Sathyanatheswarar Temple (Karaivananathar Temple), Thirukalimedu, Kanchipuram – Legends
Birth of Planet Budha:
As per Hindu legend, Chandra-Moon was learning under his Guru Jupiter. He developed a desire on Dhara, his Guru Patni – wife. He once conducted a Yagna dedicated to Lord Vishnu seeking his grace. Jupiter attended the Yagna with his wife Dhara as Moon’s Guru. Moon allured Dhara and made her stay with him. Budha-Mercury was born to Moon and Dhara.
Jupiter prayed to Lord Shiva and took back Dhara. Budha was brought up by Chandra-Moon. When he grew older, Budha was pained to learn the nature of his birth and took to penance. He came to this temple and begged Satyanathaswami to give him a place among the planets. Lord appeared before him and assured that he would get the place at an appropriate time. Budha-Mercury is in a shrine in the prakara south of the Lord.
Indra attraction towards Ahalya:
As per another legend, Indra, the king of Devas, the celestial deities, was attracted by the beauty of Ahalya, the wife of sage Gautama. He took the form of a rooster to wake the sage early in the day. The sage started his day by going to the river, leaving Ahalya alone in the house. Indra entered the house to attain Ahalya, but the sage sensed something was wrong in the day. He returned to the hermitage and saw Indra escaping as a cat. He cursed Indra to have eyes throughout his body.
Indira wandered in earth praying to Shiva in many places seeking relief. He saw Lord Shiva among the Karai bushes in this place, worshipped him in a touching manner and got his relief from the curse. Lord assumed the name Karai Thirunathar following this event.