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Korukkai Sivan Temple Story – Korukkai Veeratteswarar Temple

Korukkai Sivan temple, also known as Korukkai Veeratteswarar temple, is located at Korukkai in Mayiladuthurai district of Tamil Nadu, India. The presiding deity is Shiva in the form of Veeratteswarar and his consort is known as Gnanambigai. The Korukkai Sivan temple story is associated with Kamdev.

According to Hindu scriptures, Kamadeva, the God of love, was wedded to Rati. A significant tale about Kama recounts his fiery demise by the hands of Shiva, known as Kama Dahana. This narrative is extensively detailed in the Matsya Purana (verses 227–255) but also finds variations in the Shiva Purana and other ancient texts.

The background involves Indra and the gods facing the menace of the demon Tarakasura, who, through rigorous penance, gained formidable powers from Brahma. He got the boon that only Shiva's progeny could vanquish him. Acting on Brahma's counsel, celestial beings urged Parvati to bear a child with Shiva.

In an attempt to create a conducive setting, Kamadeva (Madana) induced an untimely spring (akala-vasanta). When he awakened Shiva with a flower arrow, a furious Shiva unleashed his third eye, instantly reducing Madana to ash. Shiva concurred with Parvati's proposal, and their worship led to the birth of Karthikeya or Skanda, who eventually defeated Taraka. Rati beseeched Indra, and together with other celestial deities, they implored Shiva, revealing that it was at their behest that Kama had disrupted his penance. In response, Shiva granted a boon that Kama would be reborn in Treta Yuga as Pradyumna in the womb of Krishna's wife, Rukmini, and marry Rati.

In another legend, a sage named Theerthapahu, unfamiliar with the potency of Shoola Theertham, the Korukkai Sivan temple's water body, prayed to bring water from the Ganga for his worship. His hands were inadvertently shortened during the ritual, and upon realizing his error, he punished himself by striking his head against a rock. Shiva, moved by his devotion, healed the sage's hand. The sage came to be known as Kurungai Munivar (meaning a sage with short hands in Tamil), and the place acquired the name Kurungai, later evolving into Korukkai.

This location is also referred to by other names such as Kamadahanapuram, Kampakapuram, and Yogeesapuram. It is believed that Vishnu, Lakshmi, Brahma, and Muruga worshipped Shiva at this sacred site.

The shrine is one among the Ashta Veeratta temples in Tamil Nadu.

According to the legends, Shiva is believed to have defeated eight different demons, including Andakasuran, Gajasuran, Jalandasuran, Thirupuradhi, Kaman, Arjunan, Dakshan, and Taaragasuran. Eight temples known as Ashta Veeratanam temples were constructed to commemorate each of Shiva's victories in battle and to signify places where he displayed his fierce power.