Kungiliya Kalaya Nayanar, an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva
, is one of the 63 Nayanars
mentioned in Periya Puranam
Nayanar was a Brahmin born in Tirukkadaiyur in Chola Kingdom. He got the name 'Kungiliya Kalaya Nayanar,' because he always held an incense pot in his hand. The Nayanar was in the habit of burning incense always in front of Lord Shiva. The Lord was highly pleased with the Nayanar’s devotion. Nayanar sold all his property to buy incense and burn it before the Lord. At last, in order to feed the children his wife decided to sell her mangalyam.
To try Nayanar's devotion, Lord Shiva appeared before the Nayanar as a hawker and told him that he had good incense to sell. Nayanar bought the incense for the price of his wife's mangalyam. Pleased with the Nayanar's devotion, the Lord restored to him all his lost wealth.