This temple is believed to have been built by the Chola King Kulothungan-I.
It is believed that once this place was densely populated with palm trees. This place is called “Puravaar Panangkatur” because “Puravaar” in Tamil means forest and Panangkatur means full of palm trees. Saint Thirugnanasambanthar has also mentioned this place as Puravaar Panankatur in his hyms.
Of the 276 Paadal Petra Shivasthalams, very few temples have Palm tree (Panai) as their Sthala Viruksham. This temple is one of them.
Legend / Local stories
The legend is that Dakshan (father of Goddess Parvathi) once performed a yagna where he invited all the devas (celestial gods) but intentionally left out Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva was angered by this slight and all the devas who attended the yagna and consumed the yagna-food (avirbhaagam), became the object of his fury.
How to Reach:
Panayapuram is at a distance of about 12 kms from Villupuram and 3 kms from Mundiambakkam. It is on the Pondicherry to Mundiambakkam route. The temple is hardly one km away from the Vikravandi tollgate on the Panruti / Kumabakonam route.
Other Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams near Panayapuram are: Thiruvamathur (13 kms), Thiruthuraiyur (24 kms) and Thirumundeeswaram (Gramam) (29 kms).
Sri Panangaateeswarar Temple,
Tamil Nadu – 605 601.