One of the most foremost shrines of Lakshmi Narasimha, Poovarasan Kuppam, near Villupuram (Tamil Nadu), is also called South Ahobilam. The presiding deity is Lakshmi Narasimha and his consort is Amirthavalli Thayar of Poovarasankuppam
A brief history:
This temple is approximately 1200 years old. This is a spot where he is said to have given darshan to the seven rishis along with his consort. Lord Narasimhar took an instant incarnation as human-lion God, answering the prayers of his bhaktha - Prahalada to slay the demon king - Hiranyakasibu. After slaying the king, his anger did not subside and he roamed all over India. On the Northern shore of the river South Pennai in SouthIndia known as Dakhshin Pinnakini, the "Saptha Rishi' or Seven rishis prayed to the Lord to have his darshan. It is at a spot called Poovarasankuppam, where he gave darshan to these rishis. However, the rishis could not bear the intensity of heat emitting from the Lord and requested his consort to calm him down. Goddess Amirthavalli, obliged and sat on the Lord's lap and looked at him with one eye and the rishis with the other. This act of the Goddess Lakshmi brought a soothing and tranquil effect on the Lord. To this day, it is only at this temple in the whole world does the Lord Lakshmi Narasimhar appear in such a pose. This pose where the Goddess, looks at the bhakthas and her Lord simultaneously is believed to be having a conversation with the Lord presenting the bhaktha's petitions to him.
This is how this place got its name, "Poovarasankuppam". One of the kings of the
Pallava dynasty embraced Jainism and started destroying Vishnu and Shiva temples. People were enraged at this act and protested against the demolition of temples. The king imprisoned those who protested against him. ‘Narahari’, a sage who was horrified at the act, spearheaded the movement against the king and was sentenced to death. Furious at the punishment imposed on him, the sage cursed the king with ‘Brahma hathi dosham’. At this juncture, the king was besieged with problems and difficulties. Finally, he repented for his sins and wanted to get rid of the curse by seeking the blessings of the sage. He went in search of Narahari. While taking a nap beneath a ‘poovarasan tree’, the Lord appeared in his dream and declared that he would be redeemed of his curse as the sage would come there to bless him. He woke up from sleep but was unable to identify the Lord. Just then a leaf from the poovarasan tree dropped on the king. He could see the image of Lord Lakshmi Narasimha on the leaf. His happiness knew no bounds when the sage appeared in person to bless him. The king was absolved of the curse. As per the wishes of the sage, the king constructed a temple for the Lord at Poovarasan Kuppam. Narahari stayed there and propitiated the Lord.
A.M. Rajagopal, a renowned spiritual researcher discovered the ruins and brought to light the temple, deity and its power.
Daily Poojas timings:
Temple is open between 8am - 12.30pm and 4pm-8pm on all days
Monthly poojas and Special poojas:
On the day of swathi star every month - Special abhisekham; thirumanjanam + Homam
On the month of Puratasi (between Sept 15th -Oct 15th) every saturday - special poojas are conducted
On Tamil and English New year's day is celebrated and special poojas performed
Narasimha Jayanthi is also celebrated
On the 5th day after makara sankranthi- River festival poojas performed for the Pennai river
Swathi festival, that falls on day of swathi star every month is most popular here. Thousands of devotees from all over Tamil Nadu and other places throng the temple during that day. A special pooja is performed that day. Devotees can register in advance to participate in this pooja.
Other regular vaishanavaite rituals are followed.
The free annadanam scheme introduced by the Government of TamilNadu is successfully conducted everyday. This scheme invites contributions from devotees. Devotees can choose any special day in a year and sponsor annadanam for that day. Other days Tamil Nadu goverment sponsors annadanam.
Other Contributions or donations in cash or kind can be made to: The Special Officer or the Chief Arachakar here.
Access to Lakshmi narasimha Perumal Temple near Poovarasan kuppam:
By Road: Access from Villupuram ( about 15 kms); Puducherry (about 32 kms) or from Cuddalore (about 15 kms)
By Train: Nearest station is Villupuram
By Air: Nearest - Puducherry or Chennai.
How to reach the temple:
1. Take Pondy Highway, drive straight towards East from Koliyanur Cross Road, take a right at Valavanur, drive 6kms to Siruvanthadu and go further South 3kms to reach the temple- Share Auto/Auto available from Siruvanthadu
2. Take a right at Koliyanur Cross Road on to the Panruti-Kumbakonam highway, cross the Villupuram-Pondy railway line and take a left at Panchamadevi to reach the temple (about 7kms from the main road)
Take Kumbakonam-Vikravandi highway, drive 10kms and take a left at Panchamadevi to reach the temple (about 7kms from the highway towards East)
Take a left at Vikravandi(145kms from Madras) into the Kumbakonam Highway, go further South after the Villupuram-Pondy cross road, cross the railway line and take a left at Panchamadevi to reach the temple (about 7kms from the main road)
There are direct buses to Poovarasan Kuppam from Villupuram, but it is better to take a bus from Villupuram to Vilavanur.
This is one of the 8 temples in Tamil Nadu, where Lord Narasimha provided darshan after the killing of Hiranya.
1) Singarakudi near Pondicherry/Cuddalore,
2) Anthili near Thiru Kovilur,
3) Parikkal near Kedilam,
6) Singaraperumal Koil near Chengalpet
8) Poovarasan kuppam
Other important interest in Poovarasankuppam - Handwoven silk society. Famed for pure hand woven silk sarees.
Temple Timing 8am-12.30pm and 4pm-8pm
Poovarasankuppam phone number.
Parthasarathy Bhattar @ 94439 59995 or 0413 2698191