Tiruvarur is one of the ancient capitals of the Cholas. There is an important Shiva temple dedicated to Lord Thyagaraja. The temple car is one of the largest in South India. There is an inscription and sculptural representation of the story of the just king Manu NeedhiChola who ordered for his own son to be crushed under wheels of a car because he had killed a calf by driving his carriage negligently over it. Lord Shiva intervened and saved the life of the boy and revived the calf. Tiruvarur is also the birthplace of Saint Thyagaraja, the composer-saint of Carnatic music.