By Swami Harshananda
Ekāmra-kṣetra literally means ‘a place of pilgrimage with one mango tree’.
Kāñcīpuram or Kāñcī is one of the seven most holy places of pilgrimage. Once Pārvati, the divine spouse of Śiva, incurred his wrath and was cursed by him to become ugly. Later, after repentance, Śiva advised her to perform severe austerities to regain him.
She sat under a single mango tree regained her beautiful form by the grace of Viṣṇu and then performed severe austerities as advised. Pleased with her, Śiva appeared and accepted her. Then she again became famous as Kāmākṣi. Hence, the modern Kāñcīpuram, came to be known as Ekāmrakṣetra and the Śiva in the temple there was known as Ekāmranātha. There is an ancient mango tree there, with a small shrine below it containing the image of Pārvatī in meditation.
- Eka = one, āmra = mango tree
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore