Lakshmi Narasimhar, Namakkal, Namakkal


Basic information about the temple

Moolavar:Lakshmi NarasimharAmbal / Thayar:Namagiri Thayar
Deity:PerumalHistorical name:
Vriksham:Teertham:Kamalalayam Teertham, Narasimha Teertham
Agamam:

Vaikhanasa

Age (years):

1000-2000

Timing:7 to 12.30 & 4.30 to 8Parikaram:

Temple group:Abhimana sthalam
Sung by:

Temple set:

Navagraham:

Nakshatram:

City / town:NamakkalDistrict:Namakkal
Maps from (click): Current location Namakkal (2 km)Karur (37 km)

Erode (62 km)Salem (62 km)

Location

Sthala puranam and temple information

Naturally, the temple is connected to the Narasimha avataram, one of Vishnu’s 10 avatarams. Due to the situation created by Hiranyakashipu and the urgent call by his son Prahlada to Vishnu, the Lord had to take the Narasimha Avataram very quickly. He therefore left His abode in a hurry, even as He was taking the form of Narasimha. As a result, Lakshmi was unable to see His form as Narasimhar. Later, Lakshmi came here to perform penance at this place, so that She could see His Narasimhar form. At that time, Hanuman came by, carrying a vigraham made of Salagramam. Lakshmi requested Hanuman to let Her worship it, and view Narasimhar. Hanuman gave her the vigraham to hold, while he finished his worship. Lakshmi received the vigraham, but was unable to bear its weight, and so placed it on the ground, and immediately, the Salagramam grew into a hillock. When Hanuman returned, both he and Lakshmi were presented with a vision of Narasimhar.

Lakshmi undertook her penance chanting the ashtakshara mantram that begins with “Namo”, and since the hillock (giri) came up here, the place took the name Nama-giri. Since She is the primal cause of Vishnu appearing here, She is offered first worship by devotees, as decreed by the Lord. Also, to honour Anjaneyar’s contribution to this place, the Lord asked him to stand to the west, facing Narasimhar. This is the separate (and perhaps more popular) Namakkal Anjaneyar temple nearby.

Interestingly, while the temple is regarded as an Abhimana Sthalam in Vaishnavite Bhakti culture, there is one line of thought that suggests that Azhvars did not perform mangalasasanam here as they generally eschewed rock-cut temples; however this is disputed by quoting Tirumayam and Tiruthangal as examples of rock temples that are also Divya Desams.

The structural temple is from the 8th century early Pandya period, or perhaps slightly earlier. Because of some common elements, this temple’s architecture is said to be at least partly influenced by the architecture at Badami (6th century).

The temple is located on the western side of the hillock (originally named Namakkal, after which the town got its name). In a cave on the hillock itself is a temple for Vishnu as Ranganathar, in sayana kolam. On the east are a separate Vishnu temple for Varadaraja Perumal, as well as the Kamalalayam Teertham which serves as the tank for all three temples.

A mottai gopuram leads to an elevation (forming part of the rock / hill behind) housing the dhwajasthambam and shrines for other deities and saints, and further on is where the garbhagriham of the moolavar is located. However, one has to turn left and first worship Namagiri Thayar before proceeding through a separate entrance to the prakaram housing the maha mandapam and garbhagriham.

In the ardha mandapam, on the left is Perumal present in His Vyuha form as Aniruddhar, while Lakshmi Narasimha Perumal is in amarndha kolam (seated) in the garbhagriham, with two hands – holding the sangu and chakram – the third hand in avahana mudra (asking devotees to come) and the fourth hand on His knee. It is said that if one looks closely, there are some stain-type marks on Narasimhar’s nails – these are said to be bloodstains from the vanquishing of Hiranyakashipu.

Narasimhar here is in Yogasana state, since His consorts are absent. Two deities – Suryan and Chandran – are seen at His feet. In the garbhagriham, Siva and Brahma – who are said to have come here to worship the Lord – flank the moolavar. Also in the garbhagriham are Sanaka and Sanatana – two of Brahma’s mind-born sons – who convey all the happenings in the world, to the trinity. A panel behind depicts scenes from the Vamana Avataram.

There is a separate shrine for Vishnu as Lakshmi Narayana Perumal, to the south of the main shrine of Lakshmi Narasimhar. Through the temple are wall panels featuring bas relief scenes from the Dasavataram and other puranams. These are regarded as later additions, dated to the 13th century Pandya period.

Namagiri Thayar is regarded as the family deity of the family that the famed Indian mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan, and he himself credited his abilities and mathematical success and prowess to Thayar, who is said to have appeared in his dreams and provided solutions and formulas to mathematical problems he was solving. His mother is also said to have received permission from Thayar to allow the mathematician to go to England to pursue his studies.

On the occasion of His marriage to Lakshmi, the Devas wanted to feed Srinivasa Perumal at Tirupati. They received instructions from Him that they should instead feed Him at Namagiri, referred to as Mel-Ahobilam. The devas did so, and this tradition is followed till today, through a festival called Narasimhar Thaligai. The Tirukalyanam of Narasimhar with Sridevi and Bhudevi, and of Ranganathar and Aranganayaki Thayar, is conducted on the banks of the Kamalalayam Teertham on the day of Panguni Uthiram. Offering food to the Lord here is considered equivalent to doing so at Tirupati. Also, offering Thaligai and Panagam (a jaggery-based drink) on pradosham days is believed to liberate devotees from all their troubles.

Worshipping at this temple is said to give one peace of mind and courage.

Other information for your visit

A few hundred meters to the west of this temple is the famous Namakkal Anjaneyar temple.

Contact

Raja Bhattar: 94437 23073

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