The legend of this temple is as romantic as the place itself. Dedicated to the virgin goddess Kanyakumari (Parvati) who stands guard over the country, the temple is built at the spot where the goddess is believed to have waited for her consort Lord Siva to come and claim her hand in marriage. At one time the shifting sands at the shores of Kanyakumariwere believed to be multi-hued as a result of the coloured rice that was sprinkled by approving gods over the couple at their wedding. Equally fascinating is the story about the diamond nose stud worn by the goddess believed to have (mis) guided many a ship to a sorry end at the treacherous rocks near the shore. So great was the threat of the reflected light from the nose-stud to the unsuspecting ships that the door on the side facing the sea had to be closed for ensuring the safety of the ships.