The Pallikondeswara temple in Surutapalli, near Chennai, is unique because it is only at this place that Lord Siva is seen resting His head on the lap of Goddess Parvathi.
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 Siva) called Pallikondeswarar. The temple has an interesting Sthala Puranam. Sage Valmiki prayed to Lord Rama and the Lord gave him darshan. After defeating Ravana, and before reaching Ayodhya, Rama stayed at this place. So the two together prayed to Lord Siva. The Lingam, which Valmiki prayed to, is called Valmikeshwarar and the one Rama prayed to is Ramalingeshwarar. At present these two Lingams face each other. Harihara Bhugga, a king of the Vijayanagar dynasty, built this temple. There are 276 Saiva Sthalams, which have received the Thirumurais of Appar, Sundarar, Manikkavachagar and Thirugnanasambhandar. Their time was before the 10th century. Since this temple was built much later, it did not receive the Thirumurai.
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. As they were churning the ocean, before the nectar came the poison. So there was complete pandemonium. Lord Siva then swallowed the poison and came to be called Nilakandan. A stunned Parvathi quickly stopped the poison at the throat. Siva then became drowsy and selected Surutapalli, where he is seen sleeping on the lap of Parvathi.
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. Siva, when he woke up, was filled with extreme happiness and danced ("Ananda Thandavam"). This day, when the Devas, Brahma, Vishnu, Narada and Saptarishis had Siva darshan was a Krishnapaksha Trayodasi (Stiravaram, Saturday). This is the Mahapradosham day. Pradhosham, generally, is a significant occasion observed with great piety at all Siva temples. This temple was one of the favourites of the Paramacharya, who stayed here for 10 days, and in whose memory a Dhyana Manadapam is to be constructed. Pallikondeswarar's Sannidhi is seen in Kasi (Hanuman Ghat) and the Sage of Kanchi wished that devotees visiting Kasi would follow Pallikondeswarar to Surutapalli.
Sri Jayendra Saraswati and Vijayendra Saraswati performed the Kumbabhishekam of the temple on