This is a very important Vishnu temple in Kanchi very close to the Varadaraja perumal temple .It is also known as Thiruvekka / Sonnavannan seitha perumal temple Divyadesam No 36 of 108.
How to Reach:
The temple is in Chinna Kanchi very close to the Varadaraja perumal temple .and across the road from the Ashtabhuja perumal temple.
Legends and Stories:
The temple is the birthplace of Poigai alwar who was born in the lily pond on the northeast side of the temple.
This is the temple where manavaala maamuni expounded his Sri Bhashyam. There is an idol of him here showing the Vyakya Mudra suggesting expounding of knowledge.
Once Brahma had a difference of opinion with saraswathy. Various temples quote various reasons as fight between Saraswathy and Lakshmi brahma sided Lakshmi, Brahma was upset that he had no temple on earth hence wanted to do ashwamedha yagna to please perumal but as his wife Saraswathy was not prepared to accompany him he was aghast he prayed to lord and went ahead with the yagna with Savithri and his other wives. This angered Saraswathy and she tried to disturb the yagna with the asuras as well as by flooding the place as a fast river-Vegavathi, Brahma fervently prayed to Perumal laid down as a Dam to contain the river and save the yagna.Metaphorically the angry Saraswathy when confronted by a male lying down in her path turned coy and stopped there.This is represented with the Goddess as Veghavathi coyly siting down at the foot of the perumal in the temple he is thus called "Vega Sethu".This Vega Sethu then became Vegavanai and then finally named as "Vekkanai" and finally became "Vekka".
Thirumazhisai Alwar who worshipped the Lord of Thiruvekka was cared for by a couple.When the son Kanikannan was born to them,he became the Alwar's steadfast devotee.One day when Kanikannan saw a woman frail and bent with age,sweeping the temple premises offering worship to the Lord,he was moved.He stroked her hunched back in appreciation.The power of his guru surged into him and the woman regained her youth and was able to continue offering worship to the Lord with fresh vigour.The king of the period who greedily desired his youth restored to him requested Kanikannan to do so.But the young mann refused outright which enraged the king and he banished Kanikannan from his kingdom.The Alwar prepared to go with him and asked Lord Thiruvekka also to come too,as he could not live without Him. The Lord rolled up his serpentine bed and obediently followed the Alwar and Kanikannan. The three travelled some distance way from Kancheepuram on the northern bank of the Paalaar river and stayed the night there.But,with the Lord's departure,the town was plunged in darkness and disorder.The ruler realized his mistake and rushed to the trio,seeking their forgiveness.The Lord returned to Kanchi with his devotees.
The place where he stayed overnight came to be known as Oriravu irukkai,which later got shortened to Orirukkai. The Alwar told Perumal to lie down as they had come back the lord promptly obeyed him in the same place he was in such a hurry he laid down facing west unlike in other temples, He is thus called Sonna vannan seitha perumal one who obeys promptly ref:my blog manimandapam of Maha periyava
The main sanctum has a west facing perumal who is lying down with head on the east resting on his left hand and right hand raised as though he is stringing his bow. Goddess Veghavathi is at his feet and the sannidhi for Komalavalli nachiar is facing north in the main complex
A new Lakshmi Narayanan Vigraham in the temple
- Thirumazhisai Alwar - 3 Pasuram
- Thirumangai Alwar - 6 Pasuram
- Poigai Alwar - 4 Pasuram
- Nammalwar - 1 Pasuram
Total - 14