The Chola Queen Sembian Mahadevi rebuilt this temple in stone during the 10th century. The temple faces towards the west and has a sanctum and an "Ardha Mandapam". Inscriptions from the period of Rajaraja Chola are found here. The niche images include those of "Ardhanareeswarar", "Goddess Durga", "Bhikshatanar", "Lord Brahma", "Lingodbhavar", "Lord Dakshinamurthy", "Sage Agastyar" and "Natarajar".
Legend of Achaleswaram Temple
Naminandi Adigal, one of the 63 Nayanmars, was worshipping Lord Achaleswarar every day without fail. One evening when he came to the temple, he noticed that the lamp was nearly extinguishing as the ghee was exhausted. He approached some neighbours for ghee. They belonged to a different faith and mocked at Naminandi Adigal. Being mocked by the neighbours, he prayed to Lord Shiva who instructed to bring water from the tank in the temple and light the lamp. He lighted all the lamps in the temple with water instead of ghee. The whole temple became bright as in the day with sun rays.
Hearing the wonderful devotion of Naminandi Adigal, the Chola king made him the head of the temple administration and offered all help to conduct the festivals in the temple. The Jains who mocked at Adigal regretted their attitude. The shade of the presiding deity would fall only eastward.
(Last Updated on : 20-11-2015)
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