Sri Renukambal Temple Amman in the temple is a swayam-bu-Murthy head alone. This is one among the Shakti Peetas. Against the kumkum Prasad offered in Shakti temples, only sand is offered here. Though an Amman temple, three are no lion paintings on the walls but only cows. Also against a lion or Yazhi (belonging to lion family) vahan in Amman shrines, there is a bull here. This village of temples is 35 Km from Tiruvannamalai. Remains of a 13th Century Palace of Sambuvarayars of the Chola Empire can be seen here.
Historical Traditional Legend
Renukadevi, daughter of King Raivada married Sage Jamadagni and delivered Parasurama. It so happened that Renukadevi delayed in bringing water for Jamadagni’s puja as she stood to wonder the beauty of the reflection of a Gandharva in the water. Suspecting her fidelity, Jamadagni ordered his son Parasurama to chop off her head which the son obeyed. Yet, Parasurama begged his father to give him back his mother. Jamadagni gave the son the water with a Mantra power to restore her to life. While doing so, Parasurama wrongly fixed the head of his mother with other woman and was able to make only the head alive.
Meanwhile, as one Karthaveeryarjunan stole the Kamadenu cow of Jamadagni after killing him. Renukadevi accompanied her husband in death. However, as rain fell, she appeared with burn injuries and neem leaf clothing and met her son Parasurama. Parasurama pursued Karthaveeryarjuna and killed him and recovered the Kamadenu and began destroying the Kshatriya community. Lord Shiva appeared before Parasurama and said that what happened was the act of destiny and asked him to end the anger. While Renuka Devi’s head alone stayed on Earth, the body accompanied Jamadagni to higher worlds. This is how Renuka’s head alone stayed and now a swayambu in the Padavedu temple.