03 October 2021
Sri Yoga Narasimha Perumal Temple at Narasingham village, Othakadai , Madurai
Narasingham is a village, in othakadai, located 8 km from Madurai on the way to Melur, in Tamilnadu. It is named so, because of the cave temple which is being dedicated to Sri Yoga Narasimhar at the foot of Yanamalai hills. This temple was constructed in 770A.D. The sculpture of Narasingaperumal was scarved out of the hill itself. The temple is a good example of the cave sculpturing of the Pandhya Kingdom. In front of this there is a stone temple for the goddess Narasingavalli.
This place, though not a Divya desam (temple where , hymns sung by azhwar in praise of the Perumal), but, situated between two divyadesmams- Azhagar koil in the north and Thirumohur in the east.
According to the Sthala purana for the Madurai Koodal Azhagar temple, sage Romasa had installed the Narasimha icon in a cave in the hill. Chapter-87 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 Prahladha, whose arrival quietened Him to some extent. They prayed to the Goddess Mahalakshmi also who took Her abode in Him as Narasingavalli, after which He became Yoga Narasimhar. The Lord later granted the boon sought by the sage.
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, Garudamandapam 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.