Sunday, May 8, 2011

Parikkal Lakshminarasimhar temple

Today i visited Villupuram for a camp and sneaked a visit to this famous temple about 25 kms  away. the temple is in existence from 400 AD .
This is one of the four Narasimha temples in this region. The others being Anthili (near Thiru Kovilur), Poovarasan Kuppam (15kms North of Panruti) and Singiri (12kms South of Pondicherry).(ref my previous blog of Poovarasan kuppam)
The main Vigraham is Said to be a Swayambu Murthi, the idol, according to some scholars, was installed by Vyasaraja.The Anjaneya idol, found inside the sanctum sanctorum, was also installed by him and it is one of the 732 idols installed by the saint all over the south.
One may wonder how this fearful form of the Lord can be appealing to His ladylove but the numerous temples for Lord Narasimha in Tamil Nadu, especially in the northern districts of Chengalpet, Vellore, Chidambaram and Kancheepuram,only show that He is a much worshipped deity. There are also temples where the Moolavar and Utsavar idols are those of Narasimha and one among them is Parikkal,
How to reach the place:
Proceed along the Chennai -trichy highway and after crossing Villupuram at about20 kms you will see a huge anjeneya statue on the left hand side .Directly opposite this is the road to parikkal.  Take a right from the highway .The temple is situated between two rivers Thenpennai and The Garuda Nadhi flows two km north of Parikkal. As it is situated between two rivers, it is considered as holy as Srirangam.
Three kms along this road brings you to the temple which is easily approached.
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I approached the temple at about 12:45PM just before closure and being peak summer I burnt my feet on the concrete road and developed blebs before I reached the Temple entrance !!
History and Legends associated:
A king called Vasantharaja ruled this place with his capital at Vridhachalam .He was Constantly troubled by Parakalasura (said to be a relative of Hiranyakashipu), As per prayers of the king Lord Narasimha is said to have appeared here and killed the Asura.He then prayed to Lakshmi devi to pacify the Ugra Narasimha and she also came down hereto pacify the lord
Kanakavalli Thaayar is said to have sat on his lap, cooled him down and provided darshan to Vasantharaja, the Devas and the Rishis at this place.
. The temple that one sees today is said to have been built by Veera Narasimha of Karnataka using granite. Parikkal Lord Narasimha is said to be the Kula Deivam for many Madhwas of Karnataka.
(view of the Dwajasthambam with Garudalwar sannidhi in the fore ground)
when you enter the main sanctum you see the Lord with the thayar on his lap. Unlike in most of the Narasimha temples, the Utsavar idol here is also that of Narasimha in standing posture with Sridevi and Bhoodevi on either side. There is also a small idol of Lakshminarasimha in the sanctum sanctorum besides that of Sudarsana. Today was Guru peyyarchi hence there was a crowd and Luckily I managed to squeeze in for a darshan.
The praharam has a seperate sanidhi for Kanakavalli Thayar in the North west corner.
The south west corner has a sannidhi with two anjeneya vigrahams (Bhakta Anjaneya and Veera Anjaneya)  and there was paddy strewn in front where people were writing their names in it.The first alphabet writing before school education is also a very popular prayer activity here I was told.Anjaneya gets the 2nd right of Thirumanjanam after Lord Narasimha (in other temples, Thaayar is the one who gets the Thirumanjanam after the Lord).
In the north side of the Prakaram there is a shrine for Lord Varadaraja of Kancheepuram. A big portrait of Lakshmi Narasimha in the main Mandapam attracts devotees. There is a well inside the temple known as "Naga Koopam" and bathing in its water cures one of many ills. Garuda and Gomukhi Theerthams are the other water sources. The  holy tree is "Magizham." There is an ancient Deepasthampam" in front of the temple, which faces east.
This is a Prarthana Sthalam – Three kinds of worries for human beings- Debts, Enemies and Diseases - are said to go away if one offers prayers at the Parikkal Narasimha temple.
Inscriptions on the temple walls:Confirming the rich history behind this temples are the several inscriptions found on the outside walls of the temple dating back several hundred years, prominent among them include the fish shaped inscriptions. This leads one to two inferences: One, the Pandya kings, whose symbol was a ‘Fish’, may have contributed to this temple in a big way. The other is the story relating to Vasantharaja, who one night saw in his dreams fishes near this place…an indication of impending victory in his battle against the asura.
Some of the other prominent inscriptions:

13th Century AD inscription indicating contribution by Pallava king Koperichingan
14th Century AD inscription that describes the contribution of Thiru Bhuvanam Chakravarthy Konerinmai Kondaan
Another inscription shares light on the tax exemption in nearby villages -Thiruvennai Nallur, Aanathur and Sithanthur and using these funds for the improvement and maintenance of this temple
Raja Raja Chozhan I is said to have constructed the temple tank
Renovation of the temple by Pallava and Nayak kings
Temple Time : 6am-1pm and 4pm- 8pm
Priest Contact: Krishnamurthy Bhattar @ 96004 55395