Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tranquil Namakkal

After a long time, another photo blog post was due for its place. And it was Namakkal, also called Namagiri. People tend to remember, the Anjaneyar Temple (Lord Hanuman) when they hear the name Namakkal, but the legend and another temple is not quite popular among the people, though the temple is the very reason for Lord Hanuman's popularity. Let's see the pics of the temple and later we will get on the legend.

The view of the Lakshmi Narashima Temple and the fort at the top

The entrance to the temple (Kannadhasan standing)

The Vimanam of the Lakshmi temple (Namagiri Thaayaar)

The Vimanam of the Lakshmi temple and a small mandapam with me

Another view of the Vimanam of the Lakshmi Temple

The huge rock from the other site the temple

The front mandapam and the rock fort

The front mandapam

Another view of the mandapam in the front

Another view of the mandapam in the front

Another view of the fort

Another view of the mandapam in the front

Lord Anjaneyar worshipping Lord Narashima

Another view of Lord Anjaneyar worshipping Lord Narashiman

The legend that is associated with this temple is that after lifting the Sanjeevi Parvatham (The Herbal Mountain) and keeping it back in place. Lord Hanuman, bathed in the river Gandaki in Nepal and He got the sacred stone called Saaligramam, that is considered the equivalent of Lord Vishnu. The Saaligramam that Lord Hanuman was unique that it had Lord Narashima and Lord Ranganathar sculptures in the same stone. So Lord Hanuman thought of taking it back to the South, when He was getting back to Srilanka.

When He was enroute, it was dusk (Sandhya time - Sandhya means meeting point) so Lord Hanuman had to offer his prayers during dusk to his Guru - The Sun. But the Saaligramam could not be kept in the land as it is considered so sacred. So he was searching for a person. And then, He found Goddess Lakshmi doing penance in the sacred pond called the Kamalaalaya Theertham. So Lord Hanuman request Goddess Lakshmi to hold the Saaligramam for a while so that he can complete the Sandhya Vandhanam (Evening prayers). Goddess Lakshmi agreed and asked Lord Hanuman to be back soon.

Lord Hanuman offered his prayers and started meditating so gradually it got very late. And Lord Hanuman rushed to see Goddess Lakshmi, by then a huge mountain had grown. When He asked Goddess Lakshmi about what happened. Goddess Lakshmi told that as it got very late for Hanuman to get back, she could not bear the weight of the Saaligramam, so She kept in on the ground and it grew to be a mountain. The Saaligramam being a rare one having both Lord Narshima and Lord Ranganathar, Hanuman tried lifting the mountain, but it did not budge. Then Lord Hanuman heard the voice of Lord Narashima, saying that it was His wish to stay there and it is the because of the penance of Goddess Lakshmi at Kamalaalya Theertham that He wished to stay here. And this holy place be called the Namagiri, the Kamalaalaya Theertham be called the Namagiri Theertham and Goddess Lakshmi be called Namagiri Thaayaar. And after the Rama Avataram was over, Lord Hanuman came here and stood worshipping Lord Narashima and He is still blessing the devotees who come to Him

The speciality of this temple is that this is the temple where all the three prime Gods - the Thrimoorthy - (Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Bramha) are found in one shrine. The temple has no Vimanam, because to build one it has to cover the entire Namagiri mountain. As, Lord Narashima does not have a Vimanam, Lord Hanuman vowed to stand in the open space without Vimanam roofing. And He still does to this day, all attempts to build a roof failed, so he stands outside. The Lakshmi Narashima temple is under the maintenance of Archaelogical Society of India (ASI) whereas the Hanuman temple outside is under the control of the state government. And nearby the temple is the Namagiri Theertham (Kamalaalaya Theertham)

The temple is open during most of the day time. One more interesting fact is that the Lord Narashima's feet and Lord Hanuman's eyes are at the same height position as Lord Hanuman worshipping Lord Narashima's lotus feet.

The mandapams were erected by the Pallavas and there is a rock fort on the top that was built by Tippu Sultan. The temple is very serene and tranquil that it captivates the minds of the people who visit it and makes them to come for more of Lord Narashima's and Goddess Lakshmi's blessings.

On the other side of the Lakshmi Narashima temple is the Lord Ranganathar temple. It is said that the Lord Ranganathar statue is bigger than the one at the great Srirangam. And the temple is open only during early morning and early evening for around 4 hours a day. The experience is so exciting that you find your mind to be in peace and tranquility once you visit the temple.

A few more interesting information. Thanks to Mr. Raghavan who mentioned these points in the comments.

1) One can see all 3 different forms (Thirukolam / posture) of Lord Vishnu.

  • Irundha (Sitting) - Lord Lakshmi Narashimar
  • Kidantha (Sayana) - Lord Ranganatha
  • Nindra (Standing) - Lord Varadharaja (aka Malai Varadharajar)

2) Usually Lord is seen sleeping on Adiseshan. But here it is Karkodagan (i.e Snake body with lions head). So, it is special.

3) The perumal temple and Hanumar temples are built in such a way that Narashimar's feet are at the same level of Hanumar's eyes.

More to come, until then...


andy said...

Hi Prabhu,

A nice post after a long time. I have been to these two temples a lot of times but never attempted to know the real story behind it. Thanks for sharing. Also thanks for sharing info about saaligram. We do have one at home it is considered to be an avtar of vishnu. If kept at home and worsipped it is supposed to bing Aiswaryam . This stone is very unique. It is like any other stone from outside round in shape . But if you break open the stone there is a chakra which is similar to the vishnu chakra inside it. This stone is available in only a particular place in Nepal and only few people know to identify and break it at a particual point to be able to see the chakra. I happened to see it in Rameshwaram in a Marwadi shop then was intersted and bought one for my home . One intersting fact is that there are Saaligrams which are sold even for 1 lakh rupees . The price depends on the number of charas in one stone. If you are intersted please let me know I can share some pictures of saaligram which I took .

Priya Venkatakrishnan said...

naan poyiruken..

indha kadhai theriyaadhu aana.. similar to srirangam temple kadhai..

well, suseendram is the place where thrimoorthy are there right.. i think its also closeby.sthanumalayap perumal kovil right??

R.Prabhu said...

Hi Andy,

Good to see you back after a long time. Hope you are well! I would love to see those pics of Saaligramam. Please upload it to some photo sharing site and post the link here or email me at rprabhu.mca (at) gmail [dot] com.

R.Prabhu said...

Hi Priya,

Thanks! And you are right Suseendram in Kanyakumari district is another place for the Thrimoorthis (Bramha, Vishna, Shiva). I have heard about the Thaanumaalayan Temple, but haven't visited it. I have heard it to be a very old temple at least a 1000 years old. Thanks for the info!!!

V said...

Dear Prabhu,

Thanks for the wonderful pictures and the beautiful narrative. You are blessed with so many fine talents. And you are offering them at the service of the Lord.

Valarga umadu tiruppaNi.

Several questions that came to my mind on seeing the photos were so nicely answered in the narrative.

Kantaki is to be corrected as Gandaki.

Best regards,

R.Prabhu said...

Dear Subbu,

Thank you very much! Its been long since you visited. Hope you are doing great! Thanks once again for pointing out the correction. Correction done!

LAHARI said...

Nice postt. Interesting information. Really good..

R.Prabhu said...

Thank you very much Lavanya (lahari)!

Raghavan said...


Am from Namakkal. Would like to share some rare and unique info about Namakkal.

1) One can see all 3 different forms (thirukolam / posture) of Lord Vishnu.

* Irunda (Sitting) - Lord Lakshmi Nrusimha
* Kidanta (Sayana) - Lord Ranganatha
* Ninra (Standing) - Lord Varadharaja (aka Malai Varadharajar)

2) Usually Lord is seen sleeping on Adiseshan. But here it is Karkodagan (i.e Snake body with lions head). So, its special.

3) The perumal temple and Hanumar temples are built in such a way that Nrusimhar's feet are at the same level of Hanumar's eyes.

Trust these are interesting.


R.Prabhu said...

Thanks Raghavan. I will update the blog post with this information

Anonymous said...


Thanks for marvelous work you done,i have request to u please upload fresh Pics of shri Namagiri mahalakshmi as pics given on web is very old and small in size ,quality..........really i need these asap


R. Prabhu said...

Thanks Rajesh. Normally it is not a customary to post the pics of the santum on the web. I'll try to get high res pics and send it to your personal email

God Mantras said...

Nice post.I think "HANUMAN JI" is most powerful god in universe.
I pray to "HANUMAN JI" for long and happy life of every good person in world.
Reading hanuman chalisa will give you Success.

Jyothi Sree said...

Good piece of information.Nice post admin. Post hanuman chalisa with meaning.