This is a vast and beautiful temple heralded as Ratnasabhai – one of the five Pancha Sabhais special to Nataraja featuring a sprawling well maintained temple complex with beautiful mandapams and gopurams. It is located within two hours drive from Chennai, and within an hours drive from Kanchipuram. This place is called the Rathina Sabai (Gem Court).
The other Sabai’s are as follows:
* Chidambaram ( Sky ) – Kanaga sabai
* Thiruvalangadu ( Gems ) – Rathina sabai
* Thirukkutralam ( Art ) – Chitra sabai
* Thirunelveli ( Copper ) – Tamira sabai
* Madurai ( Silver ) – Rajatha sabai
It was the time when both Lord Shiva and Kali had debate on who is the best dancer. To conclude and make a decision a competition was arranged. This was witnessed by all the God’s and Godess including sages.
The dance performance started and each had their turn to demonstrate their talent and non are less competent. During this period, Shiva’s ear ring falls down and in order to avoid any hindrance to the performance he uses his right leg to pick the ear ring wars it his ear.
Kali being women cannot raise her legs that high in front of crowd and thus gets defeated. Hence she is in his temple in her dancing pose.
Karaikal Ammaiyar’s Story:
Punithavathi was name to Karaikal Ammaiyar in given by her parents. She was married to Paramadathan a business man in those days.One day Paramadathan was given two mangoes by one of his visitors on business purpose. He sent it to his home through his men which was received by his wife Punithavathi.
During this time a Shiva devotee came to her house asking for bhiksha. She being a Shiva devotee herself, arranged for lunch for the devotee. To compensate the absence side dishes she also gives one of the mangoes sent by her husband. The devotee was happy with Punithavathi’s hospitality left with filled stomach and blessings.
Paramadathan came home for lunch and Punithavathi served him lunch with the remaining mango. The taste of the fruit made Paramdathan to ask. But she has already given it to Shiva devotee. Not knowing what to do, she requests Lord Shiva for the mango and lo, there it comes in her hands. She servers this mango to her loving husband who immediately identifies that the mangos taste is far superior than the previous one he had and wanted to know where she got this mango. Though she was hesitant at first but later told him all the happenings.Paramadathan, on hearing that abandons her as his wife as he felt is not eligible to be her husband. Punithavathi then prayed God to have a skeletal body and praise Lord till her life ends thus becoming Karaikal Ammaiyar.
Karaikal Ammaiyar visited Kailash the abode of Lord Shiva seeking moksha but he was asked to wait at Thiruvalangadu.
Karailal Ammaiyar was given moksha at this place and she also got to see the cosmic dance in Chittra Sabai – Gem Court.Thiruvalangadu is situated around 45 Kms from Chennai and is well nourished with sub urban trains and busses travelling to Thiruvallur and Arakkonam