3.5 feet tall Lord Shiva in the temple is a swayambumurthi. The sword cut scar on the head of the Linga is still visible.
King Killi Valavan, grandfather of Karikal Valavan was suffering from skin problems. Palace doctors advised him that he should have a bath in a reputed Shiva Sthala. He came to this place for a sea bath. The place was dense with Mullai plants which bound the legs of the horses. They could not move further. The king removed the plants with his sword. The sword hit a Shivalinga hidden under the bushes. It began to bleed. The king was shocked and thought he had killed somebody and on cleaning the place, he found the Linga bleeding and attempted to kill himself for the mistake. Lord with Mother Parvathi immediately appeared before him on His Nandhi vehicle and protected Killivalavan. Thus the place came to be known as Tiru Mullai Vayil. The scar on the Linga is still visible.
Sri Mullaivananathar Temple Thirukaruhavur
According to legend, Goddess Parvati helped a helpless and needy lady who was in her motherhood. Goddess also saved her foetus and that gave the name of Karukaavoor to this place. Goddess Parvati and God Shiva’s sons, Ganapati and Nandi are also in the swayambu form here.