The Sundareswarar shrine at
Madurai is said to have been discovered in a
forest of Kadamba trees and worshipped originally by Indra, the King of
There was a monarch by name Kulasekhara Pandyan
who reigned over the Pandyan Kingdom. During his rule, a merchant in the course of his
travels reached the Kadamba Vana forest and took refuge under the Indra Vimanam during the night.
When he woke up in the morning, he discovered the Shivalingam, surrounded by
offerings of flowers. Fully aware that no mortal being had offered worship during the
night, the merchant inferred that the celestials (Devas) offered worship
to Shiva each night at the site and conveyed the matter to the ruler Kulasekhara
Kulasekhara Pandyan rushed to the spot and
built a huge temple in honor of Shiva; it is believed that Shiva incarnated as an
architect and supervised the construction of this temple. Kulasekhara Pandyan
also proceded to build the ancient city of Madurai
centered around this temple.