Kadhali Baneshwarar- Kadhali Baneshwarar Temple is located in Thirukulambur Village of Pudhukottai District in Tamil Nadu. In Sanskrit Kadhali means Banana, and Ban is forest, and Eshwara is the other name for lord Shiva. The specialty of this temple is the Banana trees inside the Temple complex. Hence, this temple gets its name ''Kadhali Baneshwarar''. The temple is at least 2000 years old and was built by the Pandyas. Pandyan Dynasty is one of the four Dravidian Dynasties. Pandyas were believed to be founded around 5 to 6 centuries before the Christian era. The Pandyan Empire was home to temples including Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, and Nellaiappar Temple built on the bank of the river Thamirabarani in Tirunelveli. Unlike Meenakshi Amman or Nellaippar Temple, this temple is quite small.
There is an interesting story as how this temple came in to existence. Today's Thirukulambur was once a thick dense forest. One of the Pandyas had come on a hunting trip to this forest. He was riding a ferocious horse, and his horse went berserk and knocked one of the Banana Trees with his hoof. The banana tree started to bleed, this shocked the King. The king got down from his horse to take a close look; he just could not believe what he was seeing 'blood oozed out from the tree'. As he was starring at it a sudden flash of light from the tree blinded the king. The king was now completely blind, and was unable to do anything, and lost his way out. An old man passing by recognized the king and said, ''Lord Shiva resides in the Banana Tree'', he continues to narrate, ''if you agree to built a temple here, your vision will be restored’’ the king readily agrees, and with in the matter of seconds his sight is restored. The king looks for the old man, however the old man is no way to be found. King understood that the old man was none other than Lord Shiva himself. As promised, the King built the temple. Hence Lord Shiva in this temple is known as Kadhali Baneshwarar. bBanana tree is carved on the temple tower, narrating the story. This story was passed on to many generations. It is also believed that Sita mata did Shiva pooja when she was in Ravanas captivity.
So far we have known that the villagers revere these trees as divine, however people are very cautious when it comes to using these trees. You can see a kind of fear in their eyes when it comes to harvesting these plants. Their strongest belief is that anyone who touches/plucks/fiddles/nips/pinch the tree for whatever reason, they will suffer from leucoderma, and finally death will come knocking ones door! Only exception is the temple priests. The fruits are first offered to god in the form of ''Panchammrutham'' (a special fruit salad) and people should have it as prasadam. They say that a former temple priest's relative did not believe such things, and plucked the fruit without offering it to the god as panchamrutham and ate it. However, with in few days she suffered from leucoderma and she died. Muthamma a 70-year-old granny suffers from leucoderma on both her hands. It is believed she is used a leaf for personal use.