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Shiva's Lesser Known Children Discover the Fascinating Tales of Shiva's Offspring

Lord Shiva, the destroyer in the Trimurti, is known for his benevolence and granting wishes to his devotees. Shiva and Parvati are revered as the primordial couple. While Ganesha and Kartikeya are widely recognized as their children, Shiva has more offspring that are less commonly known but equally fascinating. Let’s delve into the stories of these lesser-known children of Shiva and the temples dedicated to them.

Ashok Sundari

Ashok Sundari is mentioned in the Shiva Purana and Padma Purana as the daughter of Shiva and Parvati. She was born after Kartikeya. According to the legends, Parvati created Ashok Sundari from a wish-granting tree called Kalpavriksha to overcome her loneliness. Ashok Sundari is often worshipped in South India as Bala Tripurasundari.

Manasa Devi

Manasa Devi, another daughter of Shiva, is also known as Vasuki. She is associated with the snake deity and is believed to have been born from Shiva's mind, not Parvati's womb, making her not Parvati's daughter. Manasa Devi is worshipped for protection against snake bites and for fertility and prosperity. The famous temple dedicated to her is located in Haridwar, Uttarakhand.

Ayyappa Swami

Ayyappa Swami, the son of both Shiva and Vishnu (in the form of Mohini), is a significant deity in South India. According to the legend, during the churning of the ocean, Vishnu took the form of Mohini, and Shiva was captivated by her beauty, resulting in the birth of Ayyappa. He is revered as Hariharaputra and is worshipped primarily in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. The Sabarimala temple in Kerala is one of the most famous temples dedicated to Ayyappa, where he is considered a powerful deity capable of combating Parashurama.