This Shivastalam is a Maadakkovil built at an elevation and this hillock
is referred to as Sundaragiri. It is located at a distance of 6
km from Kumbhakonam. The Shivalingam here is believed to manifest itself in five different
colors in a day (hence Panchavarneswarar). Aavoor Pasupateeswaram is
considered to be the 20th in the series of Tevara Stalams in the Chola
kingdom located south of the river Kaveri.
Legends: Agasthyar is said
to have been blessed with a vision of the marriage of Shiva here. Bhringi Muni and
Narasimhar are said to have worshipped here. Tirunallur is also referred to as Dakshina
Kailasam; and it is related to the legend of the trial of strength between Vayu and
Adisesha where a peak of Mt. Meru (Sundaragiri) fell at Nallur and
formed a Shivalingam. Legend also has it that Kunti the mother of the
Pandavas bathed at the Saptasagara theertham; there is an image of
Kunti in the temple. It is also believed that Mucukunda Chola
associated with Tiruvarur, placed the
image of Tiruvarur Tyagaraja at this shrine (enroute to Tiruvarur) for
a three day period and offered worship here.
The Temple: An image of Kalyanasundareswarar and his consort are seen
in the sanctum behind the Shivalingam. Two worship services are offered here each day. During the annual
festival, festival images of deities from nearby towns converge to participate. The
practice of placing an icon containing the imprint of the deity's feet on the heads of
devotees is carried out here like in Vaishnavite temples, commemorating Appar's surrender
at the deity's feet here at Tirunallur. The image of Natarajar here is of great beauty.
Inscriptions from the period of Rajaraja I and from the period of Uttama Chola are seen
here, in addition to several from later years.