Kottur Kozhundeeswarar Temple – Legends
Indra made Vajrayudha from the back bone of Sage Thatheesi:
Demon Vruddhasura was harassing the Devas in a terrible way. Their king Indira appealed to Lord Brahmma for protection. He said that Indira had to get the back bone of Sage Thatheesi, make a Vajrayudha weapon of it and should apply it on the demon and that alone could kill him. Lord Brahmma also explained the secret of the strength of the back bone of the sage. Before joining the churning the milk ocean, all the Devas entrusted their weapons with the sage.
The sage simply put all their weapons safely in his mouth and continued his penance then. All the weapons melted and merged with his back bone making it miraculously strong. When Indira approached the sage and expressed his purpose and wish, the sage calmly parted with his back bone. Indira killed the demon with the weapon but incurred the Brahmahatti Dosha the impact of the highest sin. Indira approached his Guru for solution.
He advised him to go to earth and perform Shiva puja and that he would find a Shivalinga at a place under a Vanni tree made of drops of nectar. Guru also advised Indira to create a spring and perform abishek to Lord with the water then. Indira followed the advice of the Guru scrupulously and freed himself from the sin. As Indira worshipped Lord here, the place was named Indirapuram and also Kottur as his white elephant Iravadham drew a line (kodu in Tamil) in the place.
Celestial Dancer Ramba performed severe penance here:
Noted dancer of the celestial world Ramba was cursed to go to Earth for some wrongs she committed. She performed severe penance facing the Lord of the temple pressing her left leg, bending the right and placing the left hand on the right leg and the right hand on the head surrounded by burning fire to go back to her place.
Worshipped by Devas, Brahma, Indra, Airavatam and Indrasena
The divine elephant Airavatam is associated with this temple and hence the name Airaavateeswaram.
Brahmma worshipped Lord Shiva here:
Brahma worshiped Lord Siva under Vanni tree, which is Sthala Vriksham of the temple, and he was blessed by Lord Siva.
Indrasenan worshipped Lord Shiva here:
Indrasenan worshiped Lord here, to pardon him for having ill-treated Brahmins.
Pithru Parihara Sthalam:
Sthala Purana says rituals for ancestors can be performed in this place.