad of being the daughter of the enemy of Lord Shiva. She decided to perform penance at Thiruvothur to seek relief from the sin of being the daughter of the enemy of Lord Shiva.


As per legend, when Thirugnana Sambandar visited Thiruvothur, the Jains conducted a Yagna and sent a poisonous snake to kill him. However, he redirected the snake back to the leader of the Jains. The distraught leader of the Jains realized the power of Sambandar and surrendered to him. Sambandar prayed to Lord Shiva who then appeared in the guise of a snake charmer and took the snake away. An idol of Nagalingam / Naganathar can be seen in this temple in memory of this event.

Cheyyatril Vendran:

As per legend,  the Jains invited Thirugnana Sambandar for a contest (Punal Vadham) even after their failed attempt to kill him. In this contest, the Jains threw Jain manuscript into the Cheyyar river and was carried away in the river. When Sambandar threw the Shaivite manuscript, it came back to the shore undamaged. The place where it reached the shore is called as Cheyyatril Vendran. The Jains accepted their defeat after this incident.

Nandi facing outside:

As per legend, King Thondaiman of the region was an ardent of Lord Vedapuriswarar. Once, he was defeated by his rival king Visvavasu. Due to the humiliating defeat, Thondaiman lost his confident and prayed to Lord Shiva to help him conquer the kingdom of King Visvavasu. Pleased with his prayers, Lord Shiva instructed Nandi to help Thondaiman to win the war. Nandi assisted Thondaiman to win his battle with Visvavasu. Thus, Nandi is facing towards outside as if it is ready to go with Thondaiman for the battle. As per another legend, Once, Lord Shiva was teaching Vedas to the devas and sages. So, he instructed Nandi to guard the entrance and not to allow anyone except the devas and sages. Hence Nandi is facing towards outside instead of facing the sanctum.


As per legend, Lord Shiva taught Vedas to the devas and sages at this place. Hence, Lord Shiva came to be called as Vedapureeswarar and the place came to be called as Thiru Vedapuram / Thiru Odhu Puram / Thiruvettipuram/ Thiruvothur.

Lord Murugan worshipped Lord Shiva here:

This temple is considered as one of the temples where Lord Murugan is believed to have worshipped Lord Shiva. It is believed that Cheyyar river is said to have been created by Lord Murugan.


As per legend, goddess Parvati made a line on the surface of the earth with her trisula to make a river for her son (Sei), Lord Murugan to play. Thus, the river came to be called as Cheyyaru (Sei means son and Aaru means river).

People worshipped Lord Shiva here:

It is believed that Murugan, Vinayaga, Bhairava, Dakshayani, Vishnu, Brahma, Surya, King Thondaiman, Sambandar, Appar, devas and sages had worshipped Lord Shiva here.

Lord Shiva performed his Veera Nadanam here:

As per legend, Lord Shiva is said to have performed his Veera Nadanam in this temple.