Paabhahareeswarar Temple, Tharatchi – Legends
A devotee, Govindan by name was lucky to get a small Bana Linga of palm size when he was bathing in the Holy Ganga in one fine morning in Kasi-Varanasi. His joy knew no bounds, he danced, embraced it on the chest holding by both palms-Ullangai in Tamil - kept it on his head with all ecstasy in mind. He brought it to this temple. As he brought a palm size Linga – Ullangai Linga - he was praised as Ullangai Lingam Konarndha Nayanar – Nayanar bringing this palm size Linga.
It is noteworthy that this devotee was a cousin brother of Udayavar Sri Ramanuja of Sri Vaishnava philosophy. He came to the Saivite camp then. It is also said that Nayanar worshipped this Linga while he was in Kalahasti temple. After placing the Linga in the temple, Govindan returned to Vaishnavism and became the disciple of Acharya Sri Ramanuja.
Govindan was also awarded the Embar title by the Acharya and taught the Vaishnava Mantras. As directed by Acharya Ramanuja, Chandragiri king Kattithevan Yadavarayan built this beautiful Shiva temple for Embar Govindan. With a desire that this Shiva temple should be equal and famous as the Thillai Chidambaram Nataraja temple, the king lavishly donated lands to the temple for its maintenance, daily pujas etc. as per Agama rules.
The temple is located on the banks of Arani River considered equal to the holy Ganga and the place to Kasi-Varanasi. It is the staunch belief of the devotees that a dip in the river and worship of Lord would totally cleanse them of their sins and doshas, hence, Lord is praised as Papa Hareswarar – Lord who relieves devotees from sins. A small Bana Linga brought from Kasi also adores the sanctum sanctorum with presiding deity.