Padi is a historical place where Armies of Kings used to camp with all their weapons (Padi= weapons repository army camp) The temple has been rebuilt by Kulatunga chola III and Krishna deva raya. The Padavettu amman about half a KM away is also part of the temple where Victorious commanders would even sacrifice their own heads here (So gory!!) Today the outer praharams of the temple have been taken over by the city and roads have been built with many buildings and tragically what remains is only the inner praharam. The temple tank is seen at a distance with two roads in between which speaks a lot about the development of the city!!
The legend goes back to Mahabharatha days as Sage Bharadwaj (Dhrona’s father) had visited this temple. The name Validhayam comes from Valiyan – the black bird. Once Sage Bharadwaj took birth as a bird due to a curse and he worshipped Shiva here to clear off his curse. Legend also holds that Vinayaka got married to Kamalai and Vimalai daughter of Brahma in this place. Brahaspathi, Vishnu, Hanuman, Sugreeva, Rama, Agasthiar, Vayu, Indhra, Agni, Sun God and Moon God worshipped Shiva of this place.
This temple has been visited and sung by saints Thirugnana Sambandar, Arunagirinathar, Ramalinga Adigalar, and Pamban Swamigal.
Thirumylai, Thiruvanmiyur, Thiruverkadu, Thiruvirkolam, Thiruilambayangottur, Thiruvooral, Thirvalangadu, Thiruvenpakkam, Thiruppasur, Vadathirumullaivoil, Thirvottriyur all these eleven temples are structured in the form of a Garland and Thrivalithayam is in the centre of this Garland. Also this temple is also referred as Gurusthalam as this is one of three temples worshipped by Lord Brahaspathy or Guru, the other two being Thittai and Thiruchendur.
Lord Shiva here is known asTiruvalleeswarar, Validaayanathar,The amman is known as Jagathambigai, Thaayammai. Thiru Gnanasambandar has composed hymns at this temple.
The east gopuram (tower) with 3 tiers is the main entrance to the temple.
Inside the main entrance there is broad inner courtyard on all the four sides of the main shrine giving it a look of broad expanse
The back side of the main praharam
(The North side praharam with the navagraha seen in the far right)
Entering the inner mandapam, the main sanctum sanctorum of Lord Shiva is situated. The sanctum is semi-circular in shape at the back. (Gaja prishti Vimana ). The main deity is facing east and to the right is the Ambal facing towards south.
A beautiful Simha Vaahanam and balipeetam faces the Goddess from the southern outer corridor.
Inside on the western back wall of the sanctum you can see Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma in the North . It ‘s a rare sight to see the trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Siva in the same complex. In the outer prakara you can see Dakshinamurthy, Bikshadanar, Annai Uritha Devar, and Rishabanthikar.
Usaually the Lord Vinayaka is placed at the Southwest corner. But in this temple, somaskanbdar is placed instead and Vinayaka is located next to the main gate . He is named as Varasiddhi valampuri Vinayaka.
Following Vinayaka, Lord Muruga is located along with his wives valli and Deivaanai. Lord Muruga is with a single face and four hands.
To the back of the sanctum are a series of small enclosures of gods along with the Lingam they worshipped, Meenakshi along with Sundareswarar in the lingam form, The lingam worshiped by Indra, Lingam worshiped by Bharadwaja are placed each in different enclosures At the north west corner, a long serpent along with lingam (Nagalingam) is placed. Following these deities, Veerabadra is in the sitting posture
Just at the back of Goddess temple, at the North east corner, Lord Bhairava is located. He is present here in Ugraroopa with skewed teeth, three eyes. His Jadamaguda is surrounded with Jwalas with his Vahana, a Dog. not only this, at the south entrance, the four Samaya Kuravars are in the standing posture. Next to them, Arunagirinadhar, Ganapathy and the Sun God blesses in the sitting posture.
Moreover, of all the urchava vigrahas of the temple Nataraja is the most important. The Ambal siva gama sundari's statue along with Nataraja and Manikkavasakar are placed in the sabhai in front of the Ambal's sannidhi. At the sides of the Gopuram entrance, Lord Vinayaka and Lord subramanya are placed.
“Jeyankonda Chola Vala Nattu, Puzhal Kutrathu, Ambattur Nattu Thiruvallithaya Mudayar” is the description found in the stone inscription inside the temple. It testifies that the places like Puzhal and Ambattur are there since last 700 years going by the inscriptions.
There is a seperate shrine for Guru (Jupiter) - one of the Navagrahas - in the eastern outer corridor and this temple is also considered as a Guru Parihara Sthalam. Guru Bhagwan is seen here facing towards west.
The Dakshinamoorthy form of Lord shiva is praised and prayed as Lord GuruDakshinamoorthy
. Brahma had four children Sanakar, Sananadanar, sanadhanar and Sanathkumarar. Though they were brialliant enough in their vedic knowledge, they wanted to know the imbibed truth of Vedas in order to fight against the worst qualities,like jealousy, revenge and Maya. Answering their prayer, Lord Shiva took the form of Lord Dakshinamoorthy and started preaching them. This is how, the name and form of Guru Dakshinamoorthy came in to existence.
. Guru Dakshinamoorthy here blesses people with marriage and fertility . Guru Dakshinamoorthy is sitting with his right leg down and left left leg folded touching his waist under the Kallala tree. The jadaparam which was worn at his head adds to his beauty. He has four hands and has got udukkai rounded by serpent in his upper right hand, Jwalai on the upper left hand. The lower right hand has got the chinmaya mudra and the lower left hand has got book facing down. His posture is straight and equal. He wears tiger skin, yagnopaveetham and Kundalas(ear rings). The Rudraksha around his neck falls till his chest. Around Dakshinamoorthy, sanakadhika saints are placed. Muyalagan who is at his feet has serpent on his left hand. This form of Guru Dakshinamoorthy is called as 'Vyagyana Dakshinamoorthy'.