Showing posts with label lakshmi narasimha. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lakshmi narasimha. Show all posts

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Ahobila Kshetra

Among the various incarnations of Sriman Narayana, there are a few which are endeared by mortals – Lord Rama, Lord Krishna and Lord Narasimha, in no particular order of preference. 

Perhaps, this is because of a simple reason that these three Avatars have the most number of shrines on the Earth. While Rama & Krishna are closer to devotees because of their human-like form and qualities such as having a normal family, affectionate towards their friends, duty-bound to elders & parents, mischief like other kids, having a Guru and following their orders and so on, Lord Narasimha is always considered as among those incarnations who can bless devotees the most due to his benevolence. Although Lord Narasimha took this role to protect his ardent devotee in a fierce form, HE is also considered the most loving and peaceful deity, with his various forms such as  Sri Lakshmi Narasimha, Sri Yoga Narasimha & Sri Prahlada Varada Narasimha, etc. and is believed that HE would give any and every boon or wish when HIS devotees seek with earnest devotion. 

It’s been my lifetime desire to visit Ahobilam where the Narasimha Avatara is supposed to have occurred. Incidentally, while all Avatars took many decades to begin and end, this one Avatara of Lord Sri Maha Vishnu is supposedly the shortest, which is to have completed in less than 45 minutes according to various transcripts and experts, since the mighty Lion King came out of the Pillar around sunset time and it was all over within minutes ahead of moon rise. 

This Independence Weekend, we travelled by road from Chennai to Ahobilam in my SUV and were blessed by the Almighty to get HIS darshan and blessings. There are Nine shrines at Ahobilam where Lord Narasimha appeared and these are Swayambu idols here. 

Let me explain one by one, with my limited knowledge of reading & hearing from various sources. Do pardon me if there are any errors in my understanding of the Bhramanda Purana which explains the formation of the holy avatar of Lord Narasimha. 

1) Jwala Narasimha

This is the place where Lord Narasimha tore apart King Hiranyakashipu – at the doorstep of the latter’s palace as per his boon received from the creator Lord Brahma, that he cannot be killed inside or outside a tenement. The only solace that Brahma had at the time was the boon included anything and everything created by Him cannot destroy Hiranya, much to His relief, since He knew that Sriman Naarayana was anyway around to take care, who is none other than the Creator’s Creator. Perhaps, Brahma was the first one to use the coinage “*Conditions Apply” while executing this offer to his beloved Hiranya! 

The Lord is seen here in a seated position with Hiranya on his lap tearing him with the nails of a Lion – Vajra Naka. Also seen with him are other deities of Lord Narasimha appearing out of the Pillar, Lord Narasimha displaying his valor with Hiranyakashipu, Lord Narasimha with Sage Sukracharya and another of Lord Sri Maha Vishnu. 

Thus, completes the sloka – 

“Ugram, Veeram, Maha Vishnum, Jwalantham Sarvatho mukam…”

Right atop this shrine is the Pillar which was split across when the Lord appeared as prayed by Prahlada, that HE manifests anywhere and everywhere – known as Ugra Sthambha. Apparently, the entire area of Ahobilam was the Palace of Hiranya which was completely destructed during the rage with which Lord Hari appeared in this most fierce form.

Outside this shrine, one can also see the “Rakta Kunta” – the place where Lord washed his hands after killing Hiranyakashipu. The water stream which reaches here from atop the upper hills is red in color but becomes colorless once it reaches the small pit.  The hill is also known as Garudadri – the Lord appears in this Avatara as is to his vahana Garuda as per the latter’s wish since Garuda wasn’t present during the previous three Avataras.

This is the first Shrine among the Nine Shrines in Ahobilam and is the toughest to reach by foot. The climb to Ugra Sthambha from this shrine is nothing short of a terrific trek which I didn’t attempt although a few people do try and make it once in a while. 

From the Upper Ahobilam point beyond which vehicles cannot drive any further, the walk to this Temple would take about one hour. It’s a very, very steep climb, intermittent with rocks and cement steps. There was neither heavy rains nor water alongside rive Bhavanashini which flows all along from the Ugra Sthambha, so the climb was relatively easier. 

Kids below 10 years and adults above 50 years and those with other health ailments could find it difficult, although the climb can be achieved with passion - “vairagya” and of course only and only with HIS blessings. 

2) Ahobila Narasimha

After killing Hiranyakashipu, Lord Narasimha arrives at this spot to calm down and is seen with Prahlada standing opposite to Him. When Prahlada asks Lord Narasimha where was his father, HE tells Prahlada that Hiranyakashipu is on his lap and can be seen here in the same form. It is said that Lord Shiva performed prayers here to calm down Lord Narasimha after the massive destruction of Hiranyakashipu. The temple also has a separate shrine to Goddess Chenchu Lakshmi, which is located right next to the Lord. Chenchu Lakshmi is the official consort of Lord Narasimha in this Avatara.

The shrine is actually a cave inside which the presiding deities are present and the temple structure as it is seen now has been carved outside the cave by successive Kings and devotees. The temple is quite a large precinct and is undergoing a lot of renovation work with scaffoldings all over and the place where this temple is located is known as “Upper Ahobilam” where vehicles are parked for devotees to climb up to other shrines. 

This temple is a few steps away from the parking area and is quite accessible to people of all ages. There are a few shops here which sell snacks, beverages etc. and this is also the place where the Trek to Jwala Narasimha Shrine begins. After this place, one cannot buy anything to eat or drink. There is a Bhojanashala here which offers free food to devotees all day. 

3) Malola Temple

Ma refers to Goddess Lakshmi and Lola means the beloved. Malola Narasimha is Her Beau in a peaceful form as Lord Narasimha. After tearing apart Hiranyakashipu, the Lord is seen seated here along with Mahalakshmi on his lap and the reason for His peaceful form is none other than the Goddess. Also, since the official consort of Lord Narasimha is Chenchu Lakshmi, Goddess Mahalakshmi is not too happy and hence Lord Narasimha can be seen pacifying Her.

This temple could be reached in two ways – while climbing up from Ahobila Narasimha shrine or while climbing down from Jwala Narasimha shrine, although the trek on both ways is extremely arduous and one must be extra careful while climbing up or down. 

4) Kroda Narasimha

In this shrine, Lord Narasimha is seen alongside an idol of Sri Varahaswamy. The two Avatars of Lord Varaha and Lord Narasimha happened for the same purpose; and Sriman Narayana took these two incarnations to destroy the brothers Hiranyaksha & Hiranyakashipu. Interestingly, the brothers are none other than the Lord’s securitymen – Jaya Vijaya. Due to a curse by Sanatkumaras, the duo were to be away from the Lord for 100 births. However, the duo pleaded to the Lord that they could never stay away from Him for so long. So, the Lord offered a choice – be away from me for 100 births as my devotees or my enemy for 3 births. Despite being born as Asuras, the duo chose the latter and were born as Hiranya Brothers, Ravana & Kumbakarna and Shishupala & Dantavaktra.

Hence, the Lord appeared in both forms of Varaha & Narasimha to bless the duo and the devotees who would throng the place in future. This is the only such shrine where both Avataras can been seen together and is a boon for devotees like us to see HiM this way. 

This shrine is on the way from Ahobila Narasimha Shrine to Jwala Narasimha Shrine and is on the banks of the river Bhavanashini, which flows all the way from the Ugra Sthambha.

5) Karanja Narasimha

This is perhaps the only shrine of Lord Narasimha in a unique form. Let me explain how. 

Lord Hanuman arrived at Ahobilam to pray and perform penance in this forest through which Lord Rama, Goddess Sita and Lakshmana had once travelled during their “vanavas”. While Hanuman was chanting “Ram, Ram”, Lord Narasimha appeared in front of him. Lord Hanuman rejected this form asking Him not to disturb his penance, to which Lord Narasimha appeared with a Bow and also opened his “Third Eye” to prove HE is none other than Sriman Narayana much to the happiness of Hanuman. There is also a separate shrine for Lord Hanuman here. 

This temple is on the way from Ahobila Narasimha Temple towards Lower Ahobilam and can be quite easily reached by road through personal or local transportation. 

6) Bhargava Narasimha

This is the shrine where Lord Parasurama also known as Sage Bhargava is said to have prayed to Lord Narasimha where we wanted to have darshan of Sriman Narayana in the same form as HIS avatar.

It is here that the sage created a tank which is known as Akshaya Tirtha, where the water never recedes and till date, can be seen with water coming from underground. Sage Bhargava would fetch water from this tank daily to offer prayers to Lord Narasimha here.

This shrine is not accessible by foot. One has to hire a jeep from Lower Ahobilam to reach this place which is a treacherous drive as well.

7) Yogananda Narasimha

Ever since his father was destroyed by Lord Narasimha, the Lord took the role as a father to Prahlada and taught him several Life skills including Yoga and thus, this shrine is named Yogananda Narasimha where the Lord is also in a happy form.

This shrine is about 3 kms from Lower Ahobilam and can be easily accessed by any three / four wheel vehicle (self-driven or local transportation). 

8) Chatravata Narasimha

Another unique posture of Lord Narasimha which cannot be seen elsewhere in the world.

Once upon a time, famous Gandharva duo Hahaa-Huhoo came here and performed music much to the delight of the Lord. Hence, here Lord Narasimha is seen seated with one hand on his lap as though he is tapping it, enjoying the music of the Gandharvas.

This shrine is about 3 kms from Lower Ahobilam and can be easily accessed by any three/four wheel vehicle (self-driven or local transportation).

9) Pavana Narasimha

Chenchu Lakshmi is the Lord’s consort, who grew up in the forest. Located on the banks of the river Pavana, the name of the shrine therefore is Pavana Narasimha. Legend has it that Sage Bharadwaja absolved his sins at this shrine. Therefore, it is believed that one would absolve themselves of all sins committed knowing or unknowingly by visiting this shrine. 

Since Chenchu Lakshmi is a tribal woman, some people offer animal sacrifice here till date.

The ride to this shrine is perhaps the most arduous of all, since it can be taken up only through inside the dense forest areas in a jeep which is available from Lower Ahobilam. The drive time is approximately 50-55 mins. Brace yourself if one of the 20+ year old Mahindra Armada Jeeps breaks down mid-way only to be rescued by another jeep from Lower Ahobilam. Alternatively, there is a walking pathway from the Ahobila Narasimha shrine although many people say it would take more than an hour to reach here and the trek is extremely difficult too.

Apart from the Nava Narasimha Shrines, there are two more important places to visit.

Ahobila Lakshmi Narasimha

The family deity of Kali Yuga’s pratyaksha Lord Sri Srinivasa (Tirumala fame) is none other than Lord Narasimha. Legend has it that after HIS celestial wedding that happened amid much fanfare at Tirupati (at Srinivasamangapuram to be precise), the divine couple visited Ahobilam and the Lord installed the idol of Sri Lakshmi Narasimha and offered his obeyance. The temple has been further built by King Krishnadevaraya and his successors and has a resplendent temple architecture seen in the other parts of India, of the erstwhile era of the Rayas. 

There is a separate shrine for Goddess Mahalakshmi here as well. This is the temple right in the town of Ahobilam.

Prahlada Patashala

King Hiranyakashipu was a staunch Shiva bhaktha although he believed that he was the most powerful creature on earth after receiving a boon from Lord Brahma. Therefore he expected his son Prahlada to chant his name all the time to which Prahlada refused and argued there is only one creator of this world which is none other than Sri Hari, Sriman Narayana, Maha Vishnu. Irked by this, Hiranyakashipu tortured Prahlada and in one instance, was pushed atop a hill to fall down, where he was rescued by a Lion which was residing in a cave.

At this place, one can see the cavern from where Prahlada was pushed and rescued by Lord Narasimha in the form of the Lion. In the same hill, there are transcripts, apparently written by Prahlada himself that there is only one God and that is Sri Hari.

The shrine can be reached after an arduous 20 minute trek from Malola Narasimha Shrine and one has to pass through the rocks, sometimes which would have River Bhavanashini flowing and then climb up a narrow step to reach the cave inside which the Lord can be seen along with Prahlada, Lord Sudarshana and Lord Maha Vishnu. 

The Nine Planets have also visited Ahobilam and prayed to each of the Nine Narasimha Shrines and have been blessed by the Lord Himself.

On the Poorva Aradhana Day of Sri Raghavendra Swamy, we were blessed to visit this punya Kshetra where Sriman Narayana appeared to save and bless His ardent devotee Prahalada who reincarnated in this Kali Yuga as Sri Raghavendra Swamy. I am blessed to write and file this article on the Main Aradhana day and seek the Blessings of the Almighty to protect us from evil forces and bless us with abundance.

Om Namo Narayanaya. Om Namo Bhagavathe Vasudevaya. Hari. Hari Hari.

Trip Itinerary

There are multiple group tours which are organised from Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, etc. to Ahobilam. The trip cost depends on the operators. There is nothing here as Government supported Public Transport albeit there are buses which pass through Ahobilam once in a while. Within the town, there are 3 / 4 wheeler private vehicles which ferry people around. 

If you are driving down yourself, the onward journey would take about 8-9 hours depending on where and when you start your trip at Bangalore or Chennai. On day One, assuming you arrive by 2pm, after completing a quick lunch, one could complete the visits to Pavana Nararimha and Bhargava Narasimha shrines, which would together take about 3 hours by local jeeps to complete. 

On Day two, the trek to Jwala Narasimha shrine may begin by 7am after a quick bite and would be back in town by 2pm during which one would complete visits to 5 shrines including Jwala Narasimha, Ahobila Narasimha, Kroda Narasimha, Malola Narasimha and Karanje Narasimha. This trip can be undertaken in your own vehicle or through local vehicles.

Post Lunch, one can complete the visit to the shrines of Chatravata Narasimha and Yogananda Narasimha by 5pm and then visit Ahobila Lakshmi Narasimha to complete the trip.

Please note that all Hill shrines open at 7am and close by 5pm with a brief Lunch break in between which the Priest decides basis the crowds thronging the shrines. The two temples in Lower Ahobilam open at 7am and close at 6pm. The Ahobila Lakshmi Narasimha temple is however open every day until 8pm.

Ahobila Mutt has a few rooms which are available for a nominal rent. One can call the office of Ahobila Mutt and enquire room availability. They also offer hygienic & tasty Satvik breakfast, lunch and dinner if informed in advance and subject to availability of the Cook cum Priest. Alternatively, there are private guest houses which charge Rs. 1,500 onwards  per night for a double-bed room with attached toilet & a/c, but the room rates are seasonal and may fluctuate.  

Apart from bottled branded water, juices, snacks & fresh tea / coffee, there is not much hygienic food available in public areas, save for Ahobila Mutt or private guest houses. 

Best season to visit Ahobilam is from July onwards although Aug-Sep is usually rainy season and it could get too cold during winters and the early summers, mid-summer could be extremely hot and would make the treks and climbs impossible due to the heat.

There are local guides who are available to escort the pilgrims and charge upwards of Rs. 1,000 per day to take the devotees through the terrain and also explain about the temples.

The nearest Fuel station is located 9 kms away from Ahobilam and the nearest bigger town is Allagadda which is about 20 kms from the holy shrine.  

I hope the above description of Nava Narasimha shrines at Ahobilam would be useful to you and those who seek detailed information about the place. Do pardon me if there are any mistakes in my research and writing and help me correct wherever possible. Please send me your feedback and queries, if any to

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Runa Vimochana Sloka

This shloka is in the praise of Lord Narasimha, the fourth incarnation of Lord Maha Vishnu. Daily chanting of this sloka is said to absolve one's sins.

Here is the link of Parikkal Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple.

"Shri Runa Vimochana Nrusimha Stotram with meaning"

1) Devatha kaarya sidhyartham,
    Sabha sthambha samudbhavam,
    Sri nrusimham mahaaveeram namaami runa mukthaye.

For the purpose of completion of the need of the devas, You appeared from a pillar in a palace,Oh! Narasimha who is a great warrior, I salute you to get rid of my debts.

2) Lakshmya alingtha vamaangam,
    Bhakthaanaam vara daayakam,
    Sri nrusimham mahaaveeram namaami runa mukthaye.


Goddess Lakshmi embraces your left side, And you give boons to your devotees, Oh! narasimha who is a great warrior, 
I salute you to get rid of my debts.

3) Aantramaalaadaram shankha chakraabja Yudha dharinam,
Sri nrusimham mahaaveeram namaami runa mukthaye.


God who wears the inner part of your enemy as garland, God who holds conch wheel , lotus and other weapons, Oh! Narasimha who is a great warrior, I salute you to get rid of my debts.

4) Smaranaath sarva paapagnam,
    Khadraja visha naasanam,
    Sri nrusimham mahaaveeram namaami runa mukthaye.


God whose very thought kills all sins, God who destroys poison of all snakes, Oh! Narasimha who is a great warrior, I salute you to get rid of my debts. 

5) Simhanaadena mahatha,
    Digdanthi bhayanaasanam,
    Sri nrusimham mahaaveeram namaami runa mukthaye.


God of a terrible lion like roar, Who removes fear of elephants, which guard all directions, Oh! Narasimha who is a great warrior, I salute you to get rid of my debts.

6) Prahlaada varadam sreesam,
    Daithyeshwara vidaarinam,
    Sri nrusimham mahaaveeram namaami runa mukthaye.


God who was kind to prahlada, The lord of Lakshmi and he who ripped apart the king of demons, Oh! Narasimha who is a great warrior, I salute you to get rid of my debts.

7) Krooragrahai peedithaanaam,
Bhakthaanaam abhaya pradham,
Sri nrusimham mahaaveeram namaami runa mukthaye.


God who gives freedom from fear to devotees, Who are being troubled by cruel planets, Oh! Narasimha who is a great warrior, I salute you to get rid of my debts.

8) Veda vedaantha yagnesam,
brahma rudraadhi vanditham,
Sri nrusimham mahaaveeram namaami runa mukthaye.


God who is the lord of Vedas, Vedantha and Sacrifices, Who is worshipped by Brahma, Rudra and others, Oh! Narasimha who is a great warrior, I salute you to get rid of my debts.




Monday, July 2, 2018

Parikkal Sri Lakshmi Narasimhar

Lord Sri Lakshmi Narasimha at Parikkal is our family deity and have been visiting this place for, well since when I was born. Among the various forms of Lord Maha Vishnu, the fourth Avatar (incarnation) as Narasimha is quite special. 

When the Four Brahma Kumaras (they were Manasa putras, meaning born out of the mind of Lord Brahma) - Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanatkumara came to visit Sriman Narayana at Vaikunta, His bodyguards Jaya-Vijaya refused them entry stating that the Lord was resting. Outraged, they cursed them to be out of the celestial world. The duo reached the Lord’s feet and sought mercy, however the Lord himself could do little about this curse. However, He gave them two choices. Either be born as a devotee in seven births or be born as an Asura in three births to fight the Lord Himself. That the duo couldn’t stay away from the Lord for seven births, they were born Asuras - In Krita Yuga as Hiranyaksha (killed by Lord Maha Vishnu's 3rd Avatara as Varaha) and Hiranyakashipu (story below). 

Hiranyakashipu was a very learned man and did a lifetime penance such that he could never be destroyed by any force created on earth such as no animal or man could kill him, he cannot be destroyed in the day or night, inside or outside his house, no weapons could destroy him and so on. However, the Lord had other plans, as always. Hiranya was blessed with a Son who was named Prahlada who was a staunch devotee of Lord Maha Vishnu even since he was in his mother’s womb, for his mother stayed at the ashram of Sage Naradha and was tutored Sriman Narayana’s nama all along. So, when He was born in the Earth, he continued to be the biggest devotee of Sriman Narayana. His father Hiranya wanted Prahlada to believe that he was the real Lord which Prahlada always refused to agree. 

Enraged, Hiranyakashipu asked his son to prove where He was right now, if He is always around for which Prahlada replied he is in everything that is created in this world. When Hiranyakashipu breaks a Pillar, a unique creature comes out of it. A Lion with a human torso walks gigantically even as the 14 worlds shudder, which pulls Hiranyakashipu on its lap, sits at the entrance of the house and kills Hiranya with its sharp nails. And all this happens at dusk: 5.45pm – 6.30pm which is in between the day and night. The creature is none other than Lord Narasimha – Nara, meaning human and Simha meaning a Lion. 

The entire cosmic world was terrified at this instance because such a thing had never happened ever before. Lord Shiva & Brahma, Goddesses Mahalakshmi, Parvati, Saraswati, and all other Devatas prayed to the Lord to calm down to which He obliged. Therefore, Lord Narasimha has always been associated with removing the negative energies in the world and setting things right. Daily obeisance to Lord Narasimha is said to salvage the life sins of humans and help them attain moksha at His feet. He is also the most benevolent forms of Lord Maha Vishnu and is seated in three forms – Abhaya Hasta with Goddess Mahalakshmi on his Lap, Yoga Narasimha and in the form of tearing up Hiranyakashipu. 

Temple View - Parikkal

Parikkal Sri Lakshmi Narasimha is a temple which is considered over 1,000 years old and has inscriptions of the “fish” which is associated with the Pandya Kings of South India. Goddess Mahalakshmi is seated on His left lap and also has a separate sannidhi where She blesses devotees as Goddess Kanakavalli. 

Among the various slokas, “Runa Vimochana Stotra” is one of the most powerful ones which will relieve one of their debts. Debts here do not just mean financial ones, but the debt that we leave pending birth after birth and keep coming back to relieve them. Regular chanting of this sloka will have very positive outcomes and I am a beneficiary of this sloka.

Main Festivals;
Swathi Star on which day the Lord arrived on Earth (Monthly)
Sri Narasimha Jayanthi Tamil Month - Vaikasi, English Calendar Year - May)

Temple Timings: 6am to 12.30pm; 4.30pm – 8.30pm
Avoid Weekends, for they are just too crowded. Weekdays are relatively less crowded.
Thirumanjanam (Abhishekam) is performed on all days but with prior booking only. Contact the Temple Priest Sri. Sundara Varadan on his mobile number +91 94446 48309.

Temple Prasadam is usually provided as part of the Thirumanjanam which includes Sweet Pongal and Panchamrutham. Additional prasadam items such as Puliyodarai and Curd Rice can be requested in advance which would be provided upon additional payment. 

Google Link

How to reach: 

Villupuram Junction (25 kms)
Parikkal Station (3 kms) but very few trains stop here

Bus Stand: 
Villupuram Bus Stand (25 kms)

Chennai Airport (170 kms)
Tiruchirapalli Airport (140 kms)

By Road:
On the Chennai Trichy National Highway, the village “Parikkal” can be spotted just after 20 kms from Villupuram towards Trichy. You will see JCB Earth Movers Showroom followed by CafĂ© Coffee Day both on to your left side and Truck Lay-bye also on the left side. Immediately after that, there would be medians placed on the road for vehicles to slow down. A 20 feet statue of Lord Hanuman can be seen on the left side, and the road opposite will take you to the temple premises. You will pass through the railway track connecting Villupuram – Trichy. 

Taxis are available from Chennai & Trichy Airport, from Villupuram Railway Station and Bus Stands. There is no accommodation at Parikkal, however a few good hotels can be found at Villupuram town. Do refer here for details.

From Chennai, this temple can be covered in a single day between 6am – 9pm with a few other temples midway. 

Jai Narasimha!