SAINT NAMMAZHWAR assumes the form of “Parankusa Nayaki” or ladylove in his Thiruvaimozhi and one of the incarnations of Lord Narayana, which appealed to him most was that of the half-lion-half-human Narasimha. In one of his poems he explains how the ladylove “dances on hearing the glory of Lord Narasimha, sings again and again about His greatness, sheds copious tears and runs around in ecstasy seeking union with Him.” 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 Chengalpattu, Vellore, Chidambaram and Kancheepuram, only show that He is a much worshiped deity. There are also temples where the Moolavar and Utsavar archa-vigrahas are those of Narasimha and one among them is Parikkal, 23 km from Villupuram.
There is a rail route to Parikkal. If one travels by road on the Villupuram- Vriddachalam road, after covering a distance of 20 km, one will find a huge Anjaneya archa-vigraha standing on the left side of the road facing west without a roof to protect him from rains and scorching sun, a la his counterpart in Namakkal. By travelling in the western direction a further three km one can reach Parikkal, after crossing the the Thenpennai. The Garuda Nadhi flows two km north of Parikkal. As it is situated between two rivers, it is considered as holy as Srirangam. The temple, which has no Rajagopuram, is at the centre of the village.
A pilgrim can offer obeisance to Anjaneya at the entrance while the archa-vigrahas of Vinayaka and the Nagars are found in the main Prakaram. Afterpraying at the shrine of Garuda, he can worship the presiding deity, Lakshmi Narasimha with His Consort, seated on His left lap. Said to be a Swayambu Murthi, the archa-vigrahas, according to some scholars, was installed by Vyasaraja. The Anjaneya archa-vigrahas, found inside the sanctum sanctorum, was also installed by him and it is one of the 732 archa-vigrahas installed by the saint all over the south. The other, of course, is the archa-vigraha in the Nallattoor Temple, near Tiruttani. The place gained the name of Parikkal as Goddess Mahalakshmi embraced Lord Narasimha to pacify Him and Her archa-vigraha is found with Her right hand wrapped around the Lord. The Lord is also found with His left hand around the Goddess.
According to another legend the Lord destroyed a demon known as Parakalasuran here to save His devotees and hence the place came to be known as Parikkal. The Lord here was said to have appeared before Vasantharajan, a local ruler. Unlike in most of the Narasimha temples, the Utsavar archa-vigraha here is also that of Narasimha in standing posture with Sridevi and Bhoodevi on either side. There is also a small archa-vigraha of Lakshminarasimha in the sanctum sanctorum besides that of udarsana.
There is a separate shrine for the Goddess, Kanagavalli Thayar, on the right side of the temple, and Her Utsava archa-vigraha is inside the main sanctum sanctorum. To the northwest is the shrine of Anjaneya, where two archa-vigrahas of Bhakta Anjaneya and Veera Anjaneya are worshipped. The shrine is thronged by those who are afflicted by Navagraha Dosha and they light ghee and oil lamps. They spread before the archa-vigrahas the nine kinds of grains (Navadanyam) and write their pleas on them seeking relief and His blessings.
In the northern 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.
Festivals are held almost every month with the Brahmotsavam taking place in Chithirai, when the float festival is also celebrated. The Lord visits Thenpennai and Garuda rivers for “Theerthavari” in the months of Thai, Masi and Panguni. The temple was renovated and the Samprokshanam was performed on May 30, 1994. It is under the control of the HR and CE Department. Buses from Panruti, Ulundurpet and Villupuram pass through Parikkal.
Govindha Kesava JanArdhana Vaasudeva
Visvesa Visva Madhusoodhana Visvaroopa |
Sri PadmanAbha Purushotthama PushkarAksha
NaarAyaNAchyutha Nrusimha NamO NamasthE ||
This verse is a testament to the “Madhura Vaak” of Sri RamA described by HanumAn in Sundara Khaandha Slokam section: “SatyavAdhee Madhura Vaak dEvO VaachaspathiryathA” (Sundara KhAndham 34.29). HanumAn describes
Sri RamA to Sri SitA as the one with “Madhura Vaak” and as a competitor to Brahaspathi, the Deva Guru, in His meaning-laden speech (Artha Pushti). In this slOkam, Sri RamA uses 12 NamaskArams (if one counts the Naamam,
NaarAyaNAchyutha, as one Naamam). These NaamAs chosen by Daasarathi are the ones celebrated in VishNu Sahasra nAmam. RaamA chose these celebrated names to eulogize “Naarasimha Vapu: SrimAn KESAVA: PURUSHOTTHAMA”. One can hear the echoes of Vishnu Sahasra Naamam (VSN) again and again here.
How to reach there ?
Take the Madras- Villupuram-Ulundurpet- Trichy GST National Highway 21kms after Villupuram, Get down at Kedilam Junction
There are 30 share autos plying between Parikkal and Kedilam Junction- Rs.5 per head. Auto will charge Rs.30-40/- from Kedilam Junction.
If travelling by car from Madras/ Villupuram, take a right(towards West) just before Kedilam Cross Road, cross the railway line to reach the temple (about 2kms from the railway line).
Passenger train from Villupuram and Vriddachalam stop at Parikkal railway station.
Pooja Timings:6:00 am to 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Sundara Varadha Bhattar – 9444648309 (During pooja timings the call may go unnoticed, so call during non-pooja timings)
Arulmigu Lakshmi Narashima Swamy Temple
Phone: 9944238917, 9943073722