Uthra Ranganathar Temple, Pallikonda – Legends
This temple is situated in the village called Pallikondaan or Pallikonda on the banks of River Palar. As Lord is in his reclining form as in the milk ocean (Sheera Sagara or Par Kadal), the river is named as Palar which means “River of Milk" and the place is called Pallikondaan which means "The Reclining God".
Place for Salvation:
According to Brahmanda Purana, staying in this temple for a night and worshipping Perumal ensure salvation to the soul. It is considered that if you stay for 3 nights at Kanchi, you get salvation but here if you stay just one night, you get salvation.
During foreign invasions, original Ranganathaswamy was hidden and replaced with a small idol of Sri Ranganathar known as Kasthuri Ranganathar or Chotta Ranganathar. Even today Pujas are performed to this Chotta Ranganathar.
Indira got relieved of Brahmaharthi Dosham here:
Once Indira got Brahmaharthi Dosham, then as per Kashyapa Rishi's advice Indira took sacred bath in this temple pond "Vyasa Pushkarani" for one year and got rid of the Dosha.
Lord took reclining form on Brahma’s request:
Mothers Mahalakshmi and Maha Saraswathi once had a debate about the supremacy of the one over the other. They approached Lord Brahma who said Mahalakshmi is superior. So, Devi Saraswathi got angry and left Brahma, came to Nandhi Durga hills and began penance to attain supremacy. Meantime, Lord Brahma organized a Yagna dedicating to Lord Vishnu. As a rule, such rituals should be performed along with wife by the side. Brahma invited Saraswathi to join him the Yagna but She refused. Brahma created Savitri with the attributes of Maha Saraswathi, married her and began the Yagna which further infuriated Mother Saraswathi.
To destroy the Yagna, Saraswathi took the form of a river, Sheera Nadhi or Palar River and began to flood furiously. Brahma prayed to Lord Vishnu to stop the flood and save the Yagna. On Brahma request, Lord Sri Vishnu took Reclining Form on Adhiseshan at three sacred places in front of the flood and stopped it and the Yagna also got completed successfully. The first place where Lord took reclining Form is Pallikonda which is also known as Vada Arangam, the second place is Thiruparkadal near Kaveripakkam and the third is Tiruvekkaa or Yathothkari Perumal (Sonna Vannam Seitha Perumal) Temple in Kanchipuram.
Marriage Parihara Sthalam:
Also in this sthalam, Lord Vishnu married Shenbagavalli Thayar on Panguni Uthiram day as per Sage Sampathi's request and prayer. As Lord himself got married in this sthalam, many weddings are conducted in this temple and it is believed that the couple will live together happily with long life.
As per Sthala Purana it is believed that after Lord Brahmma successfully performed the Yagna which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Sriman Narayana appeared from the Yagna Kundam as Sri Varadharaja Swamy and Brahma performed ten days Urchavam to this Sri Varadharaja Swamy in this sthalam and this Urchavam was first referred as Brahmotsavam. Though nowadays Brahmotsavam is celebrated in almost all Vishnu temples it was first celebrated in this Pallikonda temple and it was first performed by Lord Brahma.
Amba Raja got darshan of Lord Vishnu here:
According to the Sthala History, there lived a king called Amba Raja who was ruling this part of the country called Thiruvedhimangalam (today’s Pallikonda). He has been highly victorious and was enjoying all the worldly pleasures as a king. Having fed up with materialistic life, he one day realized that the purpose of his birth is only to get the Dharshan of Sri Maha Vishnu. He started worshipping Maha Vishnu for years together and was eagerly waiting to have his Dharshan.
Years rolled by. But there was no sign of God appearing to him. He got frustrated and attempted suicide. While he was trying to commit suicide, a heavenly voice from the sky told him to be patient and to continue his prayers so that he will soon get the Dharshan of God. The king became happy and continued his worships. After stopping Saraswathi from disturbing Brahma’s Yagam, Lord Vishnu came back to Pallikonda and gave Dharshan to Amba Raja. The king asked for a boon that the God should settle here and give Dharshan to everyone visiting this place.
As the God settled here during his act of uniting Brahma and Saraswathi, the king prayed that He should grant boon for unmarried people and the separated couples visiting here. Lord Ranganathar agreed to it and granted his wish. Even today, it is said that unmarried men or women who worship Lord Ranganathar here, get married soon. Also, the couples, who have quarrels or separation in married life, get united upon worshipping Lord Ranganathar here.