There was a hunter in the forest area near Puthur in Pandya naadu. He had two sons - Villi and Kandan. One day Villi and Kandan went hunting. Kandan followed a tiger and tried to kill it. The tiger attacked Kandan and killed him. Villi became upset seeing this. By the grace of Mahavishnu, Kandan came back alive and Villi also found a treasure. With the treasure, Villi built a temple for Mahavishnu. He also created a town around the temple. Villi made people of Puthur shift to the new town. He named the town Villi- puthur and made arrangements for regular pujas at the temple he had built. This is how Srivilliputhur got its name.
In this town, to a couple Muguntha Bhattar and Padumavalli, Periyaazhwar was born on a Sunday, Ekadasi Thithi, Aani month valarpirai under the star Swathi. He is Garudan’s amsam. He was named Vishnuchithan.
After completing his studies, Vishnuchithar realised that he was keen on serving the Lord. He chose a good fertile part of the land his ancestors had provided and made a flower garden with many flowering trees and plants there. His service was to make lovely garlands out of the flowers from his garden for the Lord of the Srivilliputhur temple.
The Pandya kingdom was then ruled by Vallabadevan. He was well-versed in the arts and also ruled the kingdom well. He was keen to know how to reach God and get endless happiness and put this question to his ministry. All suggested that the question be put to the learned. The king agreed, and tied a bundle of gold in a cloth and hung it on a pillar near his throne. He announced that the gold will belong to the person who makes the cloth bundle tear and fall with his answer to the king’s quest.
Mahavishnu came in Vishnuchithar’s dream and gave him the answer to the king’s question. Next day, Vishnuchithar went to the king and answered his question. The bundle of gold tore and fell from the pillar. The king was very happy with Vishnuchithar’s explanation and gave him the name “Bhattarpiran”, made him sit on an elephant and took him in procession. Pleased by this action, Mahavishnu gave darshan to Vishnuchithar and the King. Seeing the beauty of Mahavishnu on Garudan with the Devas around, Vishnuchithar sang “Pallandu” on the Lord
பல்லாண்டு பல்லாண்டு பல்லாயி ரத்தாண்டு
மல்லாண்ட திண்தோள் மணிவண் ணாஉன்
செவ்வடி செவ்விதிருக் காப்பு
He came to be called “Periayaazhwar” as he sang Pallandu on the Lord
After this Vishnuchithar came back to Srivilliputhur and with the gold he renovated the Srivilliputhur temple and continued singing in praise of the Lord. He has sung in praise of Lord Krishna’s avatharam in detail.
Periyaazhwar has sung hymns on the following temples: