Sri Adhi Ratneswarar temple
Moolavar : Adhi Ratneswarar
Amman / Thayar : Snehavalli
Thala Virutcham : Vilwa
Theertham : Surya Pushkarini
Old year : 1000-2000 years old
The temple is praised by Saint Tirugnanasambandar in his Thevaram hymns. This is the 9th temple in Pandya region praised in Thevaram hymns.
This is one of the Shiva temples offering pujas to Sun God. Sun worshipped Lord Shiva placing Him on a stage - Avudayar – made of sapphire gems, hence the name of the Lord, Adhi Ratneswarar. When abishek is performed during midday, Lord appears blue.
This is one of the 14 Shiva temples praised in Thevaram hymns. Sages Agasthya, Markandeya and divine cow Kamadenu had worshipped Lord of this temple. Lord Muruga in the temple is praised in the Tirupugazh hymns of saint Arunagirinathar.
Devotees pray to Lord Adhi Ratneswarar for relief from the evil effects of past deeds. Special Sukhra (Venus planet) Homas are performed on Mother for child boon. Those under planet Shukra’s main or sub-periods are advised to pray to Mother in this temple.
Those consulting Nadi astrology in Tiruvannamalai and Vaitheeswaran Koil come to this temple to perform the remedial pujas.
Three yard sticks are used to decide the reputation of great temples, viz. Murthy, Sthala and Theertha. Temples are famous for one or two of these aspects and some have all the three attributes. Thiruvadanai Adhi Ratneswarar temple has all the three attributes. Lord Shiva is a swayambu. He is also praised as Aadanai Nathar and Aja Gajeswarar. The sacred springs are Surya Pushkarini, Varuna, Vaaruni, Markandeya, Aghasthya and Kamadenu theerthams. During their exile, Pandavas brother Arjuna got the pasupatha missile from Lord Shiva. He was asked by the Lord to come to Thiruvadanai to know how to use the weapon. As a mark of his bhakti, Arjuna installed the Somaskanda in the temple, according to a story.
Sun was very proud of his radiating power. When the brightness on Lord rose up, Nandhi the bull vehicle of the Lord drew it, the Sun losing his brightness. Sun begged Nandhi to show him the solution. Nandi advised Sun to worship Lord of Thiruvadanai installing Him on a seat made of sapphire gems for remedy. Sun being the Adhi-first among the nine planets worshipped Lord Shiva Adhi Ratneswarar as suggested. When abishek is performed on the Lord, He turns blue.
Mother Snehavalli is the deity for planet Shukra-Venus. The temple is famous for Shukra worship.
Vaaruni is the son of Varuna the God of rain. One day he stayed in the Ashram of Sage Durvasa who was in deep meditation. Vaaruni’s friends played there using the fruits and flowers in the ashram and disturbed the penance of the sage. The angry sage cursed Vaaruni for his deed to become a strange creature with the head of a goat (Aja) and body of an elephant (Gaja). In Tamil the name will be Aadu (goat) and Aanai (elephant), hence the name of the place Thiru Aadu Aanai – Thiruvadanai. Vaaruni realized his folly. Sages nearby suggested that he should go to this temple in the Pandya kingdom, pray to Lord Shiva for his remedy. Vaaruni followed the advice. Lord appeared before him and enquired of his wish. Vaaruni in his Aja Gaja (Aadu-Yanai) form begged the Lord that his life should be a lesson to those behaving badly towards respectful elders and that this place should be known as Thiruvadanai till the end of Kaliyuga. Lord granting his wish, the place came to be known with the suffix Thiru Aadu Aanai – Thiruvadanai.