An incarnation of Vaishnavite strength, Vishnumoorthy tells the story of incarnation of Lord Vishnu as Narasimha. The Vishnumoorthy is the deified form of Palanthai Kannan. Legend has it that Kannan, an orphaned boy from Thiyya community who lived in Nileshwaram, is treated badly by a so-called upper caste Kuravat Kurup and banished from the land.
Kannan goes to Mangalore and takes shelter in a Vishnu temple there. He was a staunch devotee of Vishnu and later returns to Nileshwaram. While returning to the land, the Kurup kills Kannan, but Kurup’s family gets hit by various calamities. The confused Kurup is asked to pay for the murder of Kannan. As an apology of his crime, the Kuravat Kurup starts to honour Kannan as Theyyam.