Machapureeswarar Temple, Kovil Devarayan Pettai – Legends
As per the Sthala Puranam, this Kshetram connects Vishnu and Shiva. When Brahma was taking rest, an Asura by name Hayagriva, stole the four Vedas and hid in the sea water. Brahma and the other Devas requested Lord Vishnu to help them by retrieving the Vedas. In the meanwhile, a king by name Satyavrathan was doing penance and was praying to Vishnu. One day when he was offering Argyam (prayers during Sandhyavandanam), a small fish came in his hands along with the water.
When the king was about to put it back in the water, it requested him not to do as otherwise, the bigger fish would eat it. The wonderstruck king, put the fish in his Pooja vessel and took it to his palace. By the time, he brought it to the palace, it outgrew the Kamandalam (Pooja vessel) and the King put it in a much bigger vessel, in no time, it became so big that the King was forced to put it in the local tank.
It immediately grew in size and the king had no alternative but to use his forces to carry to it to the sea and put in sea water. When he did this, the fish spoke once again. It told the king that in seven days, there will be huge floods (Pralayam) and the entire world will be submerged. To escape from this fate, the king should collect a specimen of each being including plants and animals and a big boat would come to rescue him and his collection.
The king realized that the fish was none other than Lord Vishnu and he had taken Machavataram to save him and his subjects. The Pralayam came as predicted and same was the case with the boat. The king loaded everything in the boat and tried to navigate it to a place at a higher level. The wind force was severe and the boat was about to capsize. The huge fish immediately materialized there and it supported the boat so that it did not sink.
After helping the boat to land in a safe place, the fish went further into the sea to track and kill Hayagriva. After killing him, it handed over the Vedas to Brahma. However, Vishnu could not get back his normal form due to the Dosham attached to the killing of Hayagriva. He installed a Lingam in this place and prayed to him to help him in getting back to his normal Roopam. Since Shiva obliged Vishnu, this Lord is called Machapureeswarar and Matsyapureeswarar.
In this temple, Parasakthi offered worship along with Vajreswari Devi (one of the Dwarabalakis of the Devi’s Abode) on the eighth day of Navarathri (Ashtami).