This Shivastalam is the birthplace of Sundaramoorthy Nayanar. Tiruvennainallur
closely associated with Sundaramoorthy Nayanaar is located nearby. Also located nearby is Tirumundeeswaram or Gramam. Tirunavalur is also known as
Tirunamanallur. This is the 8th of the 22 Tevara Stalams in the Nadu
Naadu region of Tamilnadu.
Legend has it that Shiva here was worshipped by
Parvati, Vishnu, Chandikeswarar, Sukran and Garudan. Images depicting the life of
Chandikeswarar are seen carved in the temple. The Shivalingam placed across from Sukran's
shrine is referred to as Sukralingam.
The Temple: Rajaditya Chola, the son of Parantaka Chola, was stationed
as the commander of the Chola army at Mouli Gramam (known as Gramam today) nearby;
Tirunavalur was then known as Rajadityapuram, and the Shiva temple was referred to as
Rajadityeswaram. Inscriptions here, refer to the existence of Kalinareeswaram, a Shiva
temple from the Pallava period, and a Vishnu temple (Tiru Metrali Maha Vishnu temple) and
the Agastyeswarar temple, none of which exist now. The stone structure of the Tirunavalur
temple came into being during the time of Parantaka and Rajaditya. Krishna III, the
Rashtrakoota ruler, then took over this area (957-968 AD); it was then recaptured by the
Cholas during the time of Raja Raja Chola. This temple then enjoyed the patronage of the
Cholas; mention must be made of inscriptions relating to endowments made to the Nataraja
Tirunavaleeswarar is also known as Tiruttondeeswarar or Bhaktajaneswarar or
Rajaditta Eswaram Udaiyaar.
Dakshinamurthy is portrayed in a standing posture here, bearing scriptures in one hand,
with the right hand placed on a rishabham portrayed behind.
A five tiered rajagopuram adorns the entrance to this temple. There is a shrine for
Sundaramoorthy Nayanar in this temple. The bronze images of Natarajar, Bhikshatanar and
Sundaramoorthy Nayanar are noteworthy. There is also a shrine to Varadaraja Perumal in
this temple. Ambal's shrine is located in a separate enclosure, also facing east.
Two theerthams the Gomukhi Theertham and thenGaruda Theertham adorn this temple. True
to the name of the village, the Naaval maram is the stala vriksham in this shrine as in Jambukeswaram in Chola