This temple is located in Thirunallaru. It has a very special legend surrounding the main deity, Lord Shiva. The story revolves around a cowherd, a king, a priest and the accountant of the temple.
The story goes like this. The king of the region allotted the duty of providing milk for the deity’s ‘abhishekam’ to a cowherd living in the area. The cowherd performed the said duty religiously and each morning gave the required amount of milk to the accountant who gave it to the priest who would offer it to the Lord. The cowherd performed his task diligently, with only love and devotion in his heart for Lord Shaneeshwara (Shiva).
However, the accountant, being a greedy man, decided to send half the milk given each day, back to his house to feed his family. Thus, the priest began receiving only half the required amount each morning and told the king about it.
The king arrived at the temple to investigate the matter. He called the priest, accountant and cowherd to the entrance of the main sanctum where the deity was housed. There, he rigorously questioned the involved members.
Though the cowherd knew that it was probably the accountant who had siphoned off half the milk, he didn’t tell the king of his suspicions as the accountant had powerful friends and great influence at the royal court, and thus, the cowherd’s version of events wouldn’t be believed by anyone. Therefore, the cowherd simply professed his innocence.
The king, not believing him, decided to punish the cowherd for his supposed crimes, at which point, the cowherd cried out to the Lord, asking him how he could be so cruel to his devotee and simply stand by as he was punished for a crime which he hadn’t even committed in the first place.
Suddenly, the statue of Shiva began moving!
It hurled the trident that it had been grasping at the accountant. It flew through the air and the Balipeedam (a raised platform where food is offered to the deity), afraid of the oncoming projectile, moved several meters away from its original position. The trident struck the accountant, who, in his last moments, confessed to the king about his crimes.
Convinced by the supernatural events, the king let the cowherd go. The Balipeedam can still be seen in its unusual position, as in other Shiva temples, the platform is unusually in a different place. Do visit the temple.Author: Mukil on January 11, 2019