Panchanadhana Nataraja of Ootathur - a popular Shiva temple in this part of Tamil Nadu

oottathureswarartemple T.N

 Built by Rajaraja Chola at Ootathur, about 30 km from Tiruchirappalli city  in Ariyalur district, TN   Panchanadhana Nataraja temple is a popular one in this part and here, the lord's consort is Sivakama Sundari.  Tamil  saint and and ardent devotee of God Shiva Appar, one of the 63  Nayanmars   sang in praise of the lord and this place is also known as Paadalur. As this place was once full of Shiva lingas  saint Appar sang the devotional song from a distance without stepping into the precincts. Yet another rare feature is God's vahana Nandi (bull) is in a sitting posture facing east direction.

What is unique about this temple is the Nataraja idol is made of what is called Panchanadhana Stone locally available in what the Geologists call the Uttatur Formation consisting of only sedimentary rocks and not hard rocks that were formed millions of years ago in the Cretaceous Geologic period when this and other parts were transgressed by an arm of the Bay of Bengal. Sedimentary deposition took place when the sea stayed here for a pretty long time and turned into hard compacted rocks..

 Making temple idols is  dedicate job and the artisans of yore were choosy and sought only certain types of rocks. Shaped into  godly forms, they became objects of veneration after consecration with chanting of mantras.  To make the stone idols of gods and goddesses  Sthapathis  choose five types of stones namely: Aalinga Nadhanam, Panchanadhanam, Singanadhanam, Yaanainadhanam and Yaazhinadhanam. Among them, it is believed that   Panchanadhanam stones have the ability to absorb sun rays. The rocks are so hard it is rare to see  the stones being  damaged by root wedging, a part of mechanical weathering.  The roots of  the said plant   called Andhaka Narimanam will  penetrate  and break the rocks one in a million stones. Such stones  called Panchanadhana  are said to produce 
a unique sound equivalent to "Aum". when gently knocked with a coin, The interesting fact about this temple is  No other Shiva temple has water tank (Thertham) in front of the shrine

The belief has been that  regular worship of  idol of Panchanadhana Stone shall have health benefits. Devotees with kidney ailment if worshiped  at the temple with steadfast mind and confidence in God, will see positive results soon.  A part of  special  temple ritual  is offering  garland to  this Nataraja  idol with Vetiver and perform abhishekam with the water  from Brahma Theertham. The collected 
abhisheka  water is  given to the sick  person concerned for  45 consecutive days and once the entire course is over the patient  will be free  from  Kidney ailment. This medical miracle is   is accepted by the locals and further corroborated by many testimonials available in the temple that  state that devotees who tried this method are free from kidney problem.

Demigod Indira regained his lost position of power by worshipping here. As for the netas / politicians of present time  who are victims of internal squabbles, competition from rival leaders, whistle-blowing, etc  make a beeline to this temple.  They  prostrate before the presiding deity  with a view to  retaining  their status in the corridors of power, They keep visiting this temple until their political ambition or  aspiration is fulfilled. Yet another interesting aspect is at this temple God Shiva removed the curse cast on Brahma by him. So, it is said, politicians visit this temple frequently to get rid of their sins committed wittingly or unwittingly  during their career as astute politicians.

At this temple devotees desirous of welfare and peace of mind do the following: 

01. They go round the prkara and worship each sub deity by way of prayer or lighting the oil lamp in the small shrine (Goshta Devathas), 

02. They worship the Sun for 45 consecutive days with bakthi (Sun worship), 

03. Worshipping Dakshinamurthy idol gets importance here. Devotees worship him for   eleven weeks in Guru Horai between 4.30 and 7 am without any break. Further, they offer him  garlands made of  chickpeas (kotthu kondalai  in Tamil) te get blessed by him, 

04. The Goddess Durga at the temple is in a ferocious form and  devotees offer the deity a big lemon garland and pray to her for 11 weeks in order to be blessed with a good husband for their girls.  

05. Worship of Kalabhairava is common across Tamil Nadu. To shield against fear of death and certain ailment/ health issues devotees flock to the shrine on the day of Ashtami. They also pray for their livestock and their wellbeing.

06. Pradosha Kala worship is quite popular here.