The Thirupuliyur Mahavishnu Temple is one of the five Vishnu temples associated with the five Pandava brothers, the principal characters of the Mahabharata.
It is believed that Bheema, one of the brothers, performed penance at this site. It is one of the "Divya Desams", the 108 temples of Vishnu revered by the 12 poet saints, or Alwars.
It is the second of the five PanchaPandava Mahavishnu temples which were established by the Pandava Princes.The second brother of Pandavas 'Bhimasena' established this temple during the exile period of Pandavas and so historically thistemple was started 5000 years ago.This temple is one of the 108 abodes of Lord Vishnu and one of the 11 temples in that category in Kerala.
The deity of this temple is Lord Mahavishnu and the idol is in standing posture.It stands on a 20 inches highbasement and the idol is three feet and ten inches high.The idol is depicted as having four hands holding conch,disc and lotus and the other hand usually holding the club rests on his thigh.
The temple faces towards eastand like in Aranmula Temple and in Sabarimala the Puliyoor temple also is having 18 steps in the front side.The Sanctum is round shaped and very big in size.The roof of the sanctum is copper plated and the sanctumis having four doors to each sides.
It is said that this sthalam is constructed and built by Bhima, one of the Panja - Paandavaas. He worshipped this sthalaperumal, Maayapiraan. Sapta Rishis - Atthri, Vasishtar, Kaasyapar, Gouthamar, Bharadwajar, Vishvamitra and Jamadagni got the seva of this Maayapiraan along with porkodi Naachiyaar and through Indra, it is said that all these Saptaris his got their Mukti towards the Emperumaan.
Once, Virukshadharbi, who was the son of Sibhi Chakravarthy, ruled an empire where there was flood and there was no proper vegetation and the wealth and the beauty of the entire empire seems to be decreasing.
At that time, the king thought, if any Dhaanam (things that are given to any rishis,devotees to increase any thing) is given to Sapta Rishis, it might increase the wealth and beauty of the Empire.
As a result of this, he thought of giving the Dhaanam to Saptha rishis. But, Sapta Rishis did not accept his Dhaanam, Since if any flood (or) decrease in the wealth and health in the entire empire is due to some reasons of the ruling king. So, they found some problem might by with virukshadherbi and did not accept the Dhaanam.