Korukkai Veeratteswarar Temple – Legends
Shiva burnt Manmathan alive here:
This is one of the Attaveerattana (one of the eight heroic deeds) Sthalam of God Shiva. God Shiva is believed to have burnt alive Manmathan at this Sthalam by opening his third eye in the forehead. According to the legend, Once, Demon Tharagan did penance to Brahma for a long time in his garden with his two hands raised upward and standing on one leg. The Lord did not appear before him. But he did not give up his efforts. Again he supported himself on one big toe with the other leg folded up and did penance to the Lord for many years. Even then he did not succeed. At last he did penance standing on Panchagni for many years.
As he was doing the penance there was a fire ball that rose from his head and went all over the universe. All devas and people of the earth suffered from the heat. Every one prayed to Lord Brahma and requested him to grant what-ever boon Tharuka wished for. Brahma appeared before Tharuka and asked him the purpose of his aggressive Penance? The demon bowed to Brahma and pleaded to the Lord that "I should not be killed either by Devas or human beings. If I have to die it should be only at the hands of Lord Siva's son". Brahma granted the boon as he wanted.
Demon Tharugan happily returned home. Hearing the news about Lord Brahma's boon all other demons arrived at Demon Tharugan's place and they made him as their supreme. In due course Tharuka showed his true nature and conquered the world. Devas and hermits and ordinary people of the earth became his slaves. Devas were vexed by the demons torture. So they prayed to Brahma and appealed to the creator about the demon's cruelty. Brahma said that he could do nothing about this problem because he gave a boon that Tharuka could be killed only by Lord Siva's son.
Lord Shiva was under deep meditation. The heat that emanated from the penance had its impact everywhere. The Devas, unable to bear the heat, approached Lord Muruga to stop Lord’s meditation and save them. But Muruga refused to disturb his Father’s penance. They finally approached Manmatha. Without thinking of the consequences, foolish Manmatha applied his love arrows on Lord to disturb the penance. Lord opened his eyes and burnt him with the fire sparks from his third eye in his forehead. Rathi his wife fell at Lord’s feet and begged for her husband’s life.
Lord assured her that he would be sent to Devaloka for her on a new moon fortnight. Thus Manmatha had his rebirth here. Shiva is said to have brought him back to life – in flesh and blood form for the sake of Rathi; and in a formless state for others, hence the name Kama Anga Nasam. In memory of the event, the bow is still seen in the Chathura Peedam and the Lord is referred to as Kama Dahana Murthy. Rathi and Manmatha are seen as procession deities at this temple.
According to the legend a saint by name Deergavahu Munivar used to visit Shiva temples and with his divine powers he offered Ganga waters to Shiva and worshipped him. When the saint reached this Sthalam unaware of the divinity that characterized the waters of the Soola Theertham, Saint Deergavahu Munivar stretched out his hands as usual towards the Heavens to receive the holy Ganges water. But at once he was shocked to see his long hands grow short. His pathetic appeal to Lord Vinayaga was of no avail.
In a state of despair, he began to knock his head against a stone but there shot out of the stone a hand to protect his head and bless him. Deergavahu who was so blessed came to be known as Kurungai (Kurumkai – short hand) Munivar. The village’s name is Kurungai which later on got corrupted into Kurukkai or Korukkai. The glory of this sacred sthalam is supposed to have been narrated to the Devas by the reputed Sage Vyasar.
Meditation of Shiva under Kadukkai Tree:
Shiva is said to have been in a state of meditation under the Kadukkai tree after the destruction of the vain Daksha’s Yaagam, hence the name Yogeeswarar.
The Pazhavaaru River to the north of this town is known as Gnana Theertham, as it is believed that the tears of joy that flowed out of Shiva in a state of meditation merged with this river.