Arulmigu Kallappiraan Temple,Srivaikuntam
The nine vaishnava shrines, hailed as Navatiruppathi are related to the ‘Navagrahaas’ or the nine planets or celestial bodies, and the deities in these temples are worshipped as the navagrahaas themselves.The Navatiruppathis in the Pandya region are recognized on par with the Navagrahaa temples in the Chola country (Surya – Thirumangalakkudi, Chandra – Thingaloor, Angaarakan - Putthirukku Velur, Budha – Thiruvenkaadu, Guru – Aalangudi, Sukra – Kanjanoor, Shani – Thirunallaar, Raahu– Thirunageswaram, Ketu – Keezhperumpallam). In these Vishnu temples, the Prime Deities themselves are worshipped as the Navagrahaas and so there are no separate shrines for the Navagrahaas, as found in other temples. To offer worship to these deities alleviate the malignant influences of the Navagrahaas that come about during one’s lifetime.Generally, in the temples Lord Vishnu is seen reclining on Adisesha. But, in this temple Lord Vishnu is in the standing posture under the umbrella, Adisesha. This is the special significance of this place.
Srivaikuntam temple is also called Kailasapuram and has in Nataraja shrine, 8 artistically carved pillars. The most famous is the Kallapiran, the festival deity and presiding deity is called Vaikuntanathar. On the 6th day of Tamil month Chittirai(April), the Sun rays fall on the main deity as a token of worship. The idol is most exquisitely carved with club in hand. Lions, Yalis and elephants are carved in the pillars of the mandapam. The temple served as a fort during the patriotic war of Kattabomman with the British. The temple has a 9-tier rajagopuram amidst lush vegetation around the temple.
Two legends are associated with this temple. Once an asura by the name Somakan appropriated Lord Brahma’s Creation-secret and Lord Vishnu retrieved it from the demon. Since the Lord came direct from His abode Vaikuntam and agreed to remain here, this place came to be known as Srivaikuntam. Later, Kaaladhushakan, a robber, conducted his robbery after worshipping Vaikuntanathan, and surrendered to Him, half of what he had plundered. He was a Robinhood of those days, looted the rich and helped the poor.
Once his men, while engaged in ransacking the palace were caught by the King soldiers. They had to identify their leader; when Kaladhushakan came to know about it, he prayed to the Lord of Srivaikuntam, to save him. The Lord appeared before the King as Kaaladhushakan, revealed Himself to the King and counseled him to protect dharma. Having had this Beatific Vision, the King requested the Lord to remain in this place as Kallappiraan.