Sri Yatoktakari Perumal Temple (or Thiru Vekka)

Sri Yatoktakari Perumal is also called “Vega Sethu” because Lord Narayana appeared here in the form of a dam (sethu).He appeared on the request of Lord Brahma to stop the massive “Vegavathi” river sent by Saraswathi. She felt ignored by Lord Brahma. when he was doing the Ashwamedha yajna. Lord stopped the river by lying across the river on Aadhiseshan. Because of this, this Perumal is also named as “Vega Sethu”. This Vega Sethu then became Vegavanai and then finally named as “Vekkanai” and finally became “Vekka”. Sri Yatoktakari Perumal Temple is the 51st Divya Desam dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is one kilometer from Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple. Lord Sri Yatoktakari Perumal lying in the opposite direction from right to left and is huge in size.

Tirumazhisai Azhwar and Kanikannan devotion to Lord in this temple:
When a great Sri Vaishnava acarya, Thirumizhisai Azhwar was living in Kanchipuram, a very old lady (dasi) served Lord Yatoktakari Perumal in this temple. She used to clean the temple premises and selflessly served the Lord. Seeing her sincerity and self-less devotion to Lord, Thirumazhisai Azhwar blessed her to become a beautiful maiden. Later, the King of the city, wondering at the enchanting beauty of this lady, married her. On hearing the secret of an old lady becoming a beautiful woman, he was in an eager mood to meet Thirumizhisai Azhwar.

Kanikannan was a close associate and an ardent follower of Thirumazhisai Azhwar. One day the king ordered Kanikannan to his court. King demanded Kanikannan to bring Thirumizhisai Azhwar to his palace and sing poems on praising him. On hearing this, Kanikannan authentically revealed that all poems that Thirumazhisai Azhwar sung were in praising the glories of Lord Vishnu. It is impossible for him to come to the palace and sing a poem on praising the king who is engaged in mundane sense gratification. The king persuaded Kanikannan with all the precious jewels, diamonds, etc., but Kanikannan flatly refused to do so. On hearing this, the king became angry and ordered him to go out from Kanchipuram immediately.

Kanikannan went to Thirumizhisai Azhwar and explained all that had happened in the palace and prepared to leave from Kanchipuram. On seeing this, Thirumizhisai Azhwar also prepared to leave from Kanchipuram along with Kanikannan. Before leaving Sri Yatoktakari Perumal temple, Thirumazhisai Azhwar fervently sung beautiful verses requesting Lord to be with them on their way out from Kanchipuram. Lord Yatoktakari Perumal also decided to leave Kanchipuram due to the pure devotion and love of Thirumazhisai Azhwar. Consequently, Lord Yatoktakari Perumal followed Thirumazhisai Azhwar and Kanikannan on their way out from Kanchipuram. Shortly, the king realized the absence of Lord in this temple and deeply regretted at his ignorance. He begged Kanikannan to pardon him and received Kanikannan and his Acharya with due respect and honour to Kanchipuram. Thus, Sri Yathothkari Perumal was re-positioned in the sanctum sanctorum with his divine presence. And after this, Kanikannan along with Thirumizhisai Azhwar came back to Kanchipuram. When returning, Azhwar sang a song asking that Kanikannan has returned back to Kanchipuram and he want the Perumal to go and sleep on His Aadhiseshan in the temple. On hearing this, Lord Narayana came back to Sri Yatoktakari (Thiru Vekka) temple. Since the Perumal obeyed the words of Thirumizhisai Azhwar and did what he said, he is called as “Sonna Vannam Seitha Perumal”. Sonna Vannam Seitha means obeying and doing the same what was told to him.