Ancient Temples of India have stories to convey, but they are not stories but facts corroborated by internal and external evidence.
Events narrated in different Puranas and Ithihasas check with the local sthala puranas. Sthala Puranas are local legends associated with the temple present in the city.
They appear to be stories but in reality it is History.
This, I found out while researching on the places visited by Lord Rama.
The basic text for Ramayana is Valmiki Ramayana.
I also visit temples often to find out more about history.
During the time I was figuring out the places visited by Lord Rama , I found some sthala puranas of temples to be quite outrageous at the first look when compared with the text of Valmiki Ramayana.
Rama is believed to have performed Tharpan for Jatayu at Vaitheswaran koil in Tamil Nadu.
And there is another temple in Andhra Pradesh where Rama performed Tharpana for Jatayu!
Looked ludicrous. .
On checking Valmiki Ramayana , I found that Ravana cut the wings/feathers of Jatayu one by one.
Jatayu persisted and flew despite losing wings/feathers and Lord Rama seems to have performed Sraddha/Tharpan at each place where the feather had fallen!
In Kanda Purana in Tamil Lord Subrahmanya,Karthikeya annihilated the Rakshasas Sura padman and his brothers at Thiruchendur, Tamil Nadu.
The Devas prayed Lord Shiva to relieve them of the sufferings they were being subjected to by Sura Padma and Shiva proomised to take action.
Then SUBRAHMANYA was born.
He was presented with a special weapon by Devi.
Then He went on to annihilate Sura at Thiruchendur.
Look at the places in the above sequence
Palani Saravana Poigai where Muruga was born,
He was given the Vel, Spear at Sikkil Tamil Nadu.
The place the Devas prayed Shiva was at Thiruverumbur,.
These form a logical sequence.
The temple at Thiruverumbur is very anciet and this was where Devas prayed to Lod Shiva.
Thiruverumbur means city of Ants!
The devas were aoprehensive that the Asurasigjt find out about their intentions to pray to Shiva and prevent and they assumed the form of Ants to prevent detection.
As the SHIVA LINGA was made of Anthills, it might slip if people try to climb.
This is also a reason for Devas assuming the Form of Ants.
At Thiruverumbur one finds the Linga to be slighly tilted and the Shiva Linga is made of Anthill.
Onle the base is made of Stone.
So there are no Abhishekas excepting Tailakkaapu , anointing with oil.
The temole is about an hours run from Thiruchirapalli and there are a lot of Buses on the Chennai route where the town lies.
Railway Station.. Thiruverumbur/ Thiruchirapalli.
The temple is believed to cure mental tension.
There is a small idol of Kasi Viswanatha Linga behind the Sanctum of Thiruverumbur Shiva Ling.
There is a small slit at the top of the sancrum at the back.
Sun’s Rays kiss the Viswanatha as Linga for apbout 15 minutes and it does not touch the idols adjacent to Kasi Viswanatha.
I observed this between 845 and 9 am.
‘ The temple’s main shrines and its two prakarams (outer courtyards) are on top of the hill, while a hall and the temple tank are located at the foothills. Shiva is believed to have transformed himself into an ant hill and tilted his head at this place to enable ants to climb up and worship him. Erumbeeswarar is revered in the canonical 7th-century Tamil Saiva work the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as nayanmars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam.
The temple is one in a series built by Aditya Chola (871-907 CE) along the banks of river Cauvery, to commemorate his victory in the Tirupurambiyam Battle. It has several inscriptions from the Chola Empire dating back to the 10th century. The temple has been declared a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India and is locally referred as “Kailash of South India”.
Erumbeeswarar temple is located atop a 60 feet (18 m) hill with a flight of granite steps to the top. Since the temple is atop a hill, it is locally called “Malai Kovil” (meaning hill temple). The temple complex has two prakarams (outer courtyard) and a two-tiered rajagopuram (gateway tower). The central shrine faces east and holds the image of Erumbeeswarar (Shiva) in the form of lingam made of mud mound. The granite images Ganesha (son of Shiva and god of wisdom), Murugan (son of Shiva and god of war), Nandi (the bull and vehicle of Shiva) and Navagraha (nine planetary deities) are located in the hall leading to the sanctum. As in other Shiva temples of Tamil Nadu, the first precinct or the walls around the sanctum of Erumbeeswarar has images of Dakshinamurthy (god of knowledge), Durga (warrior-goddess) and Chandikeswarar (a saint and devotee of Shiva). The central image of Erumbeeswarar is made of mud mound and is referred by other names like Erumbeesar, Mathuvaneswarar, Manikoodalachapathi, Piplikesvarar and Manickanathar. The inscriptions in the temple refer Erumbeeswarar as Thirumalai Alwar, Thiruverumbur Alwar and Thiruverumburudaya Nayanar. The shrine of the consort-goddess Narunguzhal Nayagi Amman, facing south, is located in the second precinct of the temple. The second precicnt is surrounded by granite walls. Narunguzhal Nayagi Amman is referred by other names like Sugantha Kuzhalal, Soundra Nayagi, Madhuvaneswari and Rathnambal.
According to Hindu legend, there lived a demon (asura) Tharukasuran, who conquered Prithvi (earth) and Svarga (heaven). Indra, the leader of celestial deities and other gods suffered at the hands of Tharukasuran and sought the help of the creator-god Brahma, who asked them to worship Shiva in Thiruverumbur. In order to deceive Tharukasuran, the devas transformed into ants and reached the temple. Since the surface of the lingam (aniconic form of Shiva) was slippery, the ants found it difficult to climb up and worship. Shiva transformed himself into an ant hill and slid his head, which enabled the ants to climb and worship. Hence the name Erumbeeswarar is derived from Erumbu meaning ant and Easwaran referring to Shiva. This is one of the three places where Shiva slid his head for his worshippers, the other two being the temples at Virinjipuram and Thiruppanandal. The temple is also referred as Rathinakoodam, Thirverumbipuram, Erumbeesam, Brahmapuram, Laskhmipuram, Madhuvanam, Rathnakoodapuram, Manikoodapuram and Kumarapuram in various religious literature. The temple is locally called as Kailash (the abode of Shiva) of South India.
Citation and reference.