Nithyakalyana Perumal Temple, Thiruvidandai – Legends
As per Hindu legend, Vishnu's gatekeepers Jaya and Vijaya are cursed by sages that they would be born as asuras (demons) during their next birth. They were born on earth as Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu to sage Kashyapa and his wife Diti. The demon brothers on account of their powers take control of the universe. The elder brother Hiranyaksha practises penance and obtains boon from Brahma which makes him invincible by any animal or human. Hiranyaksha captures earth, personified as goddess Bhudevi and hides her under ocean.
All the celestial deities and sages went to Vishnu for rescue. Since Hiranyaksha did not include the boar in the list of animals that can slay him, Vishnu assumes this form with huge tusks and goes down to the primordial ocean. Hiranyaksha obstructs Varaha and the pair has a strong duel. Varaha lifts the earth on his tusks, which would go on to be the most common figurine representation of Varaha.
The two fought each other with their mace, with Varaha emerging victorious after a thousand-year duel. Varaha emerges from the ocean with the earth in his tusks and repositions her in her original spot. The earth goddess Bhudevi falls in love with Varaha, whom he is believed to have taken in his lap in this place. It is also believed that a number of maidens waited to marry the smart looking boar Varaha.
As per another legend, a king by name Harikesarivarman used to visit the temple every day from Mahabalipuram and wanted to settle at this place. Vishnu was pleased by his devotion and appeared as Sthalasayana Perumal at Mahabalipuram - the legend is associated with the Thirukadalmallai temple at Mahabalipuram.
Story behind the name Thiruvidandhai:
During the Hindu epoch called Thretha Yuga, Mahabali - the son of King Meganaathan - was ruling his kingdom in a righteous way. The Asuras (demons) Mali, Malyavan and Sumali and others sought the help of Bali to fight the Devas (gods). Bali declined to help them and the demons fought alone and were defeated by the Devas. They again came to King Bali for help and he obliged them this time. Bali won the war but was afflicted with the Bramha-hathi dosha (sin of killing). He came to the area where the Thiruvidanthai Nithya Kalyana Perumal Temple is currently for relief. Bali performed a severe penance to win over Lord Vishnu.
Pleased with his penance, Perumal appeared before Bali in his Varaha Rupa (boar incarnation). Sage Kuni and his daughter performed a penance for Lord Narayana (Vishnu) to gain entry into Sorgam (Paradise). Kuni succeeded in attaining Sorgam but his daughter failed to do so. Maharshi Narada, the prime devotee of Vishnu, told the young girl that as she was unmarried she could not attain Sorgam. He requested one of the rishis (sages) to marry her. Kalava Maharshi married her and they gave birth to 360 girls. The sage performed a penance and begged Lord Narayana to marry his daughters but Narayana did not come.
One day, a Brahmachari (bachelor) came there saying that he was on a Divyadesa Yatra to all the Vishnu temples in the land. As he was very handsome, like Narayana, the sage requested him to marry his daughters. The traveler agreed and married the girls, one by one every day. On the last day, he showed his true form for he was none other than Narayana in the form of Varaha. All the 360 daughters merged into Akhilavalli Thayar who is seated in the left lap of Varaha Swamy. As Perumal seated Akhilavalli in his Left Lap ('Tiru' in Tamil refers to Lakshmi or Akilavalli and 'Ida' refers to Left Side) the place came to be known as Tiru-ida-vendhai which later changed as Thiruvidandhai.