Monday, April 30, 2012

Nava Narasimha temple, Avaniyapuram

Five Lords of a hill temple

Lord Ranganatha with His Consort Ranganayaki.

THIS IS a temple with a difference. Located at Avaniyapuram, 25 km from Wandavasi, en route Arani and Cheyyar Dam in North Arcot District, it is a hill abode of two deities. One has to climb 70 steps to reach the first deity, Lord Narasimha, and ascend another 114 to have a darshan of Lord Venkateswara. (Not actually a difficult task compared to Sholingur or the Rock Fort Uchi Pillaiyar of Tiruchi.)
At Avaniyapuram, Lord Narasimha is found in a small cave (technically known as kudavarai koil). A three-tier Rajagopuram welcomes beckons one with its grace and grandeur. We first pay obeisance to Anjaneya before entering the shrine of Lord Narasimha. There is Yoga Narasimha in the same hill at a higher altitude where Lord Venkateswara is housed. Here Lord Narasimha is in a sitting posture, Mahalakshmi Thayar seated on his left thigh. His left arm is around His Consort and His right hand is in abyaha hasta position. His upper hands are holding the chakra and the conch. The unique feature in this temple is that Mahalakshmi Thayar has the face of a lioness. The utsava idol of Lord Narasimha also has the face of a lion. He has four hands and is in standing position flanked on either side by Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi. Besides there is a tiny Narasimha Moorthy in the shrine making it three images of the deity.

The hill temple at Aavaniyapuram — unique in several ways. — Pics. by K. V. Srinivasan

There is a separate shrine for Alarmelmangai Thayar near the Narasimha temple. Lord Venkateswara is atop at the hill. There are five Narasimha moorthies in all looking alike next to the Thayar sannidhi. Thus we have eight Narasimha idols and it makes a total of nine including the Yoga Narasimha atop the hill.
We also find idols of Adhi Sesha and Kalinga Nardana Krishna in Pancha Narasimhar sannidhi. The utsava moorthy of Lord Venkateswara blesses us in an astonishing position in the Narasimha Sannidhi itself.

Sri Perundevi Thayar sametha Sri Varadaraja Perumal.

Now we proceed to the abode of Lord Venkateswara at the top. We find Lord Srinivasa standing armed with chakra and conch. There is a separate cave like enclosure in the prahara of Lord Venkateswara where we see Lord Varadaraja and Perundevi Thayar. Lord Ranganatha is seen on His serpentine bed with Ranganayaki Thayar. Yoga Narasimha is in a sitting position along with Amirdavalli Thayar.
Thus we see all the main pancha divya desa moorthies — Kanchi, Srirangam, Sholingur, Tirumala and Ahobilam. Avani means lion and the Lord is said to have obliged Brigu Maharishi by appearing before him in the forms of five divya desa deities.

Sri Yoga Narasimhar

The temple is believed to have been built during the Pallava regime. Popular festivals here are Srijayanti, Deepavali and Vaikunta Ekadasi. Lord Venkateswara Brahmotsavam is celebrated on a very grand scale in the Tamil month of Purattasi and Lord Narasimha has his parivettai utsavam in Panguni. It is heartening to note that all the shrines in the hill temple are well maintained, a testimony to the grace of Lord Narasimha and Venkateswara. 

Travel Information:

   1. Route no 148 CHENNAI to POLUR directly goes to temple. Stop Avaniyapuram koot Road. 2 km from arch walk to temple. Or From Chennai Route no 104 Chennai – Vandavasi and from Vandavasi to Arani road 26th Km.
   2. Chennai – Kanchipuram – Cheyar – Valebandh koot Road – Avaniyapuram coot Road.
   3. Route no 59 from Cheyar and 241 from Kanchipuram along with Private travelers Renukambal and Rangaswami Buses.

 Contact: Bhattarakar – Sri Mukundachar – 9486046206

 Temple Timings: 6 am to 12pm & 4 pm to 8 pm. (extends on Saturday depends on the people)

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