Kurukai Sivan temple in Mayiladuthurai is a Shiva temple that depicts Shiva with his third eye open. The temple is believed to be the place where Shiva opened his third eye to burn Manmathan. Shiva is famed as having terrible anger that destroys everything in his line of sight. An important physical feature about Shiva is his third eye as revered as it is feared. The legend of Lord Shiva’s third eye is told in the epic ‘Mahabharatha’. Parvati playfully closed Shiva’s eyes from behind him. When the Lord of the Universe’s eyes were closed, the world was engulfed in darkness. It was then that a flame leapt from Shiva’s forehead, an eye appeared that gave light to the World again. The third eye is known to only look inward, when the eye does look outward it is destructive.
It is because of Shiva’s third eye and his anger that Manmathan, the Lord of love was reduced to ashes. The temple of Shiva, also known as trinethra, triambaka, triaksha and trinayana, seems to remind the ordinary mortal of Lord Shiva’s anger and his immense power.