The religious history or the Sthala Purana of Kukke Temple (Sree Kshetra Subramanya Temple) dates back to the era of the demon Tarakasura. According to many ancient Scriptures like Puranas, Ithihaasa, after killing the demon rulers, Tharaka, Shurapadmasura and their followers in a war, Lord Shanmukha reached Kumara parvatha with his brother Ganesh and others. He was received by Indra and his followers.
Indra being very happy prayed Lord Kumara Swamy to accept and marry his daughter Devasena for which the Lord readily agreed. The divine marriage took place on Margashira Shudha Shashti at Kumara Parvatha. Gods like Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra and many other deities assembled for the marriage and coronation ceremony of Shanmukha for which waters of several holy rivers were brought. With these waters of Mahabhisheka fell down to form a river which was later known by the popular name Kumaradhara.
The great Shiva Bhakta and Serpent king Vasuki was performing tapas for years in the Biladwara caves of Kukke Subrahmanya to avoid the attack of Garuda. Following Lord Shiva’s assurance Shanmuka gave darshan to Vasuki and blessed him that he would stay with his parama bhakta in this place forever. Hence the poojas offered to Vasuki or Nagaraja are nothing but the poojas to Lord Subrahmanya.
Subramanya used to be called as Kukke Pattana in the past. In the ‘Shankara Vijaya’ Anandagiri observes that Sri Shankaracharya camped here for a few days during his religious expedition (Digvijaya). Shankaracharya referred to this place as ‘Bhaje Kukke Lingam’ in his ‘Subrahmanya Bhujangaprayata Stotram’.
Sri Subrahmanya kshetra has been brilliantly described in the ‘Thirthakshetra Mahimanipurana’ chapter of the Sahyadrikhanda comprised in the Sanatkumara Samhita of Skanda Purana. This kshetra is situated in the banks of the river ‘Dhara’ which originates in the Kumara mountain and proceeds to the western sea.