Gajendra Varada Perumal kshetra:
Ashtabhuja temple is two kilometer from Sri Varadaraja Perumal temple. This temple is the 44th Divya Desam dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Lord Narayana appeared as Deepak Prakash, to dissipate the darkness created by demons to disrupt Lord Brahma’s yajna, then the demons sent a ferocious beast, Sharabha (snake). Lord appeared with eight arms (Ashtabhujha) and killed the demon in the form of Ashtabhuja holding eight different weapons in His arms. The Lord holds a disc (chakra), sword, a flower and an arrow on His four right hands and a conch (shanka), bow (Saranga), keddayam (armour which is used to protect while fighting using a sword) and club (gadha) in His four left hands. The snake is found on the Vayu end of the yajna sala as “Sarabeswaran” in this temple. Lord Vishnu in this place is also called as Adi Kesava Perumal.
Gajendra moksha pastime is associated with this temple. Gajendra Pushkarani is present infront of the temple.
Once the chief of the elephants, Gajendra, along with female elephants, went to enjoy bathing in the lake and they disturbed the inhabitants of the water. Because of this, the chief crocodile in that water, who was very powerful, immediately attacked the elephant’s leg. Thus, there ensued a great fight between the elephant and the crocodile. This fight continued for thousand years. Neither the elephant nor the crocodile died, but since they were in the water, the elephant gradually became weak whereas the power of the crocodile increased more and more. Then the elephant, being helpless and seeing that there was no other way for his protection, sought shelter at the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana seated on Garuda, personally appeared before him. By lifting the trunk, he offered obeisances to the Lord.The Lord immediately pulled him from the water along with the crocodile who had captured his leg. Thus, the Lord killed the crocodile and rescued Gajendra. By the mercy of the Lord, Gajendra became one of the Lord’s associates in Vaikuntha, he got four hands.
Saints Peyazhwar and Tirumangai Azhwar had sung the glory of Lord Ashtabhuja Perumal in their Mangalasasanam hymns. Vedanta Desikar, Manavala Maamuni also has one Mangalasasanam. A separate Mangalasasanam is addressed to mother by Azhwar only in this temple. Vedanta Desikar wrote the stotra called “Ashtabhuja Ashtakam”. This stotra is about Lord in His form with eight Divyabhujas in the Divya kshetram called Attabuya Karam. This temple was built by Thondaiman Chakravarthy who is popularly named as Vayiramoghan. The temple also has altars dedicated to Hanuman, Azhwars, Andal, Chakra and Sarabeswara. Paal Payasam (milk kheer), Aval and Appam are delicious prasadams at this temple.