The temple, built by the Cholas during the 12th century, (though inscriptions evidence the 5th century) is regarded as a sacred Shaivaite temple in that it is one of the 5 majestic cosmic dance halls (pancha sabhai) of Lord Shiva, known as “Ratna Sabai”. The other 4 “Sabais” are Chidambaram- Kanaka Sabhai, Meenakshi Amman Temple(Madurai – Rajatha Sabhai), Thirukutralam – Chitra Sabha and sepparai Temple (Tirunelveli – Tamira Sabhai).
- Of the five celebrated dance fame temples of Lord Shiva, this is the Gem Sabha – Rathna Sabha.
- The region was a jungle of banyan trees where Lord Shiva rose as a swayambu. Lord is hence named Vada Aaranya Easwarar – Lord of jungle of north.
- The shrine’s importance is enhanced by the mystic location of the temple on what was once a forest of banyan trees.
- The sthala Vriksham is a large banyan tree located behind the sanctum on the North East.
- It is here in this temple that Lord Shiva requested the great Karaikkal Ammeiyar (Peyar) to undertake a marathon walk to Mount Kailash on her hands and be an omnipresent witness to his cosmic dance.