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Temples - Sri Ulagalandar Temple

ulagalandar

This is a small temple near the Kamakshi Amman Temple.The main deity of this temple is 35 feet high and 24 feet wide posing with one foot on earth and the other on the sky. This form is called Trivikrama. This temple is one of the 108 Divya Desam's of Lord Vishnu. Subshrines of this temple namely Tiruneerakam, Tirukarakam, and Kaarvaanam are Divya Desam's as well.

The mythological story goes as follows: King Bali, son of Virochana and grandson of Prahlada, was famous for his austerities. Though a Daitya, a ruler of demons, Bali earned much merit by his virtuous deeds and his devotion to Brahma. He became so powerful that he defeated Indra and humbled all the Devas.

The Devas appealed to Lord Vishnu for protection and he promised the same. As King Bali never refused alms begged of him, Vishnu took the form of a dwarfish Brahmin and appeared before Bali with a request for a small gift. Bali asked the dwarfish Brahmin to express his desire. The dwarfish Brahmin begged of him that he wanted just three footspaces of land where he could live. This being a very request, Bali consented to give him the required land. The Brahmin raised his right foot and covered the whole of the earth. Then with his left foot he covered the entire heaven. Then he asked Bali where he could show place for the third pace. Bali showed his head.Vishnu recollected that Bali had been a man of great charity and had done immense good to the world. Especially as Bali was the grandson of Prahlada, who was his great devotee, it was not fair to kill him. So Vishnu made him the King of the Netherworld (Patala Loka). Depiction of this incident is Ulagalanda. Perumal, one of the ten incarnations of Vishnu according to Hindu mythology. The shrine dedicated to this incident is very rare and is peculiar to Kancheepuram. This incident happened on Amavasya Day of the month of Kartika, on which the Deepavali festival is performed to commemorate the victory of Vishnu over Bali.

There are 18 Vaishnava temples in Kanchi out of which five are located in the temple of Sri Ulagalandar, viz. Karagatan, Uragatan, Neeragatan, Kaarvanathan and Ulagalandar. The annual festival occurs in the month of January - February.