Sivasailanathar Temple, Sivasailam – Legends
Appearance of Shivalingam:
It is told that a landlord had many cows in his house. Usually, he made his labourers milk the cows, but one day all the cows refused to give milk. The labourers complained about this leading the owner to get angry and he chased all his cows and labourers from his house. All the cows gathered on a hill with a rock upon it and flooded their milk upon the rock. On the place of this flooding of milk a Shivalingam appeared. He is known as Sivasailanathar. Sivasailanathar is the main God for the temple.
Sivasailanathar saved a Priest:
It is told that once a Pandya king came to the temple and received prasadam from the priest. The priest gave him a garland in which there was a hair. The king got angry with the priest. However, as the priest was pure and truly devoted to Sivasailanathar, Sivasailanathar thought to save the priest and he sent a vision to the king to not get angry with the priest and told the king I had a hair in the back. The next day king came to temple and saw jadamudi (long tresses) back of the lingam and the king became very happy and got a vision of Shivalingam.
There are lines that appear like hair in the back of the statue. Hence he is also called as Sadaiappar. This can be seen through a hole while circumambulating at the back of the main sanctum from where one can see the lines from top like hairs falling down at the back of Siva Lingam. This is visible only when the Archakar gives Aarathi at the back of Siva Lingam.
People worshipped Lord Shiva here:
Sages Brighu and Athiri worshipped Lord Shiva here.