Mahalingeswarar Temple, Thavasi Medai – The Temple
The Temple is unique of the presence of two Ambikas. Presiding deity, Lord Mahalingeswarar graces facing east. In the shrine, right to him, there are two Ambicas namely Maragathavalli and Manikkavalli. The idols of Ambicas are smaller in size. They are close to the wall facing south. The devotee has to peep closely into the shrine to have their darshan. They represent two powers – Icha Shakti and Gnana Shakti. Worshipping them would benefit the devotee with wisdom to know God.
Sage Bharadhwaja performed intense penance here controlling his senses sitting on a platform. Hence, the place is known as Odukkam Thavasi Medai meaning the platform where the sage sat to perform penance. Sages worship Lord Shiva in a formless state. Therefore, to avoid any likely interruption through women, the Ambicas are in a corner.
Bhairava shrine is generally on the northeast corner in the temple. Here, He is just opposite Lord Shiva. As Lord Mahalingeswarar is all powerful, it is said that to protect the devotees from the scorching heat (Ugra), Bhairava is installed here balancing the temperature. Bhairava here is known as Aadhi Bhairava. There is a hole behind the Bhairava through which the devotees worship Lord Shiva and Bhairava before entering the temple.
Following Shivarathri, the rays of Sun God continuously fall on the Lord for thirty days during mornings and on Bhairava during the evenings. There are two Peetas at the entrance of the temple attributed to sage Bharadhwaja in the form so that the feet of the devotees may touch him. Jeeva Samadhis of Surya Moorthy Swamy Siddhar & Maarimuthu Swamy Siddhar are situated inside the Temple premises.