Description : This Dhivyadesam is located in the coastal resort town and historic center Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram, at a distance of 64 km from Chennai. It is an ancient temple dating back to the Pallava period, now thoroughly renovated. Also in Mahabalipuram are the famous Pallava relics of the Shore Temple , the five Pandava Rathams, and the portrayal of the descent of the Ganges. Tourist attractions in the vicinity of Mamallapuram include the Vedantangal bird sanctuary and the Thirukkazhunkunram hill temple (Shivastalam). The Thiruvidandai Dhivyadesam is also located near Mamallapuram.
Mamallapuram is the birthplace of BhootattAzhwar, one of the earliest of the Azhwars.
Deities: The Moolavar here is Stalasayana Perumaal in a reclining posture facing east. An image of Pundarika Muni is also housed in the sanctum. Thaayaar here is NilamangaitThaayaar (in a separate sanctum). Utsavar here is Stalasayanatturaivaar also known as Ulagyuua ninraan, portrayed bearing a lotus bud.. There are shrines to Andal and Rama also.
Legend has it that Pundarika Muni, armed with a basket laden with (taamarasa) flowers proceeded eastward, to worship Perumaal as KsheeraptiNathan (the lord of the milky ocean); in his devotional fervour, attempted to drain the waters of the ocean to reach his goal. Perumaal appeared in front of him as an aged devotee and the devout rishi proceded to find a means to feed him, and in the meanwhile, Perumaal provided him with a vision of the grand Anantasayanam at the same spot, adorned with flowers from the saint's basket, and hence the name Stalasayana Perumaal. Legend has it that one of the Pallava rulers here was turned into a crocodile in the temple tank; upon gripping the leg of the blessed Pundarika rishi, his curse is believed to have been lifted.
The Temple: The Telugu rulers of Chandragiri have provided for the construction of this temple. This temple underwent renovation in the 19th century and it covers an area of about 4 acres with a rajagopuram seen from a distance. This temple has been referred to in the Sangam period tamil work Pattuppaattu.
Festivals: Two worship services are carried out each day. The annual Maasi Magham festival sees thousands of devotees bathing in the sea nearby.