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Story Of Kadamba Tree And Shiva Associated with Madurai Meenakshi Temple

Kadamba Tree is the sthala vriksham of Madurai Meenakshi Temple and the story of Kadamba Tree and Lord Shiva begins in Vedic age. A withered relic of the Kadamba tree associated with the legend is preserved at Meenakshi Temple.

Indra was cursed with Brahmahatya after killing Vishvarupa and Vritrasura.

As a result of the sin, Indra could no longer live in the heaven. The sin took the form of repulsive figure and followed him constantly. To escape from the sin, he took refuge in the stems of lotus flowers in the Mansarovar Lake for a thousand years.

Deva Guru Brihaspati took pity on Indra and asked him take the blessings of Shiva by visiting sacred places associated with Shiva on earth. Indra then visited all the known sacred places on earth associated with Shiva like Ganga, Kashi, Kedarnath etc. But still the sin followed him.

Finally, Indra took refuge in a grove of Kadamba tree near a pond in South India. For the first time after thousands of years Indra felt a profound sense of peace. He could hear the chanting of ‘om namah shivaya’ all around.

He looked around and he could no longer see sin of Brahmahatya following him. He felt as if he was reborn. There was no burden. There was childlike innocence in him. Indra searched for the source of the sin redemption. He soon discovered a Swayambhu Shivling under a kadamba tree.

Indra fell before the Shivling and cried in joy. Words failed to come out of his mouth out of devotion. With a body trembling with devotion, he looked for flowers to offer to the Shivling. But there were no flowers. Then he noticed a single lotus flower in the pond nearby. Indra offered the lotus flower to the Shivling. This pond later became famous as Potramarai Kulam inside Madurai Meenakshi Temple.

Indra requested Vishwakarma, the divine architect, to build a shrine to protect the Shivling.

Pleased with the devotion of Indra, Shiva gave him a boon.

Indra asked for the darshan of Shiva in the Kadamba groove forever.

It is said that Shiva gives darshan to Indra among the Kadamba grove here on the full moon day in Chithirai month (April – May).