Visit to Sri Lakshmi Narasimhar Temple at Singiri Koil
Significance: One of the most beautiful scenic spots; Lakshmi Narasimhar with four hands, in Santha roopa with His consort on His right lap (usually He will have His consort on His left lap).
Poojas and Festivals: Thirumanjanam is performed on every Swathi Nakshatram, which is the birth star of Narasimha. Narasimha Jayanthi, Vaikunda Ekadesi, Ratha Sapthami, Tamil and English New Year and Purattasi Saturdays are celebrated here.
Darshan Timings: 9 AM to 12 PM and 5 to 6:30 PM
Contact: Rajagopala Bhattachar Ph: 94430 99043
Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swami Temple, Vellore District, Singrikoil-632312.
Travel Base: Vellore
There is another Lakshmi Narasimhar temple at a place called Singiri Kudi (also called Singiri Koil) in the Pondicherry – Cuddalore route which is a very popular one. So beware that there are two places in the name of Singiri Koil and both of them have Lakshmi Narasimhar temples (!).
This Singiri Koil is on the Vellore – Polur (Thiruvannamalai) route and is about 5 kms west of Kannamangalam(which is a big town). While coming from Vellore, after Vellore Govt Medical College and Nelvoy, we branched off to the right (towards west) at a place called Kaniyambadi. This road branches off to the left after a few kms. There is a small board here for the temple but you have to be watchful not to miss it. This goes through a place called Keezh Arasmapat to Singiri Koil. While coming back, since we wanted to go to Padavedu, we went through another road that goes through Kannamangalam and caught up the Vellore – Polur road again. Kannamangalam is 20 km from Vellore and 28 km from Polur on the Vellore – Polur route.
Chennai (Adayar) – Vellore Bypass junction : 142 km
Vellore Bypass – Kaniyambadi: 25 km
Kaniyambadi – Temple: 7 km
We started off by 4:30 AM fom Chennai and visited Shenbakkam Swayambu Vinayagar temple, Virinchipuram Margabandheswarar temple, Singiri Koil Lakshmi Narasimhar Temple, Erikuppam Saneeswara Bhagwan temple, about 6 ancient temples in Padavedu and returned to Chennai by about 12 midnight. It was a total distance of 434 kms. To our surprise, the next day morning, the watchman came and informed that one of the car tyres was totally flat and wondered how did I drive all the way. It was found to be two damages (!) – one puncture and one leak at the joint. Well, life is full of surprises and blessed moments indeed…
Literally no information about this temple was available in the internet excepting a small ‘The Hindu’ article and so I planned this temple without any expectation. While reaching the temple, there was a road going down in a picturesque scene and the temple was visible from a distance. I screamed ‘Wah’ and immediately stopped the car to take this photo.
There is a big hill and at the foot of the hill, this temple is situated on a small hillock. As we went near the temple, we saw a tiny river flowing in front of the temple and we have to cross the river by foot. This is one of the most beautiful scenic and dreamy spots of my temple visits so far. Vallimalai near Vellore and Ahobilam at Andhra Pradhesh are the other places which fascinated me in photos which I am yet to visit.
Later, I understood from the Bhattachayar that the temple will be closed if the river flows in full stream and this happens for about a week in a year. He said that during this year’s Vaikunda Ekadhasi celebrations only he and Perumal were there at the temple.
During my visit, the temple was reasonably filled with people quite worthy to the temple and the scenic spot. There were about 50 steps to climb and it is a small temple with only the sanctum sanctorum and two small shrines for Periya Thiruvadi (Garudazhwar) and Siriya Thiruvadi (Lord Hanuman).
The sanctum sanctorum and the Lord were the other sweet surprises. The sanctum sanctorum was quite big with the Lakshmi Narasimhar in sitting posture in Santha roopam with Goddess Lakshmi on His right lap (usually He will have His consort on His left lap). The Lord is about 6 feet high with four hands – two hands hold the conch and the chakra, third (left) hand is on His lap and the fourth (right) hand is around the waist of Goddess Lakshmi. The adornment for the Lord and the sanctum sanctorum were so beautiful that anybody without much devotion will easily fall in love with the deity.
Bhattar informed that as per the inscriptions around the sanctum sanctorum, this is a 1300 years old temple built during Pallava Rayar period by the King Nandhi Varman. The 13th generation of the Bhattar family is taking care of the temple now. The Samprokshanam of the temple took place only last year and the Rajagopuram work is going on currently. Since there is no place for Rajagopuram at the front, it is being constructed at the back side and it is planned to have Samprokshnam for the Rajagopuram on 19th Aug 2008.
There is a separate shrine for Sri Anjaneya, who is known here as Sri Bala Anjaneya. The idol is one foot high. Bala Anjaneya, who appears like a small child is believed to bestow the boon of parenthood to the childless. The temple also has a separate shrine for Sri Garuda.
There is a big rock at the back of the sanctum sanctorum and so the praharam is a little narrow on this side.
From the hillock top, it was a beautiful scenic sight all around with green fields, river and lot of hills.
While coming down, there were plenty of eatables and vegetables being sold in the shadow of big trees. With one bunch of (small) drumsticks at Rs 2, it was a big bargain for our ladies and they had something more to cherish. We bought pappayas as well and later found to be not pappayas but mangoes, yes, they were so sweet as mangoes. The peeled off pappayas were unformly reddish throughout and not yellowish as those bought from Koyambedu. So, don’t miss the shopping as well.
After Singiri Koil, we rested for breakfast (at 11 AM !) here and then proceeded to Padavedu, another amazing and scenic place with about 10 ancient temples, at about half an hour drive from here. I will cover Padavedu separately in my next posting.
Being a vacation time, this (along with Padavedu) is the place to visit and cherish immediately with the kids. Just pack off….