Soundararajaperumal Temple, Nagapattinam – Legends
The tributary of river Cauvery, Odambokki, passes close to the temple and the river is also called Virutha Kaveri. This leads to one of the names of presiding deity, "Kaveri Thuraivan".
The present day Nagapattinam is believed to have been a forest, historically named Sundararinyam.
Eunuchs attained physical fitness after bath in Theertham:
It is believed that two eunuchs, Kandan and Sukandan, attained physical fitness after having a holy dip in Sara Pushkarani, the temple tank.
Brahma worshipped Vishnu here:
The Hindu god of creation, Brahma, started worshiping Vishnu at this place. Vishnu is believed to have appeared on the auspicious day of Masi Maham on the banks of Sarapushkarani. On account of the glow emanating from Masi Maham, Vishnu at this place was called "Azhagiyan". Since he had a glittering skin, he was called "Soundara Rajan", meaning the most beautiful and his consort was called Soundaravalli.
Adisesha worshipped Vishnu here:
Since the king of Nagars (snakes),Adisesha worshipped Vishnu at this place, the place was called Nagar Pattinam, the place of Nagars.
Druva attained Salvation here:
Another legend has that Druva, Son of King Uthanapadha underwent penance to get possession of the entire world under his regime and he prayed to Lord Vishnu. He followed strict austerities in this sacred land. The compassionate Lord appeared before Druva in one of his most beautiful form on his celestial vehicle Garuda. After seeing the most attractive form of Lord, Druva completely forgot his longing to rule the entire world and requested Lord to provide Salvation.
Fame across 4 Yugams:
The fame of this temple is distinct and dates back across each of the 4 Yugams. In Kretha Yugam, the king of Nagas (Serpent Lord) undertook penance here. Pleased with this, Lord Vishnu agreed to accept Adisesha as the one on whom he would rest ‘always’. Since the Serpent Lord bagged this big gift from the Lord, this place has come to be called ‘Naagar’ Pattinam. It was here that Bhooma Devi in Thretha Yugam, and Markandeya Rishi, in Dwapara Yugam, Saleesa Chola during Kali Yuga undertook penance.
Naga Raja performed Kanniga Dhanam:
It is believed that Naga Raja performed Kanniga Dhanam at this kshetram.