Marundeeswarar Temple is located in Thiruvanmyur, Chennai. It is one of the 275 paadal petra sthalams. Paadal petra sthalams are temples that have been glorified by the verses of Nayanars (Saivaite saints) and are some of the greatest Shiva temples in the continent. During the 11th century, the Chola kings expanded the temple.
Legend of the Marundeeswarar Temple
Legend has it that Lord Marundeeswarar imparted knowledge about the medicinal properties of different herbs and plants to sage Agastya. Since then, thousands of devotees from across the country visit the temple to cure various diseases and health problems. The temple, hence, derives its name from this instance. The word marundu stands for “medicines” and Eeshwarar stands for “god”, and together it means “the god of medicines”. Sage Valmiki, famous for writing the Ramayana, obtained blessings from Lord Shiva in this temple. Hence, this place obtained the name “Thiruvalmikiyur”. The name gradually changed to Thiruvanmyur.
Opposite to the Marundeeswarar temple, there is a temple built in the honor of sage Valmiki. The temple also houses the Lingam worshipped by Lord Hanuman. The Lingam cured the curse of Lord Indra and saint Bharadwaja worshipped it. It is believed that Markhandeya observed penance and prayed to Lord Shiva in this temple. Lord Brahma also celebrated a festival in honor of Lord Shiva in this temple. Another name of the deity is Palvanathar, as Kamadhenu, the sacred cow, is believed to have showered milk on the Lingam. According to another legend, the Sun and Moon worship Lord Marundeeswarar every day during sunset. As a result, the main shrine faces west.
The Marundeeswarar temple has a rich history. The road starting from the Marundeeswarar temple was an important route for the Chola kingdom, named Vadagaperuvazhi. It connected the kingdom to Thanjavur and other places in Andhra Pradesh. Additionally, in the shrine of Tripurasundari Amman, inscriptions dating back to the 11th century can be found. These inscriptions belonged to the period of Rajendra Chola.