Originally built by the Pallavas, the Cholas later reconstructed this large Siva temple. Here, Lord Siva is worshipped as Earth or Prithvi, which is one of the five elements. The dimensions of this temple are reflected in its 20 - acre spread and its tall south gopuram which soars to a height of 58.5m. The eleven-storey structure, which is adorned with beautiful sculptures, is one of the tallest temple towers in South India. Childless couples revere the ancient mango tree in the courtyard. They faithfully strung small cradles to the branches of the tree and leave with the hope that their desire for an offspring will be fulfilled. Also in the temple, is a small panel depicting the story behind the temple's existence. Parvathi incurred Siva's wrath when she made the mistake of playing a mischievous prank on him by covering his eyes for a second. Since even that one second of hindering Siva's vision led to years of darkness for the mortals, Siva bade her to perform penance to obtain forgiveness. The temple is said to have been built at the spot where the lord forgave her.