Ammai Nathar Temple, Cheranmahadevi – Legends
Legend of Nandanar:
The popular legend of Nandanar, the great devotee of Lord Shiva, is associated with this temple too. Nandanar was born in a Dalit family sometime between 7th and 9th century CE. He was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. In those days, the people from his community were not allowed inside the temple. He used to worship and pray standing outside the temple entrance. He visited many sites. He also came to Cheranmahadevi and visited Ammai Nathar temple from outside. He obviously could not see Lord Shiva. Shiva ordered his mount Nandi to move away so that his devotee could get direct sight of him. Thus, in this temple, Nandi is found slightly moved away from the center.
Builder of this Temple:
The temple, which is believed to be around 1100 years, was originally built by two poor farmer ladies. Both the ladies were labourers and they used to collect rice daily and offer it to Shiva Linga idol in this site. They were worried that the idol did not have a temple. Lord Shiva made them very rich. Both of them used their wealth to build this massive temple. Later, this temple was renovated by Kulothunga Chola I.
Romasa Maharishi was one of the disciples of Sage Agasthiar. He is the grandson of Lord Brahma, the Creator. He decided to go for penance in order to get Liberation. So he went to his Guru Agasthiar and told him about his wish and asked him, how to do the tapas (means penance). His Guru Agasthiar advised him to pluck nine flowers and makes them to float on River Tamirabarani so that each flower will get dock at various places.
He advised him to install Shiva Linga on those places and asked him to worship there to get liberation. As said by Sage Agasthiyar Romasa Maharishi did the same. The first flower docks at Papanasam. Second flower at Cheranmahadevi, third at Kodakanallur, fourth flower at Kunnathur (Sangani), fifth flower at Murappanadu, sixth at Sri Vaikundam, seventh flower at Then Thirupperai, eighth flower at Raajapathi and the last one ninth flower at Poomangalam.
So Romasa Maharishi built temples on those places and worshipped and in due course attained mukthi. The speciality of these temples at each of these Navakailasam temples is considered as an abode of one of the Navagrahams. So making a pilgrimage trip to all the nine temples in shot will have the same effect of what you will get on worshipping at Navagraha Temples.