The Tiruchendur temple in the state of Tamil Nadu is dedicated to Lord Murugan. Located on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, the temple is known for the Soorasamharam event. The event showcases recreation of the battle between God and a demon, who was known as Soorapadman. Usually, every other year, devotees in large numbers visit the temple town. A massive gathering witnesses the event to see the triumph of the good over the evil.
Today is the day when Lord Kartikeya – also known as Shanmugham, Subramanian and Aarumugham – won the battle against Soorapadman demon. It concurs with the Skanda Sashti in the Karthigai month. The only shrine among the six temples or abodes of Lord Murugan to be located on the seashore is Arulmigu Subramaniya Swamy temple. Others are atop hills and they all together form the Arupadai Veedu.
As per a legend close to the shrine, Lord Murugan defeated Soorapadman, the Asura at this very location. It was at the Tiruchendur temple where Lord Murugan worshipped his father, Lord Shiva after winning the battle.
The battle story of Lord Murugan and Soorapadman
Soorapadman’s existence proved to be a threat to civilization as he had grown so destructive. The Asura was also blessed with a boon bestowed by Lord Brahma. The boon protected him from death and if someone could kill him, it was the son of Shiva. Lord Shiva, thus, created Lord Murugan with the flames of his third eye to end Soorapadman’s tyranny.
Lord Murugan was made commander-in-chief of the Devas or the Lords’ army. Lord Murugan had to eliminate more than Soorapadman. The other two Asuras were Soorapadman’s brothers - Tarakasura and Simhamukha. As per popular belief, Soorapadman and his brothers transformed into a mango tree. Lord Murugan cut the tree into two halves with his weapon and successfully defeated the trio.
Another version says that the demons, on getting severely injured, pleaded to the Lord. They bowed before the Lord in the battlefield, asking forgiveness for the sins they had committed. The Lord then transformed Soorapadman into a peacock, Simhamukha into a lion, and Tarakasura into a cock (an emblem on his flag).