Thirukkurungudi Dhivya Desam – Religious Significance
The temple is revered in Nalayira Divya Prabhandham, the 7th–9th century Vaishnava canon, by Peyazhwar, Nammazhwar, Thirumangai Azhwar and Thirumalisai Alvar. The temple is classified as a Divyadesam, one of the 108 Vishnu temples that are mentioned in the book. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the temple finds mention in several works like 108 Tirupathi Anthathi by Divya Kavi Pillai Perumal Aiyangar. It is believed that Thirumangai Azhwar spent his last days in this place and attained Moksha.
The place is thus referred as Dakshina Vaikundam, the ultimate destination of Vaishnavites. A tradition of worshipping Vishnu through dance, music and art is called Kaisika Nataka is believed to have originated at Thirukkurungudi. A festival called Kaisika Ekadasi held at the temple every year. The local belief is that the devotees practising Kaisika Vratha or witnessing the performance would attain Moksha.
Arayar Sevai, another form of worshipping Vishnu is also believed to have originated in this place. As per legend, the practice was established by Nathamuni, who was practising with his fellow mates and Vishnu was hiding in the South Mada Street and enjoying the performance. Vishnu is also called as Gana Priyan, the one who enjoys music. It is believed that Ramanuja, the proponent of Vaishavadvaita philosophy taught Vishnu about Astakshara and hence the presiding deity came to be known as Vaishnava Nambi.