Thursday, November 21, 2013

Serene Singaperumal Kovil

The Pallavas who ruled a part of the southern India left behind great legacies for generations to cherish and admire. They were the masters of the rock-cut temples, Mammallapuram being one such masterpiece. The Pallavas have built a lot of temples primarily in and around the Kancheepuram region. One such stupendous temple, that stands amidst the daily bustling activities of the city, is the Singaperumal Kovil. The main deity is Lord Narashimar (Singaperumal). The historical name of this temple is “Paadalaadhri” which means Reddish (Paadalam) Hill (Aadhri). Lord Narashimar is in his fierce form - Ugra Narashimar. The fierceness of the Lord is attributed to the name of the temple (Paadalam - Reddishness).

The historical name of the temple and the surrounding place was Paadalaadhirpuram later got changed as Singaperumal Kovil. It is a rock cut temple in which the Pallavas were experts at building.Accompanying the main deity Lord Narashima is His consort Ahobilavalli Thaayaar also accompanied by Aandaal. The temple also has separate shrines for Lakshmi Narashimar, Ramanujar, Garuda - His vehicle/mount. The speciality of Lord Narashimar is that He has three eyes and hence the name Thrinethra Narashimar and the third eye is shown whenever the “deepa-aaradhanai” is done. The Pradosham day (Thirteenth day after the full moon) is considered to be auspicious in this temple and the poojas (rituals) are conducted during this day. Normally, Pradosham is day when people go to Shiva temples to get the blessing of Lord Shiva  because He saved the world by intaking the dreaded poison (Aala Kaala Visham) during the twilight. Likewise, Lord Narashima saved the world from Iranyakashibu by killing him in the twilight and so Pradosham is auspicious in this temple.

There are some interesting legends associated with this temple. We will see two of those legends that related to the temple’s origin and history. One is that of Maharishi Jabaali and the other is that of Vyakra Paadhar.

Maharishi Jabaali went on a deep meditation just doing a mental incantation of Lord Narashima’s form. He wanted to worship him in the form as shown to Prahaladhan. Lord Narashima pleased with the worship appeared before Maharishi Jabaali in the form he requested in the very place where the Singaperumal Kovil is today.

The other legend is Maharishi Vyakara Paadhar wanted to worship Lord Narashima came to this area which was then a jungle. He met a hunter who was living in that part of the jungle. The hunter curiously asked the Maharishi about why he was there in this perilous jungle. The Maharishi thought the layman hunter will not be able to understand his purpose visiting the jungle and hence he said that he ventured into the jungle in search of an animal. The hunter told that he could help the Maharishi with that.

But the Maharishi thought that the hunter being an illiterate layman and said that the hunter could not find such an animal that he was searching for. The hunter vowed to find the animal and bring it before the Maharishi within the end of the day else he would die before the Maharishi and asked how the animal would look. The Maharishi told that the animal would have a lion’s face and human’s body picturizing Lord Narashima hoping that the Lord would never appear before the hunter because he doesn’t even have the knowledge of who Lord Narashima was.

The hunter challenged that he will find the animal of Maharishi’s description before sunset else he would die in front of the Maharishi. The Maharishi smiled thinking that Lord Narashima has not appeared before a person like him who has showed so much devotion and meditation, how will he appear before a hunter who doesn’t even have the knowledge of Lord Narashima.

The hunter wandered all day long in the forest scanning thoroughly in search of the beast that Maharishi described. The sunset was close and he couldn’t find the beast, so, dejected he walked back to fulfil his promise of dying before the sage. When walked back, suddenly he heard a loud roar. And there! he found the beast he was searching for. He felt joyed and without wasting time he pounced on the beast and tied its hands with a rope and took him to the Maharishi.

He exclaimed to the Maharishi about his find and pulled the beast in front of the Maharishi. The Maharishi was surprised as he could see nothing, but just a rope hanging in mid-air the other end of which the hunter was holding. Confused, the Maharishi asked where the beast is as he could not see. The hunter said that the beast was right in front of him. That was when the Maharishi heard the Divine Utterance, Lord Narashima told that the Maharishi had the pride and arrogance but not the dedication, so He did not appear before him. But the illiterate hunter showed the dedication thinking all the day without any deviation in his mind and he was able to see Him.

The Maharishi realised his mistake and started to worship with the dedication and later Lord Narashima appeared before him to bless. The jungle where this event happened is the Singaperumal Kovil

Now let’s see some pictures of this great temple

The entrance to the Singaperumal Kovil

The vimanams of Lord Narashimar and Ahobilavalli Thaayar

Another view of the vimanams of Lord Narashimar and Ahobilavalli Thaayar

The vimanam of Lord Narashimar from behind the temple

The sacred Azhinjil or Kadamba Tree inside the temple it is also the Sthala Virutcham

Me and Lord Narashimar Vimanan

My brother Rajesh and Lord Narashimar Vimanam

The Sthala Virutcham. People do some offerings in the tree like tying cradles and sacred threads hoping for prosperity, children and better life

Another view of the Sthala Virutcham

View of Sunset from the temple

 Garuda Azhwar Statue in the North-West corner of the temple wall

There is also the shrine of Lord Hanuman and big pond outside the temple but not known to many who visit the temple

The Pallavas did a great deed of building this temple by which Lord Narashima has been showering his blessings on the people who flock to worship him. One should visit this temple to enjoy the serene beauty and the divine grace.

More to come, until then...


Maayaa said...

wow.. Nice to hear about this story..I could visualize the entire story from your words

R. Prabhu said...

Hi Priya - Long time no see, how are you doing?

Ganesh said...

இவை அனைத்தும் தமிழில் இருந்தால் மிகவும் சிறப்பு... நன்றி திரு.பிரபு அவர்களே

R. Prabhu said...

நன்றி கணேஷ் அவர்களே தமிழில் எழுதினால் தமிழர்கள் மட்டுமே படிப்பார்கள். தமிழர்களையும் தாண்டி மற்றவர் நம்மை பற்றி அறியவே ஆங்கிலத்தில் பதிகிறேன்

raja said...

Dear Prabhu,
I would like to write articles in tamiz in my blogger web site. Can you let us know how to post in tamil in blogger web site?



R. Prabhu said...

Dear Rajasekaran,

You could either use google transliterate service or yahoo transliteration service. Just google it you will get the links.

s.satish kumar said...

Thank you mr,prabhu.Your blog is truly a gift for knowledge about culture and religion.

R. Prabhu said...

Thanks Satish Kumar!

Siddharth Kumar said...

Hi Prabhu,
It's a great blog:)
May I have your email id for some help with my personal blog
and mine is