Vaikunda moorthi of Sundara pandiyam
Sundara pandiyam is a village which is about 15 km from Madhurai in Madhurai-Srivilliputhur road. About 300 years back, this area was ruled by a king called Mara varman Pandiyan. An old man and woman were walking in the forest near the village one day. Suddenly in front of them an ant hill grew up. They tried to find out what is in side the ant hill. The knife with old man touched a stone and it started to bleed. They went back to the village and brought other people. In side the ant hill was the statue of Vaikunda Murthi with his wives. The king came to the village to see the God. When he was there, the God entered one villager and he requested the king to build a temple for him. The king and the people built a temple there. During this time, in the mountain above the village there was a temple of Periya Karuppachami. There was an earth quake on the mountain and the idol of Periya Karuppachami was pushed before the temple of Vaikunda murthi. Vaikunda Murthi permitted him to have temple near him. From that time onwards Periya Karuppachami helps Vaikunda Murthi in all his affairs. In the village of Manapparai, it seems there was a God called Mamundi Karuppar, who used to Sundara Pandiyam very often. During one of his visits, Vaikunda Murthi summoned him through Periya Karuppachami. Vaikunda Murthi wanted Mamundi Karuppu also to stay with him. But it seems Mamundi Karuppu agreed provide his orders were obeyed by Periya Karuppuchami. This was agreed to.
During the early times it seems a Kerala King who was a magician tied up all rains and water to this kingdom. Mamundi Karuppu went there and caused serious stomach ache to the Kerala queen. No doctors were able to cure it. Mamundi Karuppu approached the king for curing the disease. When he did, he asked the Kerala king to untie the rain and water to Sundara pandiyam. There was heavy rain in Sundara Pandiam and all their problems were solved.
There is another story of an English man insulting the temple. Periya Karuppannachami threw the English man’s horse in the sky. The English man understood the power of the God and left his horse to the temple. In remembrance of this just out side the temple there is a statue of a 15 foot high horse on which Vaikunda Murthi is seen to be riding.
Apart from the two Gods mentioned there are several gods in the temple. Some of them are Pechiyamman, Rakkachi Amman, Lada Sanyasi, Seven maids, Poo Maalai Raja, Madathi, Mada Chami, Irulappa chami, Veera bhadran, Meenakshi, Uthrakali, Bhadrakali and Mariyamman. There are also small statues for the old man and woman who located the temple.
Out side the temple below a neem tree there is a statue of Sundara Mahalingam. It seems prayers to Pechiyamman and Rakachi Amman are offered to beget children. People also believe that devils and spirits run away if they come to Vaikunda Murthi temple.
On Sivarathri in the month of Masi there is a three day festival in the temple. A goat is sacrificed before Periya Karuppannachami and its blood is collected in a new vessel. This is mixed with rice offered to Perya Karuppannachami. After it is offered the Chamiyadis take this rice and offer it the evil spirits living in the Tamarind tree near the temple by making the rice balls and throwing it up the tree. It seems none of the rice balls fall back
Apart from this there is also a festival, on the Tamil New Year’s Day.