Ulagalandha Perumal Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and it is located in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu is worshipped as Ulagalantha Perumal and his consort Goddess Lakshmi as Amudavalli.
Bhagavata Purana describes that Vishnu descended as the Vamana avatar to restore the authority of Indra over the heavens, as it had been taken by Mahabali, a benevolent Asura King. He regarded himself as the all powerful in the world. Vamana, in the guise of a short Brahmin carrying a wooden umbrella, went to the king to request three paces of land. Mahabali consented, against the warning of his guru, Sukracharya. Vamana then revealed his identity and enlarged to gigantic proportions to stride over the three worlds. He stepped from heaven to earth with the first step, from earth to the netherworld with the second. King Mahabali, unable to fulfill his promise, offered his head for the third. Vamana then placed his foot and gave the king immortality for his humility. In worshiping Mahabali and his ancestor Prahláda, he conceded sovereignty of Pátála, the netherworld.
According to the historian Nagaswamy, it is the oldest temple in Kanchipuram. The temple is believed to have been built by Pallavas, with later contributions from Medieval Cholas, Vijayanagar kings and Madurai Nayaks. The temple is developed by Rajendra Chola I (1012–1044 CE). The temple has 15 inscriptions from various dynasties like Pallavas, Chola and Sambuvarayars. The earliest inscription is from 846 CE during the regime of Nandivarman III (846 – 869 CE). There are inscriptions from later Chola kings like Rajadhiraja Chola II (1166–78) and Rajaraja Chola III (1216-56) indicating various records of gifts to the temple.
The temple has an area of about 60,000 square feet and has a three tiered rajagopuram(main towers) with seven kalasas. The temple houses four divya desams on its own – they are Thirukkarvaanam, Thirukaaragam, Thiruooragam and Thiruneeragam. The temple is revered by the verses of Tirumangai Alvar and Thirumazhisai Aazhwar. The image of Ulagalantha Perumal is over 35 ft in height depicted with his left leg at a right angle to the body and parallel to the ground. The roof of the sanctum, the vimana has an elevated roof to accommodate the huge image of the presiding deity.
The temple is open from 7.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
The temple priests perform the pooja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. As at other Vishnu temples of Tamil Nadu, the priests belong to the Vaishnavaite community, a Brahmin sub-caste. The temple rituals are performed six times a day: Ushathkalam at 7 a.m., Kalasanthi at 8:00 a.m., Uchikalam at 12:00 p.m., Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m., Irandamkalam at 7:00 p.m. and Ardha Jamam at 10:00 p.m. Each ritual has three steps: alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Ulagalantha Perumal and Poongothai.
The major festivals celebrated in this temple are:
- Chariot festival celebrated during in the Tamil month of Chittirai (March–April)
- Vaikunda Ekadasi celebrated in the Tamil month of Margazhi (December-January)
- Brahmotsavam celebrated during in the Tamil month of Thai (January – February)
- Vamana Jayanthi celebrated during in the Tamil month of Avani (August – September) on Sravanam star.
How to reach
Nearest airport Chennai International is 75 KM at distance
The nearest Railway Station Kanchipuram is 1.3 KM away. Private taxis are available to reach this temple.
The temple is only 500 meters distance from Kanchipuram bus stand.