Parimala Ranganatha Perumal Temple, Thiruindaloor – Legends
Lord Vishnu restored the Vedas:
The demons Madhu and Kaitaba stole the Vedas and disappeared into the sea. Lord Vishnu in the form of Matsya Avatara restored the Vedas as well their fragrance and hence the name Sugandharanyam and Parimala Ranganathar.
Chandra-Shapa-Vimochana Valli Thayar:
Chandran (moon) who was afflicted by a curse got absolved by Thaayar by taking bath in the Chandra pushkarani here and so the name of the Thaayar as Chandra-Shapa-Vimochana Valli.
Cauvery occupies head side of Vishnu like Ganges for Shiva:
River Cauvery is given the status of Ganges in this kshetram. She is being taken by the Lord as bed at Srirangam, as mother in Thirucherai and above his head at this kshetram, just as Ganges occupies the head of Shiva. Cauvery is near the head side and Ganges at the foot side of the Lord in the sanctum.
The history of the temple speaks the greatness of Ekadasi Vrata-fasting that is the devotee committed to this prayer should spend the whole day only with thoughts of Lord without consuming even a drop of water. King Ambarishan was following this practice meticulously. The devotee should take food only the next day-Dwadasi the 12th day of New Moon or Full moon at an auspicious time. And that was the 100th Ekadasi-Dwadasi for king Ambarisha. People of his country and those in the palace were happy that their king will be completing a century and there were necessary arrangements for the celebrations.
But, people in the celestial world were unhappy because, Ambarishan may be elevated to their status if his 100th fasting went successfully. They did not want to lose their position for a human. They approached Sage Durvasa to undo his fasting and help retaining their positions. The sage, noted for his temperament assured the Devas to help them and came down to earth. By then, the king had finished the Ekadasi fasting. The fasting would become complete only if he took his food before the prescribed time the next day-Dwadasi.
If the time ends, the fruits of the fasting also would be lost. The king did not know that the sage had come with an evil plan. The king was about to take his food when Sage Durvasa entered his palace. The king was doubly glad to have a guest in Sage Durvasa and requested him to accept his hospitality-dining with him. The sage cunningly told him that he accepted his invitation and would be back to be with him for the lunch after a bath in the river. His plan was to fail the king. The time was fast nearing. The king was afraid of the curse of the sage if he ate without him. He consulted the pandits in his court. The chief Pandit said that if he simply consumes of few drops of water, he would complete the fasting in order. King did this and was waiting for the sage to have the full food.
Knowing this through his powers, Durvasa created a ghost to kill the king. When the ghost began chasing him, Ambarisha sought asylum at Lord’s feet. Perumal looked at the ghost angrily. The ghost began to retreat and disappeared. Realizing the devotion of the king and the power of his fasting, sage Durvasa sought the pardon of the Lord. The sage was pardoned. When asked by the Lord of his wish after completing 100 Ekadasi fastings, king Ambarisha begged the Lord that he should stay at this place and bless the devotees. Pleased with the king’s request, Lord Vishnu-Perumal is blessing His devotees from this temple as Parimala Ranganathar.
Brihaspati cursed Chandran for eloping with his wife:
The story goes that Chandran (Moon God) fell in love with his preceptor Brihaspati’s wife Tara and eloped with her, in the absence of his Guru. When Brihaspati found his wife missing, he sought the help of Brahmma who asked Tara to return to her husband. Later, when Tara’s pregnancy came to light, a furious Brihaspati cursed Chandra to deformity saying that the biggest sin of life is to caste one’s eyes on another’s spouse and that Chandran would have to undergo the full severity of the curse for having cast his eyes wrongfully on another's wife. Repenting for wrongly casting his eye on another man’s wife, Chandran requested Brihaspati to provide him an opportunity for performing Parikara that could help him cleanse his grave sins.
As part of the 3 fold Parikara, Chandra undertook penance here at Thiru Indhalur after bathing at the sacred Theertham, invoking the blessings of Lord Vishnu. Answering his prayers, Lord appeared before him and agreed to liberate him from part of the sins. The story goes that Chandran went to Thalai Changa Naan Mathiyam, another Divya Desam about 15 east of Thiru Indhalur, where he was fully liberated from his curse and dosham).
Dakshan cursed Chandran:
Another story goes that Dakshan was so taken in by Chandran’s handsome features that he decided to make him the suitor for his 27 daughters. However, Chandran was interested only in one of the daughters, Rohini and mockingly ignored the others. Dakshan found that the handsome looks had made Chandran too arrogant and cursed him to immediately lose his youth and his strong luring features.
The Name Indhalur:
Pleased with being partly liberated from his curse, Chandran (another name of Chandran is Indhu) requested that this place be called Indhalur in his memory.
Argument between Thiru Mangai Azhvaar and Lord Parimala Rangan:
When Thirumangai Azhvaar reached Indhalur, Lord Parimala Rangan shut the door on him reasoning that he was late. Upset at this, Thirumangai Azhvaar argued vehemently Parimala Ranganatha. When a friend keeps a thing that we want and does not want to share with us, we typically say ‘Keep it to yourself’ in jest. Similarly, here, with the Lord not allowing Thirumangai Azhvaar an entry into the temple, the Azhvaar asked Parimala Rangan to keep all his beauty to himself and to enjoy it on his own.
Thirumangai Azhvaar goes on to argue that the world would talk about the Lord in bad light as he shut the door on the Azhvaar. The Lord ignores this comment of the Azhvaar saying that he need not worry about it and that he will take care of any ill feelings. Despite repeated attempts to impress the Lord to allow him an entry, Parimala Rangan maintains his silence. A dejected and frustrated Thiru Mangai Azhvaar decided that he would leave the place as the Lord was stubborn at not allowing Darshan to the Azhvaar.
Thiru Mangai Azhvaar says ‘வாசி வல்லீர் இந்தளுரீர் வாழ்ந்தே போம்நீரே….’ to mean that ‘I am leaving; you yourself live here and enjoy life’. Sensing that, Thiru Mangai Azhvaar may actually leave the place without praising him enough; Lord Parimala Rangan tries to prolong the argument and asks him to sing praise of him. Thiru Mangai Azhvaar replies saying “How can I shower praise on you when you do not allow me to see you”. Lord Parimala Ranga says “You who have sung praises of other Lords, sitting in your place, do sing praise of me too so I can happily listen to your sweet songs.” Thirumangai Azhvaar finally fell for it and composed verses of praise on Parimala Rangan.