Legends: Mahalakshmi prayed to Shiva here and was united with Mahavishnu here. Yama worshipped Shiva here and so did Brahma, Parasarar, Indra and Atri. The sandal stalavriksham gives the name Chandanaranyam to the shrine. Mahalakshmi's 'Vaanchai' and her prayers were answered give it the name Tiruvanchiyam.
Temple: It has three prakarams and several gopurams and vimanams. The temple occupies an area of three acres. The large Gupta Ganga tank is located close to it. The original stone structure dates back to Kulottonga Chola I (1075-1120). Renovation of the entire temple and the shrine took place during the rule of Rajaraja Chola II (1146-1172 CE).
A dip in the temple tank on Sundays in the month of Scorpio is considered sacred here. There are two separate shrines to Dakshinamurthy. There is a shrine to Yama, and Shiva is taken in procession on Yama's mount on the Bharani asterism in the month of Maasi. The miracle of a Naga kannika (Snake princess) who worshipped Shiva and became one with Him as Ammai Appan.
Festivals: The annual Bhrammotsavam is celebrated in the month of Kartikai. Aadi Pooram, Navaratri and Sundays in the month of Kartikai are also considered special.
(Last Updated on : 16-09-2010)
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