Ekambareswarar Temple This vast temple is one of the most ancient in India having been in existence since at least 600 AD. Second century AD Tamil poetry speaks of Kama kottam, and the Kumara kottam (currently the Kamakshi Amman temple and the Subramanya temple). Initially, temple was built by Pallavas. The Vedantist Kachiyapper served as a priest at the temple. The existing structure then was pulled down and rebuilt by the later Chola Kings. Adi Sankara the 10thcentury saint got Kanchipuram remodelled along with an expansion of this temple along with Kamakshi Amman temple and Varadaraja Perumal Temple with the help of local rulers. Here The Single Mango Tree in the outer court is revered as most sacred and it is believed, if worshipped by a childless couple, will be blessed with a child. Hence Lord Siva is called as Ekambareswarar. Legend has it that once Parvati, the consort of Shiva was doing penance under the temple’s ancient Mango tree near Vegavathi River. In order to test her devotion, Shiva sent fire on her. Goddess Parvati prayed to her brother, Vishnu, for help. In order to save her, he took the Moon from Shiva’s head and showed the rays which then cooled down the tree as well as Parvati. Shiva again sent the river Ganga (Ganges) to disrupt Parvati’s penance. Parvati prayed to Ganga and convinced her that both of them were sisters and so should not harm her. Subsequently, Ganga did not disturb her penance and Parvati made a Shiva Linga out of the sand to get united with Shiva. The God here came to be known as Ekambareswarar or “Lord of Mango Tree”. According to another legend, it is believed that Parvati worshipped Shiva in the form of a Prithivi Lingam (or a Lingam improvised out of sand), under a mango tree. Legend has it that the neighbouring Vegavati river overflowed and threatened to engulf the Shiva Lingam and that Parvati or Kamakshi embraced the Lingam. Shiva touched by the gesture materialised in person and married her. In this context, he is referred to as Tazhuva kuzhainthaar (“He who melted in Her embrace”) in Tamil.