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Story of Koothandavar

Koothandavar is the deity worshipped in the famous Koothandavar Temple at Koovagam village in Villupuram in Tamil Nadu District. The story of Koothandavar is from the Mahabharata and is associated with the Pandava victory in the 18-day battle. Koothandavar is the deity worshipped by transgenders or eunuchs.

Koothandavar is known as Aravan in the Mahabharata.

In the Mahabharata, Koothandavar, son of Pandava prince Arjuna, agreed to become the human sacrifice so that the Pandavas can win the Kurukshetra battle against the Kauravas.

However, Koothandavar wished to get married before being offered as a sacrifice.

But no woman was ready to marry the prince who was to die the next day. All women dreaded the widowhood which awaited them soon after the marriage.

As no woman was ready, Bhagvan Sri Krishna took the Mohini avatar (female incarnation) and married Koothandavar.

The next day, Sri Krishna as Mohini grieved the loss of Koothandavar by removing her thali (sacred thread tied by the groom around the neck of bride during marriage) and breaking her bangles.

Transgenders, who consider themselves avatars of Mohini, congregate at the Koothandavar temple every year to take part in the religious event. It is observed on the Tuesday before after Chithirai Pournami – full moon day in Chithirai month.