History Of Swetharanyeswarar Temple
There are several shrines of significance in this well visited temple , including those to Durga and Kali. The image of Natarajar here is of great beauty.Worship to Aghoramurthy Shiva's fiery form (Veerabhadrar) is said to be of significance on Sunday nights.The Aalamaram here is referred to as Akshayavadam (infinite one, indestructible banyan tree). Special worship services are offered to Natarajar and the associated Spatikalingam, as in Chidambaram.
The Soma Theertham and The Surya Theertham created by the Sun & the moon are of great significance here. It is believed that the Somakundam & Suryakundam referred to in Silappatikaaram refer to these tanks. Vilvam & Konrai are the other stala vrikshams here. Inscriptions from the time of Aditya Chola I (870-907), Raja Raja I (10th - 11th cent) & his descendants speaking of endowments made by the Chola rulers to this temple are found here.
Vikrama Cholan built the Vikramacholan Tirumandapam (1118-1135). The present structure of the temple as well as the beautiful bronze images in this temple are a contribution of the Great Chola emperor Raja Raja Chola I. Some of these bronzes were recovered in treasure troves unearthed here. The Ardhanareeswarar and Chandeswarar bronzes are now housed in the Chennai Museum. Natarajar, Somaskandar, Devi, Bhoga Sakthi are housed in the temple, while images of Subramanyar, Rishabhavahanadevar, Bhikshatanar, Kalyanasundarar Kannappar and others are housed in the Thanjavur Art Gallery.