The lingam is imposing and over five feet high. The legend of Thayumanaswamy is a moving illustration of the maternal compassion of God towards His devotees. Legend has it that when Ratnavati, a great devotee of the Lord, became pregnant her mother went to stay with her. Ratnavati stayed on the north bank of the Cauvery. As the time for delivery approached, Ratnavati's mother had to go to Tiruchi, crossing the river. The river was in spate, making it impossible for her to return to her daughter's side. A worried Ratnavati prayed to the Lord and very soon her mother was by her side. The baby was safely born. After a day or two, when the flood waters receded, Ratnavati's mother came back home and asked her how she had managed all alone. The stunned Ratnavati realised that the Lord Himself had come to her aid in her own mother's form. Thayum ana in Tamil means the one who became the mother. Devotees offer a big bunch of plantains to the Lord for safe and easy childbirth.
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