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Thirukutralam Temple – Story

Thirukutralam, the revered temple, is renowned as one of the five sacred Pancha Sabhas of Nataraja, specifically known as the Chitra Sabhai. These five dance halls of Mahadeva Shiva are scattered across different regions: Chidambaram, Madurai, Thiruvalangadu, Tirunelveli, and Kutralam, also referred to as Trikootaachalam. Here, we delve into the captivating story of the Thirukutralam temple.

According to Hindu legend, during the celestial nuptials of Bhagavan Shiva and Goddess Parvathi, an immense gathering had assembled at Kailash, the divine abode of Shiva. Among the multitude, the revered Sage Agasthya found himself unable to witness this divine event. In his earnest desire to be part of this auspicious occasion, Sage Agasthya fervently prayed to Mahadeva Shiva at the very spot where the Thirukutralam temple now stands, beseeching the Mahadeva to grant him a glimpse of the celestial wedding.

Touched by the sage's unwavering devotion, Mahadev Shiva, donned in his resplendent marriage attire, along with his consort Parvathi, manifested before Sage Agasthya and his wife, Lopamundra. This sacred encounter transformed the place into the divine abode of Mahadeva Shiva, earning the name "Kutralanathar." Notably, the Tamiraparani River gracefully descends onto the flat land of this hallowed ground.

In yet another intriguing legend, Sage Urosamar set adrift a cluster of flowers in the river, and the very first flower reached the shores of this sacred location. In reverence to this miraculous occurrence, the sage established a temple dedicated to Kutralathanathar, where he venerated the deity with great devotion.

A different tale unveils the narrative of Indra, the king of celestial deities, who engaged in a fierce battle with the demon Dwastha, the son of Sukracharya, the Guru of the Asuras (demons). This confrontation ensued as Dwastha sought supreme powers to challenge the Devas (celestial beings). Regrettably, in the course of this battle, Indra inadvertently committed a grave sin by slaying a Brahmin, thereby incurring Brahmatti Dosha, a curse associated with the act of killing a Brahmin. Overcome by remorse, Indra embarked on a journey of penance, searching for a place to absolve his transgression.

Ultimately, on the counsel of Brihaspathi, the Guru of the Devas, Indra arrived at Papanasam, a place where his sin, referred to as "Papam" locally, could be expiated. This sacred location came to be known as Papanasam, signifying the redemption of Indra's grave sin and his quest for spiritual purification.