CHENNAI: A temple dedicated to Vishnu as Kari Krishna Perumal is situated on the banks of River Arani, in Ponneri, Thiruvallur district. The image of Krishna, enshrined in the main sanctum, discovered inside an ant-hill, is said to be self-manifest. The deity, leaning to his right, does not stand on a pedestal (pitha), but directly on the ground. The image has only two hands and not four as usually depicted because the god is represented here as a cowherd. Krishna holds the whip in the right hand and on his head is a pot containing amrita (nectar).
Goddess Lakshmi, worshipped as Soundaryavalli Thayar, is in a rare standing posture. An unusual feature of the Rama shrine is that it has a separate dvajastambham (flag-post) in front. A separate annual festival (Brahmotsavam) used to be celebrated for Rama in the past, but is unfortunately not being conducted now. There is a large sixteen-pillar mandapa in front of the gopuram, clearly titled to one side. A unique festival called the ‘Hari Hara Sandhippu Utsavam’ is celebrated in the Tamil month of Chittirai (mid-April to mid-May). Kari Krishna Perumal proceeds from his temple to the Ponneri market on His Garuda Vahanam. Lord Siva from the nearby Agastheeshwarar temple also comes there. The two deities exchange garlands and ‘haarati’ is done for both at the same time.
A Telugu inscription of the 18th century AD mentions that a village was donated to the Kariya Krishnasvami temple at Thiruvayppadi in Ponneri for conducting worship.