Monday, April 09, 2007

Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple
Anthili is a non-descript village about 2 kms south of Arakanda Nallur Police Station on the banks of River South Pennai. Arakanda Nallur is a Railway Station close to Tirukkoviloor on the Villupuram- Tirukkoviloor route. Arakanda Nallur is also connected by road. The temple at Anthili is open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. If prior intimation is given to the Baktha Jana Sabha at Ph no. 04153-254098, special poojas can be arranged.

Coming to the stahala puranam, Lord Maha Vishnu in the form of Narasimha came out of a granite pillar to kill Hiranyakasibu, the father & tormentor of Prahlad. In this avtar, the Lord rushed to help Prahlad without calling his vahanam, Garuda. So also in Gajendra Moksha. These caused much anxiety to Garuda who felt extremely depressed on being left out. He left Vaikuntam and started doing penance at Anthili. The severe penance of Garuda pleased the Lord who appeared before him and asked him the reasons for his penance. Having stated the reasons, Garuda requested the Lord to relieve him of his anxiety & depression somehow. Then and there the Lord gave him darshan as Lord Narasimha with Mahalakshmi seated on his lap. Garuda pleaded that this darshan should be to the people at large. Due to Garuda’s penance, Anthili thus became a sacred spot for all pilgrims.
The Madhwa seer Sri Vyasarajar visited Anthili and had darshan of the Lord on top of a small hillock that looked liked Garuda to him. The same Vyasarajar became Sri Raghavendra in his next birth. Sri Vyasarajar also consecrated a temple for Hanuman during the glorious reign of the Vijayanagar Emperors.
Subsequently, due to continuous raids by infidels, the temple lost its glory & importance. In its dilapidated state, the temple was well looked after by Sri Anthili Achar and Paranur Sri Krishna Premi Swamigal renovated the temple. Anthili Baktha Jana Sabha, the villagers and devotees, are now looking after the temple. The kumbhabhishekam for this temple took place on 07 June 2004.
At the temple, the Lord is with Mahalakshmi on his lap. The idol is small but the Lord’s glory is great.
There are in all 11 important Narasimha kshetrams in Tamil Nadu besides Anthili. They are:
1. Parikkal near Villupuram.
2. Singri near Pondicherry and Cuddalore.
3. Singaperumal Kovil near Chengalpet.
4. Poovarasan Kuppam near Panruti.
5. Sholingar near Walajapet.
6. Polur near Tiruvannamalai.
7. Sinthalavadi near Trichy.
8. Namakkal near Salem.
9. Singar Koil near Vellore.
10. Narasinghapuram near Tiruvallur.
11. Avaniyapuram near Kanchipuram.
Narasimha Kshetrams at places outside Tamil Nadu are:
1. Tirunarayanapuram at Melkote on the Bangalore-Mysore Highway.
2. Simhachalam near Visakapatnam, Andhra.
3. Katri near Kurnool, Andhra.
4. Ahobilam (Nava Narasimhar) near Nandyal, Andhra.
5. Mangalagiri near Vijayawada.
6. Yadagiri Gudda near Hyderabad, Andhra.
7. Kunjala near Sosale, Karnataka.
The author has visited only the following apart from Anthili:
1. Parikkal.
2. Singri.
3. Poovarasan Kuppam.
4. Singa Perumal Koil.
5. Sholingur.
6. Narasingapuram.
7. Simhachalam.
Posted on November 30, 2006
Since writing this article, the author has visited and had darshan of Pancha Narasimhar at Avaniyapuram and Nava Narasimhar at Ahobilam, hoping to visit Polur, Singar Koil and Sinthalavadi.
The author has been given to understand that there is a Lakshmi Narasimhar Temple at Sevillimedu near Kanchipuram and one on the road to Panruti from Villupuram(Tamil Nadu); would be grateful if some one can throw light on these. Similarly, the Author would like Yatris who have visited the Pancha Narasimha Kshetrams near Vijayawada to come out with descriptions of these temples.
Posted on 09 Apr 2007
The Author visited recently the Yoga Narasimhar Temple atop a hill in Melkote, the Narasimhar temple at Simhachalam and the Panaka Narasimhar Temple at Mangalagiri. The Narasimhar at Simhachalam remains covered with sandal paste throughout the year except for 3 days commencing from Akshaya Thrithiyai day when a fresh paste of sandal is applied.