Ulagalandha Perumal Temple, or Thiru Ooragam is a temple dedicated to Vishnu located in Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the 108 Divya Desam Temples, revered by the azhwars, Hindu poet saints of the 7th-10th century. This Divyadesam is found in Big Kanchipuram and is closely situated near to Sri Kamakshi Amman Temple.
Demon king Mahabali, though belonging to the Asura community, was noted for his good-natured deeds and he was very generous and charitable. He became proud of his supreme qualities and the reputation it brought him. A really good man should not give room to pride. The Lord wanted to teach him a lesson. The Lord took the form of a dwarf and approached Mahabali for three steps of land by his steps. The surprised king told the dwarf that three steps by his legs would fetch nothing to him. His Guru Sukra found out that the seeker was not a dwarf indeed but Lord Vishnu and warned the king of the consequences if he yielded to the demand of the dwarf. Bali told the Guru that he would have to lose all the benefits of his earlier charities if he denies the demand of the dwarf. He promised the demand of the visitor.
The dwarf shockingly became tall touching the sky, measured the earth by one step and the upper World by the second leaving no land either in the sky or earth and demanded the third. Bali simply said that he could place the third step on his head. Doing so, the Lord sent him to the world below the earth. Reaching the lower world, Mahabali felt sad that he could not have the luck of seeing the Lord measuring all the worlds in two steps. Bali began to perform a severe penance on the Lord to see the lord measuring the world. Though the Lord obliged, Bali could not have a complete look of that darshan and repeated his appeal. The Lord gave the darshan as Adisesha again. That place is now called Thiru Ooragam, which is on the left side of the sanctum sanatorium.
The temple has an area of about 60,000 square feet (5,600 sq mt) and has a three tiered rajagopuram (main towers). The temple houses 4 divya desams on it own - they are Thirukkarvaanam, Thirukaaragam, Thiruooragam and Thiruneeragam. The temple is revered by the verses of Tirumangai Alvar and Thirumazhisai Aazhwar. Thaayar of the temple is Amudhavalli (Amirthavalli),Utsavaar of the temple is Sri Loganathan. Deity is known as ThiruVikraman, Ulagalantha Perumal in a Standing Posture West Facing while Goddess is AmuthaValli.
A description of Thiruvikrama Over 30 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 Mahabali’s head 2 fingers on his left hand stretched out referring to the two steps he took to measure this world 1 stretched finger on his right hand indicates the question the Lord posed to MahaBali as to where he could place his 3rd step. 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.
The core of the temple is of Pallava vintage going by the main deity but inscriptions are only from the Chola period. Most of the inscriptions are from the Chola period. The inscriptions refer to the main deity as Thiru Uragathu Ninru-arulina Swamin. There are interesting inscriptions from the period of Rajakesarivarman alias Tribhuvanachakravarthin Kulothunga Chola. The inscription talks of a tax-free gift to the temple of the village of Siruchembakkam that was renamed as Kampadevinallur after his queen who requested this gift to be made. Another inscription of the same dynasty records a weaver who reclaimed some temple lands, built an irrigation tank and had the proceeds donated to the deity.
There is a reference to Rajakesarivarman re-possessing the land given earlier to the weavers in the area since they did not cultivate it and returned it to the temple. This proves that the weavers were a prosperous group in ancient Kanchipuram. Another interesting inscription in the reign of Rajadhirajadeva records the minutes of a meeting of 48,000 residents of Kanchi who agreed to celebrate functions in the temple as per tradition. This gives an indication of the population of the town in the 13th century. The Sambuvarayar rule of the 16th century records the gift of a pond and a grove in Sevvanmedu village. The temple still continues to possess this grove.