This temple, said to have been originally built in the 7th Century, has been rebuilt by Raja Raja during his rule. It has received further patronage from his son Rajendra Chola I and grandson, Rajadhiraja Chola. There are over fifty inscriptions in this temple from the times of Raja Raja, Rajendra and Rajadhiraja.
King Raja Raja had constructed a temple to the North of Oottathur called Chozheswaram. He often visited the temple. The original Suddha Ratneswara Temple had been buried under the sand during that time and was covered by thick Bilwa trees and bushes. The King's men set out to clear the path for the King to pass through comfortably.
As they cut the bushes, one of the men found that his spade encountered an object below the ground. As it made contact, blood started gushing out from it. Startled, the men cleared the ground around. To their utmost surprise, they found a Shivalingam made of the purest form of ruby (Suddha manickam or Suddha Ratnam)with a deep cut on top from where blood was gushing out. The King rushed to the spot, found the priceless treasure, and decided to build a temple for this unique God. Further excavations revealed the intact remains of the old temple, which was renovated and extended to the form that exists today by Raja Raja.
27 Stars, 12 Sun Signs and 9 Planets:
We entered the temple through the Rajagopuram and found that a marriage was in progress near the Dwajasthambam. The youngsters from the village who have formed a "Vazhipadu Committee" took us around the temple and explained the various unique features.
On the ceiling, near the Dwajasthambam, can be seen the 27 stars along with the 12 sun signs facing the ground below and in a seperate panel nearby are the 9 planets. Any yagas or homams performed beneath these panels is said to yield complete results immediately.
People born under any star can perform homams here.Because of this,the Oottathur Suddha Ratneswara Temple is popularly sought after for conducting marriages.
As per the legend, Lord Brahma brought the holy water from all over the world and poured in the Brahma Teerth - the holy well in this temple. He got rid of his sin and curse in this temple. As per another legend, the great Chola...