Sri Mahalinga Swamy Temple Thiruvadamarudur, Tanjore, Tamil Nadu, India
This is a very old and huge temple. Generally all Siva Lingams installed in various temples will have specific names but this Sri Shiva is simply known as Sri Mahalingam (biggest Lingam) and devi is known as Sri Lima Sri Parvathi. The Lingam is known as Sri Mahalingam because it is believed that Lord Sri Shiva himself worshipped this Lingam. This temple is considered to be the centre temple known as Sri Madya Arjunam surrounded by 9 other Temples of Sri Shiva is Sri Parivara deivangal. Generally Sri Parivara Deivams like Sri Ganesha are installed inside the temple whereas here the Sri Parivara deivams are at different places surrounding the temple within a distance of 30 to 50km as given below
Lord Sri Vinayaga at Thiruvalamchuli.
Lord Sri Muruga at Swamimalai.
Lord Sri Nataraja at Chidambaram.
Sri Surya (Navagraha) at Aduthurai.
Lord Sri Dakshinamurthy at Aalangudi.
Lord Sri Bhairava at Sirzhakali.
Lord Sri Nandi at Thiruvavaduthurai.
Lord Sri Somaskander at Tiruvarur.
Sri Chandikeshwarar at Thiruvoypadi
There is also a small shrine inside the temple dedicated to Sri Mohambal and Meru Mountain. The legend is that the horse of a Pandya King named Varaguna Pandya killed a brahmin accidentally and was possessed by "Bhrahmahathi" (the spirit of a Brahmin who was killed accidentally by this king) and followed the king wherever he went and as a result, the king lost his peace of mind. One day he entered this temple through the main gopuram and the Bhrahmahathi could not follow him inside the temple. So it waited at the entrance for the return of the king. The king after worshipping the Sri Mahalinga went out through the rear exit and hence was relieved from the clutches of this spirit. The spirit is still waiting at the entrance; hence there is a small statue of the Brahmati in a sitting posture with one hand on his chin. Even now devotees enter this temple through the main gate and exit through the back gate. There is a huge Bull (Nandi) which is equivalent in size to the Nandi at Tanjore Periya Koil.
The car (Theru) of this temple is the second biggest in Tamil Nadu next to the one at Thivruvaroor and was out of commission for a long time. Thanks to the efforts of Poojya Swamiji Sri Dayananda Saraswathi the car was re commissioned this year. Swamiji composed a song in praise of this Sri Shiva starting with the words "MAHALINGA VIBHO" in Sanskrit. It is believed that Sri Adi Shankara too have visited this temple and explained the principles ofAdvaita to the local residents.