This shrine is closely associated with Tirutturutti
(Kutralam), Tiruvelvikkudi and Edirkolpaadi, through legends narrating Parvati's marriage
with Shiva and is located at a distance of 5 km from the Kutralam railway station near Mayiladuturai.
It is regarded as the 25th in the series of the Tevara Stalams in
Chola Nadu located north of the river Kaveri.
Legend has it that
Parvati who was reborn to Bharata Muni is married Shiva here, hence the name
Tirumanancheri, and Kalyanasundareswarar. Terezhundur,
Tiruvavaduturai, Tiruvelvikkudi, Tirutturutti, Tirumanancheri and Edirkolpaadi are the Shivastalams
in close proximity, linked
together by a common thread covering the legend of Shivas marriage with Parvati. Parvati
is said to have expressed her desire to Shiva to have the experience of an earthly
wedding; Shiva obliged and so she was reborn as the daughter of Bharata Muni. Shiva
emerged from the lingam at Tirutturutti; Bharata Muni approached Shiva and asked for his
hand in marriage to Parvati. The name Sonnavaararivaar stems from this legend that Shiva
kept his word.
A moat surrounds the temple, and the waters of the moat
are said to represent the seas which gathered to witness the marriage. Images of
Ganapathi, Nataraja, Dakshinamurthy, Lingodbhavar, Bhramma and Durga adorn the niches of
the sanctum. There is also a shrine to Varadarajar (Vishnu) with his consorts Sri Devi and
Bhu Devi in this temple.
The Nataraja, Kalyanasundarar, and Aadi Sesha images are of great beauty. The bronze
image of Kalyanasundarar here is similar to that at Tiruvelvikkudi. It dates back to the
period of Uttama Chola (10th century). The bronze images of Vinayakar, Pradoshamurthy,
Chandeswarar and Manikkavacakar are also of great workmanship. Inscriptions from as early
as the period of Parantaka Chola I are seen here (early 10th century). Inscriptions
regarding Sembiyan Mahadevi's endowments are also seen here. It is generaly inferred from
these inscriptions that the rebuilding of the original brick structure into a stone
structure commenced around the time of Parantaka Chola I, and was completed during the
time of Uttama Chola. This temple covers an area of about 3.5 acres. Shiva is
referred to as Arul Vallal here.
Also located in this village, is the temple of Madhyanneswarar, which was built during
the reign of Rajadiraja Chola III (1166-1182 CE). It contains inscriptions from the period
of Rajadiraja Chola III, Kulottunga III and Rajaraja III.
Festivals: Four worship services are offered each day here. The
Tirukkalyanam is celebrated in the month of Chittirai; Kartikai Deepam, Arudra Darisanam
and Navaratri are also celebrated here.