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Temples of Tamilnadu

Origin of the Sundareswarar Shrine

Legend has it that Indra, the ruler of the Devas was engaged in a duel with a demon by name Virudran. The demon, pursued by Indra reached a hill top and began penance; Indra, caught in the heat of the battle and the pursuit, killed the defenseless demon. Full of remorse, he set out on a pilgrimage of various shrines, in an attempt to absolve himself of the sin of having killed the demon.

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In the course of his pilgrimage he reached a forest of Kadamba trees in the southern portion of peninsular India, in the Pandya Kingdom. Upon experiencing a feel of positive energy and a relief from the weight of guilt, he discovered a Shiva Lingam beneath a kadamba tree on the banks of a lake.

Thanking Shiva for his atonement, he raised a shrine to Shiva and built a Vimanam over it (the Indra Vimanam). The lake, on whose shore, the Shiva Lingam was discovered, is now venerated as the Potraamarai Kulam (the golden lotus tank). A stump of the kadamba tree, seen now in the temple, is all that is said to remain from the forest of Kadamba trees .