Legends

There are two divisions in  the Koolams of Thirayattam, Deiva Moorthikal ( deity) and Kudivacha Moorthikal (legendary social figures). The male Koolams in Deiva Moorthikal are generally associated with Lord Shiva. The Shiva Shristikal or Shiva bhavangal are commonly known as Maladeivangal. Karumakan (also known as Vettakkoru Makan), Kariyathan, Karuvilli, Kulavan, Thalachilon, Mundiyan, Peerilan, Kandakarnan, Veerabadhran, Kirathan etc are Maladeivangal who have Shiva bhavangal (facets of lord Shiva). Each name has a legend;

kariyathan

is the son of Kirathan, the hunter incarnation of Lord Shiva. Kariyathan, a typical warrior, with a  sound mind, willpower and a bluish physic is believed to be traveling across the mountain ranges, streams, streets and town safe guarding the cattle and live stocks of the folks.

When Arjuna the Pandava prince  set on a tapas (deep meditation) to achieve Pashupatastra, Lord shiva disguised as Kirathan intervened to test  Arjuna. There arose a dispute which led to a physical contest between the two. When Arjuna  lost all his the arrows he thrashed lord Shiva’s  head with his bow.  Lord Shiva was wounded and from the wound Thalachilon incarnated. Its also believed that Thalchilon got  his name since he was incarnated from lord shiva’s “Jada mudi”(long hair).

gandakarnan

Darika’s wife, who was very sad and furious on the slaying of her husband by Badhrakaali, performed a stanch “thapas”, to which lord Shiva together with Sree Parvathy appeared. As per the wish of Darika’s wife, Parvathy collected some sweat from Shiva’s body and gave it to Darika’s wife; with the boon, the person who comes in contact with this sweat will be affected by “Vasoori” (small pox). Darika’s wife hurled this sweat on Badhrakaali who was returning back with the slaughtered head of Darika.

Badhrakali who was infected with the dreaded small pox was in a pitiful and terrified condition; Lord Shiva on hearing this news was very furious and within this furiousness Ghandakarna was incarnated from Lord Shiva’s Karna ( ear). Shiva asked Kandakarna to cleanse Badhrakali of her dreaded situation. Kandakarna licked  and cleaned the entire body of Badhrakali, but when he approached to clean her face, Badhrakaali told  him that it was inappropriate for a brother to touch his sisters face, Kandakarna accepted Badhrakaali’s request and left her face untouched. Badhrakali was relived of the disfiguration of her body, except her face. 
Karumakan

Karumakan, an important Thira Koolam is believed to be the son of Sree Parvathy of Maha Vishnu.  Karumakan is also known in some of the Kaavukal as Vaishnavakrumakan.

Veerabadhran

Daksha the father of Sathi Devi, organized a grand Yajna(prayer ritual) to which all gods, goddesses and princes were invited, with exception to Sati and Shiva. Sati who realized this wanted to go to this Yajna, she asked Shiva to go with her, he refused, so she went escorted by Shiva's troops. When she got to the ritual, Daksha was very angry on seeing her. He yelled an abused her and Shiva, Sati on realizing, that the abuse was being heaped on Shiva because she had wed Shiva at the Swayamvar ceremony; she was the cause of this dishonor to her husband. Sati Devi was very furious cursed Daksha to be killed by Shiva and She incinerated her body in fire.  Shiva’s rage was incomparable on hearing this tragic incident. He hit the earth with his head and Veerabadhran, a ferocious creature was created, who wreaked havoc and mayhem on the scene of the horrific incident. Nearly all those present were indiscriminately killed overnight. Daksha himself was beheaded,( later shiva restored Daksha, both his life and his kingship, but his head was substituted with that of a goat.)

Vetakkoru Makan

Vettakkoru Makan is the son  of Shiva and Parvathy during their incarnation as hunter( kirathan)and huntress. Vettakkoru Makan had  extraordinary might and archery skills. Making free use of his bow and arrows he gave endless trouble to the Devas, Rishis and Asuras.   Unable to bear his mischief they approached Maha Vishnu who took the form of a small child hunter and went to the boy.

Maha Vishnu disguised as the child had a  golden Churika, Dragger-cum sword, which was so beautiful that it attracted the Vettakkoru Makan,  who requested  him to make a present of it.  Vishnu readily presented him the weapon with the condition that he always carried the Churika in his hand.

In order to accept the dragger in his right hand, Vettakkoru Makan held both bow and arrow in his left hand. At this instance Vishnu took leave of him instructing him to hold it on in the same manner.

Vettakkoru Makan with both bow and arrow in the same hand, unable to use it, approached lord Shiva  and conveyed his misery. Lord shiva convinced him that the churika he had was more than enough to destroy all the powers of evil, that he might  come across.