How Sivakasi came to be called so ?.
When Hindus just hear the very name 'Kaasi', it evokes religious sentiments with them. 'Kaasi', a place where every devout Hindu is expected to visit once in his lifetime. Apart from that there are two other Kaasi's in Tamil Nadu -Tenkasi (meaning the Southern Kaasi) located near Courtallam, close to Kerala and Sivakasi (Kaasi of Siva) located at South of Madurai. It is interesting to note how Sivakasi came to be called so. The king, Ankesari Parakrama Pandyan ruled the southern region of Madurai, with his capital at Tenkasi. He wished to establish a Siva temple at Tenkasi and he had planned to visit Kaasi Varanasi to worship Lord Siva there and bring a Linga from there.While returning to his place with the prized Linga a few miles past Madurai, he took rest under a groove of Vilva trees. When the king woke up to continue his journey after his overnight halt,the cow that carried the Sivalinga, being brought from Varnasi, refused to move from there, for all coaxing and coercing. Moreover, the princess attained puberty that night which prohibited the carrying of the Linga. As events thus overtook auspicious time for the already proposed plan of consecrating the Linga at Tenkasi, the king reverentially placed the Linga in the place where he had halted and proceeded to Tenkasi. The place which was sanctified by the Sivalinga brought from Kaasi, henceforth came to be called Sivakasi.