Legend of Temple

Once Devas were subjected to untold miseries by three Asura brothers, Surapadman, Singamukha and Taraka. The Devas invoked Lord Shiva for their deliverance. Lord Shiva, agreeing to help them, sent out six fire sparks from His third eye. The Fire God Agni received the sparks and sent them first to the Ganges and then to the Himalayan lake Saravana Poigai. There the sparks assumed the form of six divine babies on lotus flowers.

They were nourished by Krithika nymphs. Then Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati arrived at Saravana Poigai, and the moment the Devi embraced the babies, they transformed into one divine form with six heads and 12 hands and came to be known as Shanmukha or Aarumukha (meaning one with six faces).

This son of Lord Shiva is the redeemer of the Devas. In course of time, he was appointed as the leader of the Devas and Subramanya got the sacred Vel (spear) from His mother Parashakti. He killed Singamukhaasura and Taarakaasura in a battle and destroyed Krounchagiri Krounchagiri, the abode of the Asuras. Surapadman had his fort in the mid-ocean, known as Veera Mahendrapuram.

Lord Muruga, Brihaspati and the Devas came to the shores of Tiruchendur to vanquish Surapadman. Vishwakarma, the celestial architect, built a shrine for Lord Shiva on the sandstone hillock to enable Muruga to perform pujas. He sent his lieutenant Veeravahu to Surapadman to seek his surrender. But Surapadman launched a battle with all his asura shakti.

The demon assumed the form of a huge mango tree. But the Lord wont let him go. He pierced it with His Vel and the tree split into two. One portion turned into a cock and the other into a peacock. Even in this truncated form, the Asura was still fighting. The battle finally ended with a dying Surapadman seeking the Lords mercy. Muruga gave the demon Viswaroopa darshan and adopted the peacock as His permanent charger and the cock as His banner.

This divine victory is commemorated as a six-day Skanda Shashti festival in Tiruchendur and other Subramanya temples. On the last day, Surasamhara, the final act of killing Surapadman, is re-enacted. Thousands of devotees throng Subramanya temples to witness this event