|Description This Divyadesam
is located in the coastal resort town and historic center Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram,
at a distance of 64 km from Chennai. It is an ancient temple dating back to the Pallava
period, now thoroughly renovated. Also in Mahabalipuram are the famous Pallava relics of
the Shore Temple , the five Pandava Rathams, and the portrayal of the descent of the
Ganges. Tourist attractions in the vicinity of Mamallapuram include the Vedantangal bird
sanctuary and the Tirukkazhunkunram hill temple (Shivastalam).
The Tiruvidandai Divyadesam is
also located near Mamallapuram.
Mamallapuram is the birthplace of Bhootattalwar, one of
the earliest of the Alwars.
Deities: The Moolavar here is Stalasayana Perumaal in a reclining
posture facing east. An image of Pundarika Muni is also housed in the sanctum. Taayaar
here is Nilamangaittaayaar (in a separate sanctum). Utsavar here is Stalasayanatturaivaar
also known as Ulagyuua ninraan, portrayed bearing a lotus bud.. There are shrines to Andal
and Rama also.
Legend has it that Pundarika Muni, armed with a basket laden with (taamarasa) flowers
proceeded eastward, to worship Vishnu as KsheeraptiNathan (the lord of the milky ocean);
in his devotional fervour, attempted to drain the waters of the ocean to reach his goal.
Vishnu appeared in front of him as an aged devotee and the devout rishi proceded to find a
means to feed him, and in the meanwhile, Vishnu provided him with a vision of the grand
Anantasayanam at the same spot, adorned with flowers from the saint's basket, and hence
the name Stalasayana Perumaal. Legend has it that one of the Pallava rulers here was
turned into a crocodile in the temple tank; upon gripping the leg of the blessed Pundarika
rishi, his curse is believed to have been lifted.
The Temple: The Telugu rulers of Chandragiri have provided for the
construction of this temple. This temple underwent renovation in the 19th century and it
covers an area of about 4 acres with a rajagopuram seen from a distance. This temple has
been referred to in the Sangam period tamil work Pattuppaattu.
Festivals: Two worship services are carried out each day. The annual
Maasi Magham festival sees thousands of devotees bathing in the sea nearby.