According to the legend the original temple was built here, by the Princess Jamathakiri. In her journeys to the sthalam (sacred place) of Keerimalai, she had noticed an old man by the name of Sadaiyanar venerating with daily puja (prayer) a silver Vel, symbol of the god Skanda Kumaran, placed in a mango tree. She was overcome with the desire to build a real temple to house the deity and demanded assistance from her father, who sent craftsmen and architects to build a Kandaswamy Temple.
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The temple was destroyed by the Portuguese in the 17th Century and even the stones, it is said, were removed to build the fort at Kayts. With the revival of Hinduism the temple was re-built in 1782. Several of the vigrakams (venerated objects) that had been hidden in wells, buried, etc. were recovered and replaced in the temple.
The imposing Raja Gopuram (main entrance tower) by the road side on the western hall depicts events in the history of the temple. The inner temple premises were built in heavy granite stone in 1927. A ‘ther’ (chariot) superbly carved was made in 1943 and a temple for Palani Andavar was added in 1964. The following year, the therppa thiruvila (the Holy Bath Festival) was introduced on the last day to the 27 day annual festival held in July-August. On this day the deity is taken in procession for theertham (pilgrimage) at Keerimalai.
The Maha Bharata tells the story of the Princess Jamathakiri, whose facial appearance changed to that of a horse after she was cursed for not observing ancestral ceremonies (others say it was a congenital disease). She journeyed to Keerimalai Spring which was reputed for its therapeutic properties. Her daily obeisance and the curative value of the medicinal waters restored her face to its prior aspect. She erected a temple at Maviddapuram to the God Skanda Kumaran.
Mavvidapuram is on the main road to Kankesanturai (K-KS), 4.3 km from the Mallakam Junction. It is on the right hand side of the road and it is very easy to find. Unfortunately, it is located in what the Armed Forces call ‘the High Security Zone’ which makes the access to a large portion of the peninsula restricted. At the time this article has been written, visitors are allowed to visit this place after clearance and are not permitted to take any media equipment with them. Travellers are usually accompanied by a soldier.