Sri Amruth Gadeswarar Temple Thirukadaiyur, Nagapattinam, Tamilnadu, India
This is a small village between Sirkazhi and Karaikal. The main deity is Siva known as Sri Amritha Gadeswarar. The goddess is Sri Abhirami Amman.The legend behind this Lord Sri Siva is as follows: when the devas and the Asuras churned the ocean of milk to obtain Amritham, the first thing to come out was Visha (poison) known as Alakala Visham, which if spilt on the earth would have destroyed the entire world. In order to save the earth Lord Sri Shiva swallowed the poison and just before it passed down his throat Goddess Sri Parvathi strangled Lord Sri Shiva’s throat and the poison settled there. From then on, Lord Sri Shiva was known as Sri Neelakanteshwara – The Blue Necked Lord. Ultimately, when the amritham came out in a pot from the ocean of milk it was stolen and hidden by Lord Sri Ganesha because he had not been worshipped by the devas and Asuras prior to beginning their venture. Since Sri Ganesha stole amritham he is known as Sri Thaskara Sri Ganesha in Sanskrit and Sri Kalla Pillaiyar in Tamil. When the devas and asuras worshipped Lord Sri Ganesha the amirtham was given back.Another legend says that sage Markendeya was born as a gifted and intelligent son of a rishi but was destined with a short life of only 16 years. The boy grew up as a Sri Shiva devotee and when he attained the age of 16 years, yama the Lord of death put his noose on the neck of Markendeya. Markendeya embraced the Sri Shiva Lingam and when Lord Yama put the noose around the Sri Shiva Lingam, Lord Sri Shiva came out of the Linga and saved Markendeya blessing him as Chiranjeevi, which meant that he would never age beyond 16 years.This place was originally known as Thiru Kadavoor. The legend states that Lord Brahma received Gnanopadesha from Lord Sri Shiva. Lord Sri Shiva composed all the gnanam inside a Vilva fruit and gave it to Brahma, who planted the seed of the fruit at this place. The seed grew into a Vilva Tree and later became the Vilva forest. Lord Sri Shiva, in the form of a Linga, appeared at the base of this tree. Hence, this place is also known as Vilva Aranya Kshetram. Even now, at this temple, this Vilva tree is worshipped first.The Lord Sri Shiva in this temple is known as Amritha Gadeswara whose worship will give the devotees long lift. Therefore many people come to this temple and perform the rituals for their 60th and 80th birthdays (Shastiabdapoorthi & Sada Abhishekam). One can see dozens of couples performing this Pooja in this temple every day.The Sri Devi Abhirami is also equally famous. A devotee of the devi was condemned to death by Sarbhoji Maharaja, the Maratha ruler of Tanjore for falsely predicting Pournami on an Amavasya day. The goddess saved his life by displaying her ear ring in the sky which appeared as a full moon to those on earth. This bhakta became very famous afterwards as he composed 100 couplets in praise of this goddess, popularly known as Sri Abhirami Andadi (meaning ending and beginning). This devotee later on came to be known as Sri Abhirami Bhattar.