The story of Swaminathan and Swami Malai from the Tamil Kanda Puranam challenges one of the accepted relationship hierarchies of Hindu mythology, albeit in a manner that is typical to the region. Usually the father-son relationship is one of obedience – be it Rama and Dasarath, Yayati and Puru and Bheeshman and Shantanu – in Hindu Indian mythology. This story however has a twist.
Swami Malai is a small hillock near Kumbakonam, a small town in Tamil Nadu. The temple at Swami Malai is one of the six important temples associated with the cult of Murugan. This story forms the sthala purana of the temple.