This temple is spot on the Mahabalipuram bus terminus. Arjuna’s penance is right behind this temple. The Shore temple is a few kilometre from this temple too. So, if you happen to be in Mahabalipuram, this temple is a definitely must-visit place and it can easily be located too. The most unique point of this temple is that the chief deity Ranganathar is in his recline position but without his Adisheshan.
Name: Sthalasayana Perumal Temple
Deity: Sri Ranganathar
Mamallapuram sea region was once dense with forests. Sage Pundareeka was performing penance here. He saw lotus flowers in a tank nearby and wanted them to be placed at the feet of Lord Narayana in the Milk Ocean-Tiruparkadal. Picking up the flowers, he proceeded to Tiruparkadal but the sea obstructed his march. To make way, he began to dry the sea by removing the water day and night. This went on for years. Tired, he cried “Oh Lord Parandhama, if I am your true devotee, let the sea dry and make way for me and till such time I reach you these flowers should not fade off.” His mind was completely set on Lord. Perumal appeared before him as an aged man.
The old man asked the sage to get him food as he was hungry. He also advised him to stop his impossible task and do something worthwhile. The sage asked the old man to hold his flower basket and wait till he brought food for him saying that he was determined to see Perumal in Tiruparkadal, place the flowers at His feet and would not rest till then. The sage went to bring food for the old man. Before he returned, Perumal wore all the flowers on His Thirumeni – body – and was in his reclining posture. It was a pleasant shock for the sage to see his Lord and begged His pardon for making Him carry the flower basket and also begged to allow him at His feet.
As Lord gave darshan in His reclining position, He is praised as Sthala Sayana (reclining) Perumal.
Other divya desams that can be visited having Chennai as the focal point:
Happy visiting, Kowtham Kumar K