Legend has it that the
ghat region of Tamilnadu was ruled by Nambirajan, the king of the
Kuravas or the hill tribes. Nambirajan worshipped Shiva, praying for a
daughter; his prayers were answered and it was revealed to him that he would discover a
baby in the nearby woods and that she would be his daughter.
Accordingly the kurava king discovered Vallinayaki
in the woods and brought her up as his own.
Valli grew up to be a beautiful maiden and Subramanya
- son of Shiva and Parvati sought her hand in marriage. Their courtship is full of
very interesting stories which form the basis of many and folk and classical performing
arts in Tamilnadu.
Murugan assumed the form of an old bangle
seller, and sold bangles to Valli, in return for a local delicacy of
honey soaked corn flour. A conversation ensued between the two, which was interrupted by
the arrival of Valli's brothers, a valiant lot who were highly possessive
and protective of their sister. Flustered by their sudden appearance, and unwilling to
indulge in battle, Skanda manifested himself as a Vengai
maram (a stump of which is still seen in the Temple at Velimalai in Southern Tamilnadu).
Skanda appeared again, in
the guise of an old tribal king and sought her hand in marriage. The brothers materialized
again, and Skanda transformed himself into an old ascetic from the Himalayas,
and they left the spot.
Upset by the ongoing hindrance, Skanda
sought the help of his brother Vinayaka - the remover of obstacles, who
appeared on the spot as a wild elephant. The scared Valli, embraced Skanda and promised to
offer him anything in return for protection from the wild beast. Skanda
sought her hand in marriage, and Valli consented gladly, realizing that her suitor was
none other than Murugan, whom she and her tribe held in great regard.
Valli married Murugan and the
marriage was celebrated in great splendor by Nambirajan, the king of