Legend of Varadaraja Perumal Temple

There is a common legend associated with most of the Vishnu temples in Kanchipuram. According to Brahmanda Purana, Brahma once was very unhappy In order to overcomehis sorrow, He did severe penance on the banks of the Ganga. A heavenly voice ordained Brahma to perform 1,000 yagas to rid himself of the mental pollution. Since He knew that he wont be able to complete the 1,000 yagas during His lifetime, Brahma chose to perform the yagas at the Satyavrata Kshetra, where doing one yaga was considered equivalent to 1,000 yagas.

Meanwhile, His consort Saraswathi, who was angry with him on the issue of Brahma rating Lakshmi over her, tried to disturb the yaga. She assumed the form of river Vegavathi and started flooding the area. Brahma invoked the intervention of Lord Vishnu. As the yaga began, the Lord appeared as Yathoktakari Perumal and lay across the river, thus helping Brahma to complete the yaga. At the end of the yaga, Lord Vishnu appeared as Devarajaswami and taught all the Vedas to Brahma. On the request of Brahma, Lord Vishnu remained there as Varadara to bless His devotees for all time to come.