Saptha Sthanam refers to the seven temples in and around Tiruvaiyaru, that constituted the saptha-pathi (seven steps) at the wedding of Nandi (or Nandikeswara, Siva’s foremost gana and attendant) to Swayasambikai. Saptha Sthanam temples are different from the Sapta Vitanga Sthalams, which are about the maragatha lingam.
Siva himself officiated the wedding, held at Thirumazhapadi, and then took Nandi and his bride to Siva temples in seven nearby towns, each of which provided one significant input to the wedding itself. These temples, and their contributions to the wedding, are:
- Vedic priests / brahmins from Tiruvedikudi (Vedapureeswarar temple)
- Ornaments (Kandi) from Tirukandiyur (Brahmasira Kandeeswarar temple)
- Food / rice from Tiruchotruthurai (Odhavaneswarar temple)
- Flowers from Tirupoonthuruthi (Pushpavaneswarar temple)
- Ghee / clarified butter from Tiruneistanam / Tillaistanam (Neiyadiappar temple)
- Fruits from Tiruppazhanam (Apatsahayeswarar temple)
- Celebration at Tiruvaiyaru (Aiyarappar temple)
The occasion is celebrated every year, with a glass-encrusted palanquin carrying the idol of Siva, that starts at Tiruvaiyaru. At each of the next six temples, the local idol joins the procession, which culminates with all seven palanquins reaching Tiruvaiyaru for the Chitirai festival held in April/May.