srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImadh varavaramunayE nama:
This temple finds mention in “brahmANda purANam”, with the following events:
“hiraNya kashyap was an asura, who proclaimed that he himself was the Lord of his land (both earth and swargam) and that there is no other God. His son, prahlAdhAzhwAn, was a great devotee of srIman nArayaNan. This constantly angered hiraNya kashyap, who had performed many penances and won several boons from brahmA and siva, with a unique boon by which he can not be killed by man or beast, in daylight or darkness, inside or outside the house, by any of the known weapons, neither on the earth nor on the sky, not by cosmos, fire, water, wind or earth.
prahlAdh never called srIman nArayaNAn to protect him, but seeing his plight every time that his father abused him, srIman nArayaNan decided to put an end to his troubles and took the form of ‘narasimha’, a combination of lion’s face and man’s body. He came out of a pillar when hiraNya kashyap teasingly asked prahlAdh whether his Lord was present in the pillar also. In his anger, ‘narasimha’ killed hiraNya kashyap with his bare hands, using his nails, by keeping hiraNya kashyap’s body on his lap, at twilight time, on the door step, thus fulfilling all the conditions for the asura’s death.
‘narasimha’ had three eyes (thri nEthradAri) when he killed hiraNya kashyap. Around that time, the village singapperumAL kOyil (it was then called sengundram) was surrounded by forests and sage jApAli was doing his penance in the forest. He begged the Lord to present himself as ‘narasimha’, the same form with which he killed the asura. The Lord fulfilled his desire and presented himself as thrinEthradhAri (with three eyes) and in an angry frame of mind (ugra vadivam/form). The sage asked the Lord to remain in the village in the same form and thus the mUlavar that we see today came into existence.
The temple was completed during the pallava kings’ era as a rock temple, between the periods of narasimha pallavan and paramEsvara pallavan (circa 600 CE), as per historians (ref ‘AgamakOsa – kalpathAru Research Academy, bengalUru, 560018. There is an inscription in the rock behind srI ANdAL sannidhi dating to chOzhA king 1st rAja rAja chOzhA (late 10th century – early 11th century, CE).
Since the temple was completed as a rock temple, there is no circum-ambulation around the perumAL sannidhi. Instead one has to go around the hill (around 100 steps in all, both up and down) to perform circum-ambulation. Thus, the ‘thrinEthra’ dharshan and ‘giri valam’ (circum-ambulation around the hill) are special features in this ancient temple.
The decad that thirumagai AzhwAr has sung on narasimha in singavELkundram, in his periya thirumozhi, (1st centum, 7th decad) is sung everyday by the descendants of srI mudhaliyANdAn, in this temple. srI mudhaliyAndAn’s descendants have been accorded 1st thIrtham, and they take the lead in aruLichcheyal gOshti, vEdha pArAyaNam etc.
vimAnam: praNavakOti vimAnam
pushkariNi: sudhha pushkariNi
perumAL’s mangala slOkam:
lakshmi parIshkrutAnkAya prahlAdA AhlAdha kArINE
pAtalAdri nivAsAya sri nrisimhAya mangalam
AzhwAr emperumAnAr jIyar thiruvadigaLE charaNam