Kunthi madhava swamy:
It is one of the five Pancha madhava kshetras: Kunti madhava swamy.
To know about Pada Gaya we have to know the story of Gayasura. Gayasura is a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. He worshiped Vishnu for a long time. Lord Vishnu appeared before him and asked to take the required boon. Gayasura asked to make his body so pious that every one who sees him will attain Mukti (salvation) immediately. Vishnu accepted it and disappeared.
Gayasura started to grow his body to an enormous size with the help of Yoga shakti. It was hundreds of k.m height. His wish is to show himself to all so that everybody on the earth attains Mukti. This made Indra (the king on deities) fearful. If everybody attains Mukti who will be there to be ruled by him? He prąyed Trimurthis, Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara. He asked them to tell a solution. They laughed at Indra and disappeared.
They approached Gayasura in the form of three Brahmins. Gayasura welcomed them. They told Gayasura that they are going to do a very sacred Yagna and for that requested land from him. Gayasura happily accepted to give it. But, they questioned him where will he give the land? Each and every place on earth has bad incidents in it's history and so unfit for their sacred Yagna. Gayasura wondered. He asked them to tell the solution. They told that his body will be the best place. They supported their logic with the boon he got from Vishnu and his wish in giving salvation to everybody. And told that this can be considered as a challenge to him. He has to face the sins of all people before giving salvation. He has to face many Vighnas (obstacles) both physically and mentally to fullfil his desire. They told that the capabilities of Gayasura can be pre-tested in helping to this Yagna.
Gayasura accepted. That Yagna will be conducted for seven days. He developed his body with his power and slept on the earth. His head was in Gaya of Bihar (Siro gaya), his Navel was in Jajpur of Orissa (Nabhi gaya) and his foot were in Pithapuram of Andhra pradesh state (Pada gaya). The Brahmins started doing Yagna.
Gayasura is bearing the fire on his body. He is counting the days with the help of crowing of cocks in the early morning. He is becoming frustrated day by day because of the fire but not moving his body for the word he gave. On the final day Lord Shiva took a form of the cock and crowed at midnight. Considering it as the sign of morning Gayasura woke up. The Yagna was destroyed. The Brahmins felt very sad. They asked him that if he couldn't control himself for just seven days how he is willing to bear the sins of entire humanity for unlimited time? Gayasura realized his mistake. He agreed his fault. Trimurthis appeared before him and told that his body will be present as it is and the entire land will become sacred because of him. This is the story of Gayasura and Kukkuteswara swamy.
The three important places became three Shakti peethas, namely,
- Mangala gauri at Gaya
- Girija (Bhiraja) at Jajpur
- Puruhutika at Pithapuram