| ABOUT 56 KM from Chennai, on the Tamil Nadu-Andhra
Pradesh border, is a small village called Surutapalli, which houses
the only "Sayana Sivan" (sleeping Shiva) called Pallikondeswarar.
The temple has an interesting history which is as follows:
Once Indra lost his kingdom and found that only if he consumed the
Divine Nectar he could rule. So there was a tug of war between the
devas and asuras to obtain this nectar. The Devas and Asuras got
together to churn the ocean, using Mandramalai & Vaasuki, the
snake. As they continued to churn the ocean, Vaasuki the snake began
to tire and started spewing its poison. Siva came and consumed all
the poison. Thus Siva became blue up to his throat and is also known
by the name "Neelakandan" ( neela-blue colour, kandam-throat).
Goddess Parvati rushed and held his neck so that the poison would
not spread to the whole of his body. Shiva then became drowsy
and selected a village called Surutapalli (near Chennai), where
he is seen sleeping on the lap of Parvathi. This is the only temple
that houses Lord Shiva in a sleeping position.
Narada, meanwhile, passed on the message and down came the Devas,
Brahma, Vishnu and the Saptarishis, to have darshan. They were
promptly stopped by Nandi who asked them all to come after some
time, as Shiva was resting. All of them waited. Shiva, when he
woke up, was filled with extreme happiness and danced ("Ananda
Thandavam"). This day, when the Devas, Brahma, Vishnu, Narada
and Saptarishis had Shiva darshan was a Krishnapaksha Trayodasi
(Stiravaram, Saturday). This is the Mahapradosham day. Pradhosham,
generally, is a significant occasion observed with great piety
at all Shiva temples.
It is believed that all the Devas & Gods are assembled in
the Shiva temples during Pradosham time. Further, the first pradosham
was on a Saturday & hence "Sani Pradosham" is even