Friday, May 5, 2017

Lakshmi Narasimhar Temple, Keezhapavur, Thirunelveli

Lakshmi Narasimhar Temple, Keezhapavur, Thirunelveli
Lakshmi Narasimhar Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Vishnu located at Keezhapavur Village near Pavoorchatram in Thirunelveli District of Tamilnadu. Theertham of this temple is Narasimha Theertham. Keezhapavur is a small village 2 kms away from Pavoorchatram located in the route between Tenkasi and Thirunelveli in Tamilnadu. This temple is also called Dhakshina Ahobila (south Ahobila) is considered to be 1200-1500 years old. During the renovation work carried out in the temple several inscriptions belonging to the Pandya and Chola kings were discovered.

Legends
Legend says that Narada, Kashyapa Rishi, Varuna and other devas wanted to see Narasimha avatar and made penance propitiating Vishnu. The Lord Hari himself appeared before them and asked them to go to the banks of Chitra River near the Pothigai Hills and do penance. The Devas and the rishis (sages) came to this place, Keezhapavur and performed a rigorous penance for several years. Delighted by the sincere devotion of the sages, the Lord appeared as Prasanna Venkatachalapathy along with his consort, Mahalakshmi and also showed the fearsome multi-armed Narasimha form tearing apart the internal organs of the Hiranyakasipu. As per the temple legends, around 300 years ago, the sound of Lions roar used to come from the temple. Devotees then performed abishekam for the lord with various coolants like coconut water etc.
The Temple
Lord Narsimha himself is recognized in the scriptures by a variety of forms. The Vihagendra-samhita of the Pancharathra-Agama enumerates more than seventy forms of Narasimha. Most of these forms are distinguished by the arrangements of weapons in the hands, his different postures, or other subtle distinctions. One such form of the Ugra Narasimha is his depiction with 16 hands. Ugra Narasimha with 16 hands is seen only in very few temples, one such is in a serene village of Keezhapavur, near Pavoorchatram in Thirunelveli district.

Though in this temple, the Narasimha image is carved only on the wall just behind the main deity, Prasanna Venkatachalapathy, the Ugra Narasimha moorthy emulates the presiding deity by attracting the pilgrims with his divine grace. The carving of Ugra Narasimha deity is seen with Hiranyakasipu lying on his lap. Out of his sixteen hands six are inside Hiranyakasipu’s abdomen, two arms holding the intestines of the demon king like a garland and the other eight hands holding his divine weapons including the Sudarsana chakra (disc) and conch.
At his feet are seen, Hiranyakasipu’s wife Kayadu, Prahaladha, King Kasi Pandiyan and Narada Maharishi. On the either side of the deity’s head, there are carvings of hand-fans. It symbolically represents that the Devas and Rishis are fanning the angry Lord to keep him ‘cool’. The Lord with his tongue protruding out is seen in the sitting posture facing east. His left leg is folded and his right leg is seen lying over a slain demon warrior (a solider of Hiranyakasipu’s battalion). Such a fearsome angry looking form is seen only in Ahobila where the lord is called Jwala Narasimha (with a flame-like mane).
Similarly in Singirikudi, a place near Pondicherry, the Lord resides as Ugra Narasimha depicted with 16 hands as seen in Keezhapavur. Narasimha Perumal graces in sitting form facing west. The sanctum sanctorum is small in size as in cave temples.  Lord Prasanna Venkatachalapathy with Mother Alarmel Mangai graces facing east in front of the temple. The sacred spring in the temple is praised as Narasimha Theertham.

Paanakam (lemon jaggery water), the favourite of the Lord, is offered to the deity in the temple and distributed as prasadam. Offering Panaka to the lord not only quenches his anger but also makes him exorbitantly happy. Visiting the temple on the day of Swathi Nakshatram (birth star of Narasimha) especially during the evening time is considered very auspicious. In front of this small temple is a huge pond, which is several times bigger than the temple itself. It is believed that the pond would have been constructed to bring down the Ugra (anger) of the Lord.
The serenity of place with a massive pond full of water with tall shady tress around is a real visual treat for visitors. Besides this 800-year-old temple, there are other temples for Lord Shiva (Vallipureeshwarar, worshiped by the monkey King, Vaali) and Radha Krishna also situated in this small hamlet. The priest stays locally and can be contacted for poojas and Aaradhana. The devotees and locals who frequent this temple say that though the Lord appears in a frightening form, his grace and blessings are boundless. To appreciate the transcendence of the Narasimha avatar of Vishnu, one has to see all of his varied forms like the one in Keezhapavur.
Temple Opening Time
·        Morning: 08:00 AM to 11:30 AM
·        Evening: 05:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Festivals
Vaikunda Ekadasi in December-January, Narasimha Jayanthi, Purattasi Saturdays in September-October, Swathi star days are the festivals of the temple. Pradosham (13th day from new moon or full moon day) is also observed with special pujas.
Prayers
People appeal to Lord Narasimha for relief from debt burdens and for marriage to happen standing delayed due to some reason or other. Devotees light ghee lamps and circumambulate the prakara 16 times offering Panaka, a sweet drink as Nivedhana. They perform abishek with milk and green coconut on Swati star days and on Pradosham days.
Contact
Shri Prasanna Venkatachapathy Temple,
Keezhapavur, Alangulam Taluk,
Thirunelveli District,
Mobile: +91 94423 30643
Connectivity
Keezhapavur is a small village located at about 2 kms away from Pavoorchatram located on the Tenkasi -Thirunelveli State Highway. Pavoorchatram is located at about 10 Kms east of Tenkasi, 200 Kms from Madurai, 118 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram and 51 Kms west of Thirunelveli. Pavoorchatram has a train station. Nearest Major Railway Station is located at Tenkasi. Nearest Airport is located at Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram.

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