Sthala Sayana Perumal temple is situated in Mammalapuram or Mahabaliuram which is about 56 Kms from Chennai. En route to Tirukazhu kundram we decided to visit this temple also which has its own legend, history ,and captivating architecture. The journey was easy and weather was fine.We were travelling parallel to the sea, which was so till we reached Mammalapuram. After a light breakfast we decided to visit the the temple which is just behind the main bus stand. The name indicated it was a Perumal (Vishnu) temple. The big Tirunamam which is common for all the Vishnu temples was in front of the tower. The name Sthala means place and Sayana means reclining position. The Deity found here is in a reclining postion .We could not go near the inner most prakram as some pooja was in progress. The other shrines inside the temple are for Sreedevi and Andal, Anjaneyar, Narasimha Moorthy ,Chakrathazhwar, Rama, Lakshmana and Seeta and some saints.The dwaja sthamba is in front and there is one mandapam on the left side.
As per the legend a rishi named Pundariswar wanted to offer a lotus with one thousand petals to Lord Vishnu and with that in mind to reach near the God, he started bailing out water from the sea. Seeing his devotion the God took pity on him and appeared before him as an old man and asked to bring him some food from the nearby village and promised him that he would help him in his efforts. The devotee went away to a nearby village and when he returned, the Lord was waiting for him here in a reclining posture lying on the floor. Hence the deity came to be known as Sthala Sayana Perumal. I was very happy to visit this age old temple which was built in the 8th century by the Pallava kings.
How to reach- This place 56 kms from Chennai. Excellent bus services are available.and the fare is nominal. Frequency of the buses is about every 10-15 minutes.There are also many tour operators who offer package tours to temples in and around Mammalapuram.