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 The Temple of Sri Ulagalanda Perumal (Sri Vamanamurthi Temple)
  Puranic Origin:


The Temple of Sri Ulagalanda Perumal (Sri Vamanamurthi Temple)     All of us know the greatness of Sri Prahalada's devotion to God and his undaunted faith in the immeasurable kindness of Lord Vishnu. To demonstrate His Omnipresence, Lord Vishnu emerged from a pillar during His incarnation as Narasimha, killed the Hiranyakasipu and protected Prahalada, His true devotee. The grandson of that Prahalada was the Emperor Mahabali. He was also an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu like his grand-father. He performed severe penance and secured a boon from Lord Brahma that he should never deviate from the path of Dharma in thought, word and deed. He ruled over the Kindgom strictly observing the code of royal conduct. Inspite of his erudition, he succumbed to the instigation of other demons and decided to annex the heavens, once belonging to his ancestors, from Indra the Lord of celestials. He sent word to Indra commanding him to give up the possession of the heavens. Not getting any reply from Indra, he decided to wage a war with him. Afraid of his prowers, Indra left the heavens. without offering any resistance. Mahabali, then usurped the Swarga Loka.

    Indra, the son of Kasyapa, reported the matter to his mother Adhiti. She prayed to Lord Vishnu for succour. In response to her prayers and desirous of restoring the heavens to Indra, Lord Vishnu incarnated as the son of Adhiti in the form of a dwarf. Hence his name Vamana. Lord Vishnu knew fully well that Mahabali strictly adhered to the path of Dharma. There is an old saying that Dharma protects one who protects it. As Mahabali never deviated from the path of Dharma, the of his multitude of his virtuous deeds should certainly stand him in good stead. If he were to be killed in a direct combact by Lord Vishnu, it would shatter the very foundations of Dharma. However he had to be subdued in order to restore the heavens to Indra and for this also, there must be some justification. According to the procedure laid down in the sastras only person who performs one hundred Aswamedha yagas is competent to occupy the throne of the Heavens and is considered fit for the lndrapadavi. One should deserve before one desires to rise up to an exalted position. But Mahabali did not perform one hundred Asvamedha sacrifices to enable him to acquire the position of Indra. He annexed the Heavens to his kingdom by usurping the same from India by sheer prowess and to that extent Lord Vishnu opined that Mahabali had deviated slightly from Dharma and deserved to be punished. Hence the Lord hit upon a plan to subdue him not by force but by an act of Dharma in which Mahabali, who annexed the heavens in a moment, would forfeit the same likewise.

The Temple of Sri Ulagalanda Perumal (Sri Vamanamurthi Temple)     To execute His plan, Lord Vishnu as Vamana, a bachelor with a diminutive stature, went to see Mahabali on the banks of the river Narmada where he was performing a sacrifice called "Vaishnava". He told him that he wanted to do penance in seclution and requested a dana or grant for that purpose, so much land as He could cover with his three footsteps. At that time Sukracharya, the preceptor of Asuras, learning by intution that Lord Vishnu Himself had come there as a malicious mendicant, cautioned him not to yield to His request in haste. Mahabali paid no heed to his words because he thought that if He happened to be Vishnu, it would be a great privilege for him to provide alms to Him from his own hand held at a higher level to that of His Varadahastha, renowned for granting boons to the entire creation. He took his Kamandala, the water-pot and began to offer the holy waters into Vanama's hand in conformity with the procedure to be followed before making any gift. At that time, Sukracharya in a last minute bid to save him from the impending calamity, took the form of a bee, entered the noozle of the Kamandala and obstructed the flow of water. Noticing this Maha Vishnu pierced the obstruction with a Dharba grass and as a result, Sukracharya who was in the form of a bee had to lose one of his eyes.

    The diminutive Vamana received the holy waters from' Mahabali, then assumed a mighty form in which he came to be called Trivikrama and began to measure the three steps even as the astonished Mahabali was simply gazing. The first step covered the earth and the second the heavens! There was no space where he could place his third step!! At that time, the great and generous Mahabali offered his own head for placing his third step. Trivikrama planted his foot on Mahabali's head and sent him to Pathala, the nether world and graced him to be its ruler, thereby restoring Indra to his Kingdom in the heavens. He had also graced Mahabali with the rare and unique Previlege of the touch of his foot while the Devas and the sages strive for yugas to reach that lotus feet of Lord Vishnu and thus rewarded Mahabali also for' following Dharma.

    In response to the prayers of Adisesha, Lord Vishnu gave in Kacheepuram darshan in that form of Trivikrama or Ulagalanda Perumal.

Description of the Temple:

The Temple of Sri Ulagalanda Perumal (Sri Vamanamurthi Temple)      The temple of Ulagalanda Perumal is near Big Kancheepuram Bus stand and Sri Kamakshi Ambal temple. The Shrine is referred to as Peragam in the hymns of Azhwars. The Lord Dwells under Sara or Srikara- Vimana in a standing posture facing the west. He is seen pointing two fingers of his right hand as if to show that he had already measured the earth and the heavens in two steps and pointing one finger of his left hand as if to ask Mahabali where he would plant his third step. He keeps his right foot aloft to show that he had already measured the earth and the heavens and his left foot on the head of Mahabali. To enable devotees to have darshan of his full stature, a lamp fixed to a big stick is lit and held aloft. Tirumazhisai Azhwar and Tirumangai Azhwar have sung in praise of this deity as "Peragathan". The consort of this deity is worshipped here, as 'Mother Amruthavalli'.

    In this temple, there are five Sri Vaishnavite sacred places known as divya desams. They are ( 1 & 2) Peragam and Ooragam always reffered to together, (3) Neeragam, (4) Karagam and (5) Karvanam.

    In a side room of the Garbagriha of Ulagalanda Perumal, we have the shrine called Ooragam, Where we can have Dharshan of Adisesha. Azhwars have sung in praise of Peragathan and Oorgathan always together. Devotees performs special Abishekams and adorn this Oorgathan with chanda nakappu covering the idol with sandal coating as a parihara to Rahu dosha.

    In the shrine called Neeragam dwells lord Jagadeeswara perumal under Jagadeeswara Vimana in standing posture facing east, as he once gave dharshan to saga Akura. His consort is worshipped by the devotees as ‘ mother padmamani’ Tirummangai Azhwar has sung in praise of Karagam.

The Temple of Sri Ulagalanda Perumal (Sri Vamanamurthi Temple)     The shrine , Karvanam is situated in the Prakara of Ulagalanda perumal temples, Karvana perumal temple , Karvana perumal temple called Navaneetha chora who dewells under Pushpaka Vimana in a standing posture facing west is said to have given dharshan to Parvathi , Mahabali and Aswathama . His Consort is worshipped by the devotees as ‘Mother Komalavalli’ . The Processional deites of Neeragathan and Karagathan are kept in shrine of Karvanaperumal.

    In the temple of Ulagalanda Perumal, Brahmotsavam is celebrated in the asterism Punarvasu inthe month of Thai. The archakas of this temple are the descendants of Parimelazhagar the renowed commentator on Tirukkural. Opposite to this temple also called Vamana Moorthi Devasthanam, there is a sannidhi of ChathurbhujaAnjaneya Sri Hanuman with four arms. A number of pilgrims visit the temple of Sri vamana Murthi everyday and have dharshan of Ulagalandaperumal, the magnificent form of Sri Vishnu in Trivikrama Avathara and offer prayers to get their desires fulfilled.

    Nearer to the temple of Sri Vamanamurthi, there is a temple of Sri Sankhupani Vinayakar, Sri. Ganeshji holding counch. In this temple there is a separate shrine for Sani (Saturn).

    Nearer to this temple and just near the Bus Stand in Nellukar street, there is temple for Chitragupta, where special poojas are performed on the Pournami - full moon day for Kethu Preethi. There is also a unique separate temple for Sri. Yamadharama Raja nearer the Bus stand in the same Nellukar street.

Thus a visit to the pilgrimcity Kancheepuram brings peace of mind to the pilgrims.