Erumbeeswarar Temple, Thiruverumbur – Etymology
According to Hindu legend, there lived a demon (Asura) Tharukasuran, who conquered Prithvi (earth) and Svarga (heaven). Indra, the leader of celestial deities and other gods suffered at the hands of Tharukasuran and sought the help of the creator - god Brahma, who asked them to worship Shiva in Thiruverumbur. In order to deceive Tharukasuran, Devas transformed into ants and reached the temple. Since the surface of the lingam (aniconic form of Shiva) was slippery, the ants found it difficult to climb up and worship.
Shiva transformed himself into an ant hill and slid his head, which enabled the ants to climb and worship. Hence the name Erumbeeswarar is derived from Erumbu meaning ant and Eswaran referring to Shiva. This is one of the three places where Shiva slid his head for his worshippers, the other two being the temples at Virinjipuram and Thiruppanandal.
The temple is also referred as Rathinakoodam, Thirverumbipuram, Erumbeesam, Brahmapuram, Laskhmipuram, Madhuvanam, Rathnakooda Puram, Manikoodapuram and Kumarapuram in various religious literatures. The temple is locally called as Kailash (the abode of Shiva) of South India.