Sri Ulagalantha Perumal Temple is Lord Vamanadeva’s (Trivikrama) temple. The gigantic Ulagalantha Perumal is special to Kanchipuram and a Lord of this size, and in this form, cannot be seen in any other Divya Desam. Sri Ulagalantha Perumal is over thirty five feet in height. Left leg is seen lifted at a right angle to the body, parallel to the ground. Right leg is seen placed on Bali Maharaj’s head. Two fingers on Lord’s left hand stretched out referring to the two steps He took to measure this world. One stretched finger on His right hand indicates the question the Lord posed to Bali as to where He could place his third step.
When Bali Maharaja’s gave his head in charity as the place for Lord Vamana’s third step, Bali Maharaja could no longer get the darshan of Lord. He prayed to the Lord for His darshan. Answering to Bali Maharaja’s prayers, Lord Vamana appeared here as Ulagalantha Perumal.
The gigantic Ulagalantha Perumal is special to Kanchipuram and a Lord of this size, and in this form, cannot be seen in any other temple.
Inside the Sri Ulagalantha temple, there are four Divya Desams namely Thiru Karvaanam, Thiru Kaaragam, Thiru Ooragam and Thiru Neeragam.
Kaar means clouds and Neer means rain or water. Lord Sri Krishna in Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 9 verse 19 says, “I withhold and send forth the rain”, and in Chapter 7 verse 8 says, “I am the taste of water. So, Lord Narayana explains that He Himself is the black clouds which gives the rain for everyone to survive. So, this Perumal is called as Thirukkaarvaanam.
Lord appeared once again before Bali in a smaller form at this place as the serpent Lord Adishesha (Ooragam).
Neer, the water is the primary and necessary element for all the things in this world to survive. To explain this, the Perumal is giving his seva as “Jagadishwar Perumal”. The Perumal is also called as “Thiru Neeragathan” found along with “Nilamangai valli Thaayar”. All the water rushes towards the place where there is a small groove or hole. Like the same way, Lord’s mercy flows into the hearts of bhaktas and fill their soul with bhakti. Neer, the water is said to be cool in nature. Likewise, Lord gives the coolest blessings to his devotees. All living things need water to live and at the same time, the body is also purified by water. By explaining this, Lords tells both the soul and the human body to get purified and attain perfection, we need His help and support. Even if a small hole is found in the boat, the water will flow in. Likewise, if even the small level of bhakti is found in the hearts of his bhaktas Lords mercy will flow into us. But at the same time, if we don’t think and pray to him, he will go out from our life as the water sips out of the small hole found in the vessel. The water flows towards all of the regions. It doesn’t consider any raised lands or the lowered regions to flow. Likewise, infront of Sriman Narayanan, all are one and there is no higher than the other.
Without expecting anything in return, the clouds give rain to the world. Since, Karunakara Perumal resembles as Kaar, the clouds, He doesn’t expect anything from his bhaktas, devotees, but he only expects the pure bhakti from them. Since, the Perumal is not expecting anything but the pure bhakthi and show Karunai (courtesy), the Perumal is called “Karunakara Perumal” or Thiru Kaaragam.