Sunday, April 13, 2014
Legend has it that the 63 Nayanmars, the minstrels whose songs of Siva are so uplifting that the Nayanmars themselves are considered near-divine, have sung specifically about 275 of Siva's temples. These 275 are considered to be paadal petra sthalams and are considered a notch above the vaippu sthalams, which are those shrines that were 'mentioned' in the Nayanmars' compositions. Of of the 275, three are in Chennai - Tiruvottiyur, Mylapore and then this one at Thiruvanmiyur.
The locality the temple is in takes its name from Valmiki, but it is said that one of the reasons for him to be here was to recover from some illness; it was a blessing from Siva, in the form of Marundeeswarar who cured Valmiki. The form itself was assumed to cure Surya (the Sun God) and Chandra (the Moon God), as well as the sage Agastyar - and it was the last who named this form Marundeeswarar - the Lord of Medicines!