History of Ulahalanda Perumal Temple :
The legend says that Mahabali, a worshipper of Vishnu has started harassing the ‘Devas’, with the help of his acquired powers. Lord Vishnu then worked out a humble scheme to make things right, where he took the form of ‘Vamana’ and forced Mahabali to not harass the Devas anymore. This manifestation of Lord Vishnu is worshipped as the Ulahalanda Perumal at the Ulahalanda Perumal temple in Kancheepuram.
This temple is very near to the bus-stand in a lane proceeding north. The temple faces west. Though Ulakalanda Perumal is a Main deity. Adi-seshan is honored here in three modes. The temple itself is called Uragan. The tank opposite the temple is called Naga Tirtham (Snake pond). As the God revealed himself to Adi-seshan, this place got the name of Uragam.
In the sanctum, Trivikraman is standing in a huge size with his left leg raised aloft to indicate that his one step has measured the sky. Two fingers in the left hand are pointing that two steps are over. The image is in stucco and hence does not receive water oblations, but periodically a special ointment is smeared over it. The image has only two hands, the right exhibiting Tarjani mudra and the left extended as far as the stretched leg. Vishnu has ordinarily three poses. Sitting (Asana), Recumbent (Sayana) and Standing (Sthanaka). In Kanchi itself one can see all the poses – sitting in Pandavaperumal coil, sayana in Yatodkari and standing here.
The interior is very dark and the priest raises a pole with a lighted torch in the end. One should strain their eyes to study the details. The goddess is Amutavalli. In the prakara of this temple are housed the Nirakan, Karakan and Karvanan shrines. Thirumangai Alvar and Thirumazhisai Alvar has praised this deity in hymns. Adisesha who has attained prominence here is in a front cell called Anantalvar. Sweets are offered to him during worship. Nirakam is where the God facing east gave darshan to sage Akrura in standing pose. Nilamangai Thayar is the goddess.
Karakam is the place where the God Karunakara Perumal facing south in a standing pose gave darshan to sage Niketanar, Padmamani Thayar is the goddess. A very interesting thing to note is that Parimelazhagar who wrote a commentary for Thiruvalluvar’s Thirukkural was the priest of this temple.