Monday, February 22, 2021

Kachabeswarar Temple, Kanchipuram – Legends

Kachabeswarar Temple, Kanchipuram – Legends


Indra, the King of Svarga, while riding on the elephant Airavata, came across Sage Durvasa who offered him a special garland given to him by a nymph. Indra accepted the gift and placed it on the trunk of the elephant as a test to prove that he was not an egoistic deva. The flowers on it had a scent that attracted some bees. Annoyed by the bees, Airavata threw the garland on the ground. This enraged the sage as the garland was a dwelling of Lakshmi (fortune) and was to be treated as a prasada or religious offering.

Durvasa cursed Indra and all devas to be bereft of all strength, energy, and fortune. In battles following the incident, the Devas were defeated and the Asuras, led by Bali, gained control over the universe. The Devas sought Lord Vishnu's help, who advised them to treat the Asuras in a diplomatic manner. The Devas formed an alliance with the Asuras to jointly churn the ocean for the nectar of immortality and to share it among themselves. However, Vishnu told the devas that he would arrange for them alone to obtain the nectar.

During the churning of the Ocean of Milk (Samudra Manthana), Mount Mandara was used as the churning rod, and Vasuki, a Nagaraja who abides on Lord Shiva's neck, became the churning rope. When the mountain was placed in the ocean, it began to sink. Vishnu, in the form of Kurma (turtle), came to their rescue and supported the mountain on his shell. This helped the celestial beings to get Amrutha. It made Lord Vishnu to think his efforts succeeded in getting Amrutha from the sea. Out of arrogance, Lord Vishnu in the form of turtle stirred the waters of the ocean.

Thus, making the living beings and celestial beings to suffer from the increase in water levels. Hence, Devas went to Lord Shiva to rein in Lord Vishnu. Lord Shiva destroyed the turtle and strung its shell on the sacred garland worn about his neck. Lord Vishnu, who regretted for his act, came to Kanchi and worshipped Lord Shiva and got his blessings. Further, Lord Shiva made Lord Vishnu to reassume the leadership of Vaikunda. As Lord Shiva was worshipped by Lord Vishnu in the form of turtle (Kachabam), Lord Shiva came to be called as Kachabeswarar.


Once, Lord Shiva destroyed Pancha Bhoodas, Vishnu, Brahma, celestial beings and all living beings. Lord Shiva performed his cosmic dance in the universe in front of Mother Parvathy. When he decided to create the universe back, he came to Kanchipuram as it was not destroyed during the destruction. He manifested in Jyotirlinga in Kanchipuram and created Pancha Bhoodas, Vishnu, Brahma, celestial beings and all living beings, Lord Brahma along with his consort Saraswathy worshipped the Jyotirlinga (Kachabeswarar) and got his creation job here.

Lord Shiva fed Sundarar here:

As per legend, Lord Shiva in the guise of a brahmin performed Bhiksha to feed his devotee Nayanmar Sundarar who was tired and hungry due to his strenuous journey to the temple.

People worshipped Lord Shiva here:

It is believed that Vishnu, Brahma, Saraswathi, Durga, Ayyanar, Suryan, Bairavar and Vinayaka have worshipped Lord Shiva here.

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