Yoga Narasimha Perumal Temple, Narasingam, Yanaimalai, Madurai
|Architectural style:||Dravidian architecture|
|Major festivals||Narasimha Jayanthi|
|Address:||Yoga Narasimha Perumal Temple,Narasingam, Yanaimalai,
Madurai – 625 107
|Phone||+91 452 2422750 / 2422158|
The fort around Azhagarkoil is also known as Iranyan Kottai, and even now a stone idol of Lord Yoga Narasimha is found atop its entrance. A big idol of Yoga Narasimha, found in the outer prakaram(closed precincts of a temple) of the Azhagarkoil temple, known as “Jwala Narasimhar”, is said to be ferocious. To pacify Him, regular Thirumanjanam (a bathing ritual) is performed with gingelly oil. A hole is found in the ceiling above the idol which is believed to let out the fire emanating from it.
The foot of the hill, where the Narasimha temple is located is known as Narasingam or Hasthigiri or Gajagiri. There one may find the Maha Mandapam, Garuda Mandapam and Mukha Mandapam of the Pandya period. The shrine of the Goddess Narasingavalli faces south, at the entrance. Inscriptions say that there was also an agraharam for Vedic Brahmins, but there is no trace of it now. The temple bustles with activity during the Narasimha Jayanthi festival, and on Masi Maham day, when Sri Kalamega Perumal of Thirumohur visits this place for the Gajendra Moksha festival. The temple is unique for its utsava idol of Narasimha in a standing posture with the Sudarsana and Panchajanya in His upper two hands while the left lower hand holds the Gathai (club weapon) and the right is in the Abhaya Hastha posture (blessing pose).
Legend / Local stories
According to the Sthala Purana for the Madurai Koodal Azhagar Temple, sage Romasa had installed the Narasimha idol in a cave in the hill. And the 87th chapter of the Uttara Kanda of the Brahmanda Purana says the sage did penance on the banks of the Padma Thadagam, as it was filled with lotus flowers, near the Gajagiri Kshetram (the present Anaimalai) seeking progeny, and wanted the Lord to appear in his Narasimha avatar. The Lord appeared as Ugra Narasimha and the heat that emanated from him was unbearable.
Even the celestials were affected by it and they all came to Gajagiri Kshetram and prayed to the Lord to calm down. The Lord could not be pacified and then they sought the help of Prahlada, whose arrival quietened him to some extent. They prayed to the Goddess Mahalakshmi, who also took her abode in him as Narasingavalli, after which he became Yoga Narasimha. The Lord later granted the boon sought by the sage.
According to another legend, Lord Siva was afflicted by Brahma Hathi Dosham (a curse that descends upon a Hindu if he murders a Vedic Brahman) after he plucked one of the five heads of Lord Brahma. He was relieved of it after he took a bath in the holy water source there, also known as Chakra Theertham, and he worshipped Lord Narasimha. It is believed that taking a dip in the Chakra Theertham, which is near the temple, rids one of all sins.
The Thiruvilayadal Purana, written by Perumbatta Puliyur Nambi and later amended by Paranjothi Munivar, says that the Chola king, who could not win the battle against the Pandya ruler, sought the help of Jains. They created a giant elephant using their mystic powers and directed it to kill the Pandya king and destroy his capital. But the Pandya prayed to Lord Siva to save him and his capital. The Lord sent to him the “Narasinga Asthram” (the eight-lettered word Namo Narayana), which turned the elephant into a hill. To commemorate this event, a stone elephant was installed in Madurai near the Vaigai facing the north, which is found near the Yanaikkal bridge even today.
This hill is in the shape of an elephant hence it is called Yanaimalai (elephant hill). This place is mentioned as the Gaja Giri Kshetram, Narasingam or Hasthigiri.
Pulasthya Maharishi penance on this place:
Pulasthya Maharishi, the great grandfather of Lankan King Ravana is said to have undertaken penance at this place and had darshan of Lord Narasimha.
How to Reach:
The Temple is located at about 2 Kms from Othakadai Bus Stop, 6 Kms from Thirumohur, 6 Kms from Thirumohoor Kala Megha Perumal Temple, 10 Kms from Madurai, 12 Kms from Madurai Periyar Bus Stand, 5 Kms from Mattuthavani Integrated Bus Terminus, 12 Kms from Madurai Railway Junction, 11 Kms from Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple and 22 Kms from Madurai International Airport. The Temple is situated on Madurai to Melur Road. At the Othakadai Junction take a left and reach the temple. The Hill is visible from all around. Take a mini bus from Mattuthavani (Madurai Central Bus Stand) bus terminus to Othakadai. Take an auto-rickshaw from Mattuthavani Bus terminus or Madurai Central Railway Station to Othakadai. Mini buses are available for every 10 minutes from Othakadai.
Temple Opening Time
The Temple remains open from 07.00 am – 12.00 noon and 04.00 pm – 08.00 pm.
The temple bustles with activity during Narasimha Jayanthi and on every Maasi Pournami (full moon day), to act out Gajendra Moksham episode, Thirumohur Kalamegha Perumal (Divya Desam) makes his annual trip to Yanaimalai Narasingam Perumal Temple. On this day, a ritual of oil bath or Abhishekam is performed on the idol of Lord Narasimha. Since the hill is considered as sacred, Girivalam (circling the entire hill) during Full Moon Day is an important event.
Swathi Thirumanjanam and Prathosham Thirumanjanam are the festivals of Yanaimalai Sri Narasingam Perumal Temple. Lord Narasimha’s incarnation happened during the Pradhosha period (between 4.30 PM and 5.30 PM) of Krishna Paksha Chathurthi (fourth day from the Full Moon Day). Special Abhisheka pujas are performed to Sri Narasimha during this period for improvement in studies and business. During the time of Swathi star (the birth star of Yoga Narasinga Perumal) special pujas are held.
Yoga Narasimha Perumal Temple,
Madurai – 625 107
Phone: +91 452 2422750 / 2422158
Mobile: +91 94864 68780 / 98654 88821