Many are the temples of Lord Shiva spread across the country. Kerala is one among the states where the Lord has manifested in numerous temples to the call and cause of His d devotees. One such temple is Thiruvanchikkulam.
The Legends Surrounding Tiruvanchikkulam
It is said that Lord Shiva Himself revealed the Mahatmyam of Thiruvanchikkulam. After the Daksha Yaga and Devi Sati's deha tyaga, Shiva lifted up the remains of Sati's body and went into a fierce thaandav(dance). Vishnu, realizing the aftermath of the thaandav, released his Sudarsana and cut the Devi's body into 108 pieces. It is said that the Devi's lips fell at Thiruvanchikulam. The lips are still chanting 'Pranavom' and Shiva Panchakshari – Om Namasivaya. The shrine of Sakthi Panchakshari occupies this location.
The Scar On The Linga
The Swayambhoo Linga, here, is at ground level. It is believed that Goddess Ganges is present here. It is said that there's a scar mark at the left side top of the Linga. It is believed that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi appeared before Arjuna in the form of kirata (hunters), and Arjuna, mistaking their identity, hit the kirata on his forehead.
Lord Shiva's Wedding And Sage Agasthya
Once all the Devathas went to Kailasam to attend the marriage of Lord Siva & Devi Parvathi, Bhoomi Devi could not balance the weight. So she approached Lord Siva. Shiva said that somebody equivalent to Lord Siva should go to South side. Lord Siva then mentioned that there is nobody equivalent to Him, yet He remains in the heart of Agasthya Muni like He is residing at Kailasam. So, as per the instructions of Lord Siva, Agasthya Muni and his consort Lopamudra Devi went to the south and settled at Agastyakootam. Though they had missed the opportunity of witnessing the divine wedding, Shiva said that they will get an opportunity to meet both Siva and Parvathy at Thriuvanchikulam and to perform Dampathy Pooja, since they will be there for spending the days after their marriage.
One day as Devi Lopamudra was doing poojas – there was no water. Then Devi prayed and Ganga Matha herself come and made available as Ganga Theertham. The same also can be seen in the temple.
Sundarar & Cheraman Perumal
There were 63 Saivite saints and Shri Sundarar was one among the well known. He was called "Thambiran Thozhan" - meaning "Friend of Lord Shiva".
He was born in Thirunavaloor, near Viluppuram, Tamil Nadu. The Chera King "Cheraman Perumal" came to Thiruvaroor and Sundarar extended a warm welcome. After a brief stay, Sundarar accompanied Cheraman to Kerala after visiting various temples enroute to Kodungalloor.
Returning to Kerala to his friend Cheraman at the age of 18, He prayed to the Lord Thiru Anchikkulathappar to detach him off worldly pleasures. Answering his prayers, Lord Shiva ordered Sundarar to be brought in 1000-Tusked-white elephants to Kailash, and Cheraman Perumal Nayanar on a blue horse. Sundarar thought of Cheraman on his way. Cheraman, on his horse, circled Sundarar three times and reached Kailash before him. Sundarar was moved by the grace of God showered on Him and His friend Cheraman, He sang the song 'Thirukkayilaya Ula' in praise of the Lord there. The Rain God, Lord Varuna had the song reach the temple of Thiruvanchikkulam safely through rain.
It is said that Parasurama, after his 'matruhatya', came to this place and prayed to Shiva for emancipation from his sins to which Shiva and Parvati manifested before him and blessed him. It was Parasurama who set the pooja karmas at the temple.