Sri Vaikuntanathan Perumal Temple (Kallapiran Temple), Srivaikundam, Thoothukudi – Legends
Vishnu restoring Vedas back to Brahma:
As per Hindu legend, Somuka, a demon, defeated Brahma, the Hindu god of creation and stole the four Vedas (sacred texts) from him. Brahma was helpless and he did severe penance in the banks of Thamiraparani River seeking favour from Vishnu in the form of Vaikuntanathan. Pleased by the penance, Vishnu appeared to Brahma and promised to retrieve the Vedas. He killed the demon Somuka and restored the Vedas to Brahma. He also wished to set his abode as Srivaikundam and resided there as Vaikuntanatha.
Story behind the Deity name Pal Pandiyan:
As per another legend, the image of Vaikundanatha, over the period of several ages, had no patrons and was left submerged under the earth. A cow from a herd of the king, which used to graze at the place, did ablution at the place with its where Vaikuntanatha lay buried. The king was displeased to see that a particular cow alone was not yielding milk and thought it might have been the trick of the herdsman.
He deployed his men to monitor the cow, who reported the events to the king. The king realised that the cow would lead him to divinity and he dug up the region around the place. He reinstated the image of Vaikundanathar and expanded the temple. Since Vaikundanathar was revealed by the cow, the presiding deity got the name Pal Pandian (pal in Tamil indicates milk).
Story behind the name Kallapiran:
Kaladushana was a head of robbers in the region, but also was a staunch devotee of Vaikundanathar. He stole from the rich and distributed the wealth to the poor people in the region. The ruling Pandya king wanted to arrest him, but his attempts were futile. During one of the encounters, he could arrest everyone except Kaladushana. Kaladushana prayed to Srivaikuntanathar to save him and his troop from the king.
Vaikundanathar appeared as Kaladushana and surrendered before the king. Later, he appeared in the dreams of the king to narrate the events and also informed him that he wanted the king and the people to learn that large accumulation of ill-gotten wealth would be stolen and would reach the right hands. The king was enlightened and he released Kaladushana and his troop. Since Vaikundanathar appeared for thieves (called kalla in Tamil), he came to be known as Kallapiran.
Adiseshan above a Standing Lord:
In Vishnu temples, Adiseshan, the Serpent God, is seen unfurling his hood over Vishnu in a reclining posture. This is the only Divya Desam where Adiseshan has his hood above the Standing Lord.
Sun’s rays on the Lord:
Another unique feature of this Divya Desam is that the Sun’s rays falls directly on Lord Vaikuntanathan on two days, on the 6th day of Chitrai (April-May) and Aipasi (October-November) every year.