Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Adhi Rathneswarar Temple, Thiruvadanai – Legends

Adhi Rathneswarar Temple, Thiruvadanai – Legends


Vaaruni is the son of Varuna, the God of rain. Once, he stayed in the Ashram of Sage Durvasa along with his friends. Sage Durvasa was in deep meditation in one day. Vaaruni’s friends played in the Ashram using the fruits and flowers in the ashram and disturbed the penance of the sage Durvasa.  The angry sage cursed Vaaruni for his deed to become a strange creature with the head of a goat (Aadu) and body of an elephant (Yanai). Vaaruni realized his folly and consulted the sages nearby. They suggested him that he should go to this temple in the Pandya kingdom, pray to Lord Shiva for his remedy. 

Vaaruni followed the advice. Lord appeared before him and enquired his wish. Vaaruni in his Aja Gaja (Aadu-Yanai) form begged the Lord that his life should be a lesson to those behaving badly towards respectful elders and that this place should be known as Thiru Aadu Yanai (Thiruvadanai) till the end of Kaliyuga. Lord Shiva granted his and the place came to be called as Thiruvadanai. Lord Shiva came to be called as Aadanai Nathar and Aja Gajeswarar. He also regained his normal form after worshiping Lord Shiva at this temple.

Adhi Rathneswarar:

Lord Surya (Sun) was very proud of his radiating power. When the brightness on Lord Shiva rose up, Nandhi, the bull vehicle of the Lord Shiva, drew it, the Sun losing his brightness. Sun begged Nandhi to show him the solution. Nandi advised Sun to worship Lord of Thiruvadanai installing him on a seat made of sapphire gems for remedy.  Sun being the Adhi - first among the nine planets worshipped Lord Shiva. Hence, Lord Shiva came to be called as Adhi Rathneswarar. When abishek is performed on the Lord, he turns blue.

Arjuna got the knowledge of using Pasupatha Asthra here:

As per legend, Arjuna got the Pasupatha missile from Lord Shiva during the exile of Pandavas. Arjuna was asked by Lord Shiva to come to Thiruvadanai to know how to use the weapon. As a mark of his devotion, Arjuna installed the Somaskanda in this temple.


Thiruvadanai is believed to have been covered with Vilva forest and hence the place came to be called as Vilvavanam.

Drop of nectar fell here:

It is said that a drop of nectar (Amrita) from Deva Loka fell here and created this place.


Those worship Lord Shiva of this temple will attain Salvation (Mukthi). Hence, the place came to be called as Mukthipuram.

People worshipped Lord Shiva here:

Sages Agasthya, Sage Brighu, Markandeya and divine cow Kamadhenu had worshipped Lord Shiva of this temple

Other Names:

Thiruvadanai is also called as Parijatha Vanam, Vilvavanam, Mukthipuram, Adhi Rathneswaram, Markandeyapuram and Gomkuktheeswaram.

Existence of Thiruvadanai in all four Yugas:

It is said that Thiruvadanai is in existence in all four Yugas.