According to legend, Surapadman a powerful demon aided and abetted by his brothers Taraka and
Singamukha subjected devas to insurmountable grief by his wicked acts. He was a terror to the living in
the three worlds - heaven, earth and Patala-his very name was a harbringer of misery to devas.
When they were humbled- divested of their dignity, driven out of kingdom, and tortured in and out of
homes, they sought the audience of Lord Maheswar, and implored him for deliverance.
Moved by their pathos, Maheswar then opened his eye of mercy to ward off their grief.
There came out then six fire balls that reached the Saravana tank carried by the Fire-God.
They changed thernselves at once
into enticing tiny tots and started floating in the lotuses grown there in abundance.
Attracted by the bewitching beauty of the babes, the six celestial nymphs Karthik
IKanyas nourished them with rare care and deep veneration. When Goddess Parvathi hugged them
fondly, seeing their alluring forms, the six became one with six faces and twelve hands.
He was named Shanmuga. Sooner than becoming the six-faced God, Shanmuga hastened to Tiruchendur to put an
end to asurakrithyas of Surapadma, who had built his fortress there amidst the sea to making
impregnable for mortals. Before the dreadful combat, he worshipped Siva, his
compassionate father in a grand temple built at his behest by Maya, the celestial architect, for total