Ramanatheeswarar Temple, Porur – Legends
This ancient temple is connected to the Ramayana period. According to the history, Lord Rama on his way to Sri Lanka rested here in this place which was then a forest. While resting under an Amla tree (‘Nelli’ in Thamizh), He realized that there was a Shiva Lingam under the ground and his feet had touched the head of the Lingam unknowingly. Lord Rama acquired a Dhosham as he had touched the Lingam with his feet.
So, he undertook a penance towards Lord Shiva for 48 days with just one Amla fruit as his food, to recover from the Dhosham and to bring out the Shiva Lingam. Lord Shiva pleased with Rama’s penance came out from the earth and gave Vishwaroopam Dharshan to Rama. Rama overwhelmed by the Lord’s mercy named the Shiva Lingam as Ramanatheswarar and worshipped him. Goddess Parvathi too appeared and gave Dharshan to Rama as Sivakama Sundari.
Lord Rama with sincere prayers worshipped Lord Shiva as his Guru and got to know the directions to reach the place where Mother Sita was kept under custody of Ravana and headed towards Sri Lanka. As Sri Rama worshipped Lord Shiva as his Guru, this place became a Guru Sthalam among 9 Navagraha Temples of Chennai (or Thondai Mandalam). Here Lord Shiva Himself is worshipped as Guru Bhagavan.
This place is also called Uthara Rameswaram, as Sri Rama worshipped Lord Shiva here, similar to Rameswaram. Also, according to temple sources, it is said that Porur was called as Uthara Rameswaram in ancient days. It is also said that; this temple is equivalent to Rameswaram and those who are not able to go pilgrimage to Rameswaram can visit this place and be blessed by the Lord.
The place Porur is called so due to the reason that Lord Rama when coming in search of Sita came to know the place where Sita is and went to wage war with Ravana. (Porukku ponathal Porur).
Offering of Sadari and Theertham:
The speciality of this temple is the offering of Sadari and Theertham to devotees. This is usually done only in Vishnu temples. This practice is followed here to honour Rama’s devotion to Lord Shiva.