Thiru Mukkoodal Appan Venkatesa Perumal Temple – Legends
Lord Venkatesa Perumal helping Kind Thondaiman in war:
According to the legend, the king Thondaiman once started to Thirupathi to have darshan of Lord Venkatesa Perumal. He then heard a divine voice telling him that it was not the time to visit Thirupathi as a king from a neighbouring country was nearing his kingdom to wage a war. The voice advised him to be with his son during war time to save the country and later to visit Thirupathi.
On hearing this Thondaiman prayed to Lord Venkatesa Perumal and the Lord blessed him to win the battle and gifted him with his Sanku (Conch) & Chakra (Wheel). Thondaiman successfully won the battle and on his way back both the weapons Sanku and Chakra vanished. Later, the Lord directed Sri Ramanujar to install Sanku & Chakra for him at this place. That’s how the deity here had got Sanku & Chakra here.
Then the king Thondaiman surrendered to Perumal at Thirupathi seeking ‘Moksha’. The Lord directed him to come to Thirumukkudal to grant Moksha to him. The king visited here to have darshan of the Lord. Till then, the Lord here was said to be in ‘Sayana Kolam’ (reclining posture like Ranganathar). When the king visited here the Lord is said to have changed his posture and gave him darshan in standing posture.
The king Thondaiman, out of his excitement and bliss, embraced the Lord saying ‘Appaney Venkatesa’ (அப்பனே வெங்கடேசா), means ‘Oh My Father Venkatesa!’ and from then the Lord here came to be known as ‘Appan Venkatesa Perumal’. The king Thondaiman is said to have built this temple initially for Lord Sri Venkatesa Perumal. The same king is said to have built the temple at Thirupathi (Thirumalai) as well as Thirumalai Vaiyaavoor, which is called Southern Thirupathi.
Lord Vishnu darshan to Brighu Rishi:
Lord Srinivasa provided darshan, facing north, to Brighu Maha Rishi who undertook penance here and hence he is seen in a standing posture facing Northern Direction.
Divya Desam Connection:
While this is not a Divya Desam, there are some interesting connections with Tirupathi and Oppiliappan Divya Desams. One finds Tirupathi Lord’s Conch and Chakra at this temple. Similar to Oppiliappan temple, Lord Srinivasa is said to have provided darshan to Markandeya Rishi (as Ranganatha in his Sayana Kolam) and to Bhoodevi as Kannan. Hence, Markandeya Rishi and Bhoo Devi are seen by the side of Appan Venkatesan.
Equivalent to Kasi:
Having bath at the confluence of the three rivers and undertaking Pitru Tharpanam on the river bank is said to provide Puniyam equivalent to having bath in Kasi.