Neelamegha Perumal Temple, Thirukannapuram – Food Offerings
Muna Yodhran Pongal is a traditional food offered to the deity every night during the last Pooja. There are two legends associated with it. As per one of them, a devotee by name Munayodharan offered the dish made of rice, lentil and ghee to Vishnu every day in the temple. During one night, he could not offer and he felt for it. Vishnu was pleased by his devotion and appeared to him in his house during the night. Bells were ringing, lights were glowing and a path was defined from his house to the temple where smell of his offering was appearing all the way.
As per another legend, Muniyodharan Pillai, a Chola feudatory was bestowed with the responsibility of collecting taxes in the region. He was a great devotee of Vishnu and stayed in Thirukannapuram. During the torrential flood, he spent the entire amount collected for the welfare of the people. The king was displeased and he arrested Muniyodharan. Viraghadibhogam was a maiden that had Muniyodharan in high esteem and she pleaded with god Vishnu. Vishnu appeared in the dreams of the king and ordered him to release Muniyodharan. It is believed Viraghadibhogam offered Pongal to Vishnu and hence it came to be known as Muniyodharan Pongal.