Monday, March 3, 2008

Thiru Kadal Mallai Sthala Sayana Perumal

The Lord is seen in a sleeping posture lying on the ground
 Only Divya Desam where the Utsav deity has a Lotus flower in his hand
The birth place of BhoothathAzhvaar
Thiru Mangai Azhvaar in his Periya Thirumozi refers to ships carrying Gold and Gems along the shores of Kadal Mallai

Located in the heart of Maamallapuram, about 50 kms South of Madras along the East Coast Road, is the Sthala Sayana Perumal temple in Thiru Kadal Mallai. Mahabalipuram was once a famous and a very important port town and business center with European traders dealing here through the barter system, thousands of years ago.

Thiru Mangai Azhvaar in his Periya Thirumozhi (1103) refers to the ships carrying gold and gems on the shores of Kadal Mallai, where the Lord is seen in a Sayana Kolam.

புலன் கொள் நிதிக் குவையோடு, புழைக் கை மா களிற்று இனமும்
நலம் கொள் நவமணிக் குவையும் சுமந்து, எங்கும் நான்று ஒசித்து

காலங்கள் இயங்கும் மல்லைகடல்மல்லைத் தலசயனம்
கலங்கொள் மனத்தார் அவரை வலங்கொள் என் மட நெஞ்சே

Today one can see several art sculpture within a km of this temple. Also near this temple are Pancha Paandava Mandapam and the chariot, the cave temples as well as the place where Arjuna is said to have undertaken penance.

Several other temples built on the sea shore have been washed away, leaving this Divya Desam temple as the only prominent one.

The Story
Pundarika Rishi wanted to place a 1008 petals of the lotus flowers at the feet of ThiruPaarkadal Lord. As he made his way in the Eastern direction towards the Lord, he found that the sea water blocked his path. Hence, he got down to putting his mind and effort every day in clearing his way by removing the water with his hand. Pleased with the effort of the Rishi, Lord Narayana came here disguised as an old hungry brahmin. Once here, he asked the Rishi to bring him some food.

Leaving aside the work of removing the water, the Rishi left behind the 1008 flowers with the old man and went to bring food for the Lord. On his return, he found, at the Mahabalipuram sea shore, Lord Vishnu lying on the ground in a sleeping posture on top of Adhiseshan, with 4 hands and having adorned himself with 1000 Lotus petals. Hence the Lord here is called Sthala Sayana Perumal.

At this temple, one finds Pundarika Rishi at the feet of Sthala Sayana Perumal offering the Lotus flowers.

All wishes of the devotees are said to be fulfilled here as the Lord is seen sleeping on the floor, on par with the devotees, who visit him.

Famous Rulers and their association with this temple
Pallavas built this temple in the 9th century AD near the sea, right at the place where Thirupaarkadal Lord is believed to given darshan in a sleeping posture to Pundarika Rishi. Later, in 14th century AD, Vijayanagara King Paraangusan shifted the temple to within the port town of Maamallapuram, fearing the destruction due to high waves of the then existing temple and built the temple that ones sees today in the traditional form with the four Mada streets around the temple. Sthala Sayana Perumal is seen lying on the ground in a sleeping posture.

In addition to the Pallava and Vijayanagara rulers, Chozhas have also contributed significantly to the temple.

King and his daily trip to ThiruVidanthai
King HariKesaVarma, a great devotee of Lord Vishnu used to visit Thiruvidanthai, another Divya Desam about 15kms North of this temple (towards Madras on East Coast Road) for his daily prayers to Nithya Kalyana Perumal. Only after he had offered his players, would he eat.

To test his devotion, one day Nithya Kalyana Perumal, disguised as an old man, intercepted the king just as he was for leaving for Thiruvidanthai and asked for food.

Put in an awkward situation, the king decided to visualize the old man as his Thiruvidanthai Lord, prayed before him and thereafter offered him food.

Pleased with his devotion, the old man gave the king darshan as Nithya Kalyana Perumal.

This is the birth place of BhoothathAzhvaar.

Quick Facts

Moolavar : Sthala Sayana Perumal East Facing Bhujanga Sayanam
Goddess  : Nila Mangai Thaayar
Utsavar   : Ulaguyya Ninraan

Azhvaar  :ThiruMangai- 26 Paasurams and BhoothathAzhvaar –1 Paasuram
Time        : 630am –12noon and 3pm-830pm

Contact : Balaji Bhattar /Gopalakrishnan Bhattar @ 044 2744 2183 / 94442 35284 / 98404 08755

Location: 50 kms South of Madras along the East Coast Road

Buses ply regularly on East Coast Road and on Old Mahabalipuram road between Madras and Maamallapuram.

By Car, one can reach the temple within an hour from Madras


Unknown said...

Hi Prabhu

Nice story. A befitting example of true devotion to the Lord.

"In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't"

Keep your good work going

All the best

Look forward to more stories

PRabhu S said...

Dear Ranjani

Thanks for reading the story.

And for your kind words and encouragement


venkatnadhan said...

Dear all,

This is something marvellous explanation in brief.I'm in pondy and have crossed this temple while travelling many times but today i came to know the completeness of this temple.

Worth seeing.

May the lord bless all of us !


Prabhu.S said...

Good to Know.


dsdsds said...

Hi Prabhu,

could you throw more light on the thiru vidanthai temple and the sculpture of mahabalipuram caves where he has lakshmi to his right unlike thiruvidanthai where he has lakshmi to his left

PRabhu S said...


Thanks for the message:)

Will do.