Narasimhaswamy Temple

Narasimhaswamy temple in Namakkal, a town in Namakkal district in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is dedicated to the Hindu god Narasimha, an avatar of Vishnu. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture and Rock-cut architecture, the temple is located in the Salem – Namakkal- Trichy Road. The legend of the temple is associated with Narasimha, an avatar of Hindu god Vishnu appearing for Lakshmi, his consort, and Hanuman. Based on the architectural features, historians believe that the temple was built during the 8th century by the Pandya kings. The temple does not find a mention in Naalayira Divya Prabhandams, and thus is not listed in the Divya Desam series of 108 temples.

As per Hindu legend, Hiranyakasipu, a demon king, was troubling the Devas (celestial deities) as he got a boon from Brahma that no human can kill him, neither could he be killed in the morning, noon or night nor in air, water or ground. His son Prahlada was an ardent devotee of Vishnu, garnering the hate of his father. Hiranyakasipu tried to slay Prahalada at various times, just to be saved by the divine grace of Vishnu. During the last heated argument between the two, Hiranyakasipu was asking if Vishnu was present everywhere and went on to break a pillar with his weapon. Vishnu took the avatar of Narasimha and came out of the opening in the pillar. Narasimha was a half-human with a lion face and slew Hiranyakasipu in an evening time in a doorway, which was neither land nor air. Ages passed by, when Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu was doing penance at this place, seeking his boons. Hanuman (locally called Anjaneyar) was carrying an image made of Saligrama and Lakshmi requested him to help her with a view of Vishnu in the form of Narasimha. Hanuman entrusted the saligrama to her and requested her to hold it until he returns. Lakshmi could not bear the weight and placed the image at this place, which grew into a mount before Hanuman could return. Narasimha appeared before both of them and set his abode at this place.

The temple priests perform the pooja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. The temple rituals are performed four times a day: Kalasandhi at 7:00 a.m., Uchikala poojai at 12:30 p.m., Sayarakshai at 4:30 p.m., and Arthajama Pooja at 7:45 p.m.Each ritual has three steps: alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering), and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for the presiding deities. There are weekly, monthly and fortnightly rituals performed in the temple. The temple is open from 7:00 am – 1:00 pm and 4:30 – 8:00 pm and The Great Hanuman Temple is open Morning from 6.30 am to 1.00 pm. and Evening from 4.30 pm to 9.00 pm. on all days except during festive occasions when it has extended timings. The major festival of the temple is the fifteen-day Panguni Uthiram festival celebrated during the Tamil month of Panguni (March – April) when the image of presiding deities is taken around the streets of the temple in a temple chariot. The sacred marriage of the presiding deity is also performed during the function. Other festivals of the temple include Chittirai Tamil New year, Vaigasi Visagam, Telugu New Year, Avani Pavitrotsavam, Narasimhar Jayanthi, Vaikunta Ekadasi, and Thai Pongal during various months of the year. In modern times, the Namakkal district administration has identified the temple as one of the prominent tourist attractions in the district. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

Source: Wikipedia