Thiruvidandhai got its name as the Lord here is seen holding Sri Lakshmi on His left lap. In Tamil ‘Thiru’ means Lakshmi, ‘Ida’ means left and ‘Endhai’ means ‘my father’ (God). Hence the place came to be known as Thiru Ida Endhai which later corrupted to become Thiruvidandhai.
This temple has another great significance. Utsava murthy is known as Nithyakalyana Perumal. The utsava murthy is seen sporting bridal attire (in yellow pancha-kachan and mai (black dot) in the right cheek). Kalyaana Urchavam is performed to the Lord everyday here.
To fully understand the significance behind the name and the bridal attire we need to go into the past. Legend goes that once, there lived a sage called Kuni. He along with his daughter performed severe penance together as they wanted to reach heaven. Sage Kuni succeeded in his penance and reached heaven but his daughter couldn’t. Sage Naradha appeared and told her that an unmarried woman cannot reach the heaven. In order to reach heaven she met many sages and requested them to marry her. Finally a sage called Kaalava Rishi agreed to marry her.
After their marriage, she gave birth to 360 female children. As the girls grew up the Rishi was worried as he had to get all his daughters married, which was a huge task. He prayed Lord Vishnu for help.
One day a handsome bachelor youth came to ashram as part of his holy pilgrimage. Kaalava Rishi requested the youth to marry his daughters. The young man agreed to marry one daughter everyday and the marriages went on everyday for 360 days. On the last day, the young man revealed himself as Lord Varaaha Perumaal to Kaalava Rishi and all the 360 daughters combined to become one woman, who was none other than Sri Lakshmi. The Goddess here is called as Komalavalli Thaayaar, as that was the name of the first daughter of Kaalava Rishi. The lord gave moksham to Kaalava rishi and his wife.
As all the 360 wives merged together as one, the Goddess here is also called as Akilavalli Thaayaar.
Another interesting legend associated with this temple: During Thretha Yuga (second among 4 Yugas), there lived a king called Bali, who was the son of King Meganaatha. He remained a victorious ruler and was known for his fairness. (Interestingly lord Vishnu in his fifth avathara goes to this king asking for three foot of land to rest his feet). Three demon kings by name Maali, Maalyavaan and Sumaali approached him and requested him to support them in their war against Devas for which Bali refused and asked them not to fight the Devas without a cause and refused to support the Asuras. The demon kings went ahead and fought with Devas in which they were defeated. They again came to Bali and requested him that if he can be with them, they can win over Devas.
As they insisted much, Bali accepted to help them in their battle against Devas. This time the demon king won the Devas in the battle. As Bali fought against Devas and won them, he acquired Brammahathi Dhosham and to get relieved of the ill effects of the Dhosham, he came to Thiruvidandhai and did penance towards the Lord. The Lord pleased with the devotion of Bali gave dharshan to him as Sri Varaaha Perumaal.
Procedure for unmarried people: Unmarried people (both men & women) are offered a garland to wear and walk around the temple 9 times after which they are to carry the garland home and keep safely till they are married. They have to bring back the same dried garland back to the temple after marriage along with their spouse. One can see many unmarried youths walking around the temple.
Mangalaasaasanam: Tirumangai Alwar has sung 13 pasurams (1021, 1108 -1117, 2673 (73), 2674 (119)) praising the lord. So has Sri Manavaala Maamuni. Please note the pasuram numbers are as found in Naalaayira Divya prabhandam.
Location: located about 40 kms from Chennai on the East Coast Road (ECR). While going from Chennai, one can see a big arch on the right side of the road, indicating the temple after two kilometers from Muttukadu lake.