Azhagiya Narashimma Perumal Temple, Ennayiram
The Chola temple of Narasimha swamy koil is built by Rajaraja Chola 1 (985 –1014). 8,000 Samanars were lived in this village. Hence it got the name Ennayiram meaning 8 Thousand. Saint Ramanujar preachings converted these Jains as Hindus.
This temple was built by Rajaraja Chola and while excavating a huge inscription of 80+ lines describing the king as his “Meikeerthi” (various titles and exploits) of a Chola king. The inscription actually runs to 80 lines, but only lines from 54 to 80 are unearthed and lines 1 to 53 are yet to be located.
There are records of a vedapatashala being run here with 270 students, hostel, hospital and doctors with their wage details have been found. The Tamil poet, Kalamegam, famous for his puns, belonged to Ennayiram.
Ennayiram means 8000.Various explanations are available for this;
It was the place where 8000 Jains were put to death for not denouncing Jainism or where 8000 Jains embraced Hinduism. 8000 North Indians were settled here by Rajendra Chola in this area. The Tamil Iyers have a sub sect Ashta Sahasram (8000) who is believed to be from this stock.
This temple was built by Rajaraja Chola and Narasimha Perumal was considered as the family deity of Rajaraja Chola. The Sanctum sanctorum has the idol of Lord Paramapathavasan and consorts Sridevi and Bhoodevi. The presiding deity is Lord Azhagiya Narasimhar. The temple also has a shrine for the six foot high idol of Lord Varahamurthy.
Special pooja is performed in every Tiruvadhirai Natchathiram day (Darshan timings are 7-11 a.m.; 4-7 p.m.). Sadly, vandalism has dismembered the two hands of Lord Narashimma which are made of green stone. The deity has been kept in a corner of the temple for the past 400 years. Hence the idol is not being worshipped.
Devotees have decided to install a new idol at the cost of Rs. 60,000-70,000. Saint Ramanuja visited this temple twice. Koorathazhwar also visited this temple. This temple contains many Tamil inscriptions on the walls and stairs.
It is surrounded by three Shiva temples namely Padaleeswarar temple, Brahmmapuriswarar temple at Brahmadesam and Ramanatha Eswarar temple at Esalam. All three Shiva temples are within two kilometers. All these temples are now under the control of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
An inscription (M.E.R.1918 para 28) of this place dated A.D.1023, records the interesting fact that the assembly (sabha) of this village in order to secure success to the king, made certain charities to the local Vishnu temple of Rajaraja Vinnagar in the village which was also called Rajaraja Chaturvedhi-mangalam.
The charities made provision for maintaining a Vedic college and a hostel. It also provided for the recitation of Tiruvaymoli and for the feeding of twenty-five Srivaishnavas in the Matha attached to the temple. This inscription would clearly bring out the importance attached to the Tiruvaymoli which was to be learnt and recited along with the Vedas.
Sri Rangaramanujam, chief archaka,
Sri Azhagiya Narasinga Perumal Temple,
Ennayiram- 605 651, Villupuram district
Ennayiram is a hamlet 22 km from Villupuram (off the main road to Gingee via Nemur). Buses No.20 (Pidaripet) and No.21 (Esalam) that ply from Villupuram halt at Ennayiram.