On the way to Tiruvarur to Kumbakonam in Tiruvarur district lies the small village of Kodai Vasal. This village houses the powerful Periyanayagi samedha Koneswarar. During the earlier destruction of the universe, it is said that the God hid the Vedas in a pot and filled it with elixir. He sealed the top of the pot with a Linga and asked it to be preserved in the Meru hills. But because of the destruction the pot was carried to Kumbakonam where it broke into three pieces. The mouth part of the pot lodged in this small village and the Linga installed itself in the place. That is how the place got its name kudam (pot) Vaayil (mouth part of the pot). It is said that the elixir in the pot spilled and it became the temple tank in the village.
Once Guardalvar tried to bring elixir from Devas in the pot to save his mother. The Asuras planned to take it away from him. To fight of the Asuras, Garudalvar kept the pot in a termite hill formed over the linga installed during the previous event and fought with the Asuras. The pot dipped into the termite hill. Unable to find the pot of elixir the Asuras accepted the defeat. With a fair idea of where it could be Karudalvar picked the termite hill with his beak to find the pot of elixir safely near the Siva Linga. People say they could still see the pick marks in the Linga in the temple. There are numerous representations in the temple depicting Garudalvar praying to Lord Shiva. Due to this the temple see fair amount of crowd from both Saivites and Vaishnavites.
There is also another interesting story regarding the temple. Once a spider and an elephant lived in the village. The spider wove its web around the siva linga so that the falling leaves wont disturb the linga. But the elephant thought it made the Siva Linga look bad and cleaned it up with its trunk. The angry spider then crawled inside the trunk of the elephant and killed it by biting its brain. Since both the organism died serving God, the elephant was given a special post in heaven while the spider born again in the same village as the king. When the king developed the temple around the Siva linga he built twenty four steps and placed the Siva Linga above it so that the elephant couldn’t reach it.
The temple also houses separate sanctorums for Lord Ganapathy and Subramanya. The female deity Periyanayagi can be worshipped in the standing position with blessings from all her four hands. It is said that, if someone prays to her for fifteen full moon days in Rahu Kala, any obstruction that surrounded the marriage gets cleared.
The temple lies just over 60 Kms from our hotel in Vaitheeswaran Koil. Enroute there are many more temples which can be covered in a one hour journey. You can come back to the hotel for a good rest and wonderful lunch after your eyes are satiated with the dharshan of Gods and Goddesses.