Visit to Avaniyapuram Nava Narasimhar Temple

Visit to Nava Narasimhar temple (Dakshina Ahobilam) at Avaniyapuram


Avaniyapuram is

  • 16km before Arani
  • 26 km from vandavasi and
  • 20 kms from cheyyar

Geographically, Tambaram-Kanchipuram-Cheyyar-Avaniyapuram may be the shortest but it could be the longest! In the current road condition, Chenglepat –Uthiramerur-Vandavasi-Avaniyapuram is the best.

The Geographical location:


  • Twin temples on a small hillock
  • One at the middle tier for Lord Narasimhar with Goddess Lakshmi also with the lioness face (Avani meaning Lion).
  • There are nine Narasimhars and so is called Dakshina Ahobilam
  • The top tier temple is for Lord Venkateshwara
  • Shrines for Sholingar Narasimhar, Sri Ranganathar and Varadhraja Perumal. Thus we see all the main pancha divya desa moorthies – Kanchi, Srirangam, Sholingur, Tirumala and Ahobilam.
  • The Lord is said to have obliged Brigu Maharishi by appearing before him in the forms of five divya desa deities.
  • The temple is believed to have been built during the Pallava regime.
  • There is a natural rock formation in the form of a Lion with eyes, beard, nose etc., more importantly with the front left leg raised in a blessing posture. A swayambu Narasimhar?
  • Avaniyapuram Avaneeswarar temple – A temple with margatha lingam installed by Sri Aadhi Sankarar is present  at the base of the avaniyapuram hill

On 10th April, a group of 16 of us, started off from Nanganallur Mr.Sivan’s place at about 6:30 AM and after picking up everybody it was around 7 when we joined the GST Road at Pazhavanthangal. By 9 AM we spent about half an hour before Uthiramerur in the shadow of a road side tree for the break fast. Then briefly stopped over at Thennanngur Pandurangan temple for about 20 minutes and then reached  Vandavasi. From there we took the Arani road which was neither good nor bad and so could go only at moderate speed. By the time we reached Avaniyapuram, it was around 10:45 AM.

Start of Steps (by Raju's Temple Visits)

Start of Steps 1 (by Raju's Temple Visits) Start of Steps 5 (by Raju's Temple Visits) Middle Tier temple, Top Tier Temples and Lion faced rock (by Raju's Temple Visits) Anjaneyar shrine (by Raju's Temple Visits) Main shrine 1 (middle tier) (by Raju's Temple Visits)
Main shrine 2 (middle tier) (by Raju's Temple Visits) Main shrine 3 (middle tier) (by Raju's Temple Visits) Main shrine 4 (middle tier)

The temple is on a well spread out and not so high hillock. There are two temples in 2 tiers. We have to climb 64 steps to reach the first and main temple in the middle tier for Lord Lakshmi Narasimhar. There is a small Hanumar shrine mid way. When we entered we were in for a rude shock since our great Arcot Veerasamy was having his fun time. There was no electricity and it was a total darkness. Since we came in from a bright noon sunshine we could not even see the neighbor for a few minutes and so could not move. The main shrine is such a way that we can see the deity only from a good distance away. Further the deities – Lord Narasimhar and the Goddess Lakshmi in his lap are very small. To add more misery, the shrine was not lit brightly with deepams as well. The place has a uniqueness of Goddess Lakshmi having a lioness face which I have not heard of before. So we were very anxious to have a close dharshan but when we asked permission to go a little inside the shrine, the Bhattacharyar reacted very angrily and said a wild ‘No’. He was telling that to keep you all Chennaities with electricity we are being made to sweat without the electricity etc., – very true and understandable indeed.  We were a little depressed and later moved over to the other sub shrines where there are 5 Narasimhars in one place; a very beautiful Alarmelmangai  thayar and the Urchava idols – atleast we could have a closer dharshan of all these deities and so a little fulfilled. By then I and a few people moved over to the main shrine to have another dharshan and while we were there, electricity came up and went out in a few seconds. It was just a glimpse of the main deity for a few seconds but that itself was a little consoling. But in a few minutes, we were in for a sweet surprise – electricity came up and it was there fully throughout!  Our first problem was solved and were a little relieved. We could see the main deity under Electricity but it was still far away that we could not recognize the lioness face of the Goddess.  Ok, atleast this was good enough, we were thinking.

Thayar with the Lion face - Sudai sculpture above the sanctum sanctorum (by Raju's Temple Visits)

But then another problem was waiting. There is one more temple at the top tier for Lord Venkateshwara and other deities but since the bhattacharyar’s son was too ill (later I met him in his house), the bhattacharyar , as one man can not handle both the temples at the same time and so was not ready to accompany us to the top tier temple – very much understandable but then we have also come a long way specifically for this temple, is itn’t?. All along, our group, especially the brother of Mr.Sivan was pestering the Bhattacharyar continuously to show us the top tier temple and he was a little moved and ready to come up in spite of some people waiting for some rituals. So, the second problem was also solved!

Steps to top tier (by Raju's Temple Visits) Top tier - Sri Venkateswarar and other shrines (by Raju's Temple Visits)

There are 110 steps to the top tier temple of Lord Venkateshwara. But it was too hot then and the steps were really boiling like a hot plate. Some of the elders could not come up fully and returned mid way. Here we can have a close, bright, peaceful and satisfying dharshan of the deity. Our group sang some bajans also. By this time, the Bhattacharyar might have been happy with our behavior and the perseverance and so got a little friendlier and started taking us to various shrines very happily and gave good explanations as well.

There is a separate cave like enclosure in the prahara where we see:

  • Sri Ranganathar in a lying posture but unusually turned completely towards us along with Ranganayaki Thayar
  • Sholingar Yoga Narasimha is in a sitting position along with Amirdavalli Thayar – an absolute beauty.
  • Sri Varadaraja Perumal and Perundevi Thayar.

Thus we see all the main pancha divya desa moorthies – Kanchi, Srirangam, Sholingur, Tirumala and Ahobilam.

Excepting the main deity in the middle tier all the other deities can be seen very closely and so very satisfying indeed.

Top tier Temples 2 (by Raju's Temple Visits) IMG_4988a Top tier Temples 4 (by Raju's Temple Visits)

Look at this wonder of Lord! This is a rock looking like a lion from this angle. The face with the beard, the eyes, the mouth, the jaw. Doesn’t the front leg also in a blessing pose?  Lord Narasimhar and Thayar with the lion faces and this rock looking like a lion – well, there is so much beyond our perception.

Lion faced rock (by Raju's Temple Visits)

Top view 1 (by Raju's Temple Visits)
Top View 2 (by Raju's Temple Visits)
Top View 3 (by Raju's Temple Visits)

And finally when we came back down to the middle tier, the Bhattacharyar became a complete friend of us and was ready to allow us little inside in small groups to have a closer dharshan. The final problem was also got over! Now we could clearly see the lioness face of the Goddess  Lakshmi and  we could also see the face of Lord Narasimhar completely shapeless due to the depreciation over so many centuries (how many Thirumanjanams he might have seen!). We could also see that there is one more Lord Narasimhar just below feet of the main deity. It was the highlight and we came all the way just for this. We thanked Him for accepting our prayers to give us a good dharshan. What a drama He played that ended very well indeed!

Just opposite the main deity, there are 2 Garudars side by side, one Garudar, also with a lion face! for the main deity and the other one with a normal face for the Lord Venkateshwara of the top tier temple.

There are totally nine Narasimhars here like Ahobilam and that’s why this place is called Dakshina Ahobilam.

The nine Narasimahars here are:

  • Main deity + one more below the main deity
  • Five Narasimhar in a group in a sub shrine within the main shrine
  • Urchara moorthy in a sub shrine within the main shrine
  • Sholingar Narasimhar in the top tier temple

Go  Prepared:

a) The steps can be boiling. Go with shoe socks or towels with threads to tie,
b) Remember it’s a playfield of our Arcot Veerasamy. You are lucky if there was electricity. Maybe an emergency lamp could help. Or go with sufficient oil and wicks and ask the Bhattacharyar to light as many deepams as possible.
c) Not a bad idea to go with a good binacular
d) Above all, God is Love after all and so He will not let us down

Appeal to the temple management:

Since most of the time electricity is not going to be there and people from far away places are coming, I wish the temple management make necessary arrangements to light up the main shrine more brightly with many more natural deepams like the Kerala temples without any dependence on electricity. I wish that this message of mine reach them somehow.

There is a motorable road around the hillock and so while returning we did a girivalam around the hill (in the car, of course) and proceeded towards Kanchipuram, our next destination, via Cheyyar.

Contact: Bhattacharyar Sri Mukundachar – 9629540448 / 9941756271. House at the base very near the start of steps.

Hill Start (by Raju's Temple Visits)
Hill - Side View 1 (by Raju's Temple Visits)
Hill - Side View 3 (by Raju's Temple Visits)

There is Tea shop (there is only one, I think) at the base which serves good tea, it seems. Later I heard that my friend Balaji and friends, after their disappointing dharshan without electricity, took 3 cups of tea each here to cool off themselves! Unfortunately I came to know this only later and so we missed it really.

Parkings (by Raju's Temple Visits)

Avaniyapuram Avaneeswarar temple

A temple with margatha lingam installed by Sri Aadhi Sankarar is present  at the base of the avaniyapuram hill which we missed out unfortunately.

This surrounding has a very good connection to Ahobilam not only by the name ‘Dakshina Ahobilam’ but more than that. Sri Sashta Parankusha swamy, the sixth Jeeyar of the Ahobila mutt had constructed and helped about 60 temples and had put in lots of great scholars who were well versed in vedams to maintain those temples. One such place is ‘Yagnamedu’ which later became ‘Injimedu’, about 4-5 kms from Avaniyapuram. This place was also called ‘Yagna vedhikai’, as lots of yagnams / Homams are performed here. Sri Injimedu Azhagiyasingar is the 42nd Jeeyar.

Sri Perundevi Nayika Sameta Sri Varadharaja Perumal Temple

Srimath Azhagiya Singar 45th Jeeyar had a great affinity towards Kanchi Sri Varadhar. So, as per his wish this temple was built.

Sri Yaga Samrakshana Ramar

From the time of Sri Sashta Parankusha Yatheendra Maha Desikan, it is said that Sri Ramar of this sthalam has found lots of Yagams and Vedams. Sri Ramar is said to be found almost 1500 years back and it is said that he emerged from a yagam, so he is called as “Sri Yaga Samrakshana Ramar”. Problem in marriage, Puthra Bhagyam, etc., are said to vanish if we visit this sthalam and get the dharshan of this Sri Ramar. Specifically, if people born in Moola, Aayilyam stars have any problem in getting married, they can visit this sthalam, to get their problems get solved.

Sri Thirumanicherai Udayar Temple at Perumalai

Temple: This small 200ft high hillock top temple has about 51 covered steps. So rain or sun will not affect the devotees. This is a 2500 years old temple which got ransacked about 700 years ago by various invasions. The Thirumanicherai Shiva lingam which was left alone without any pooja/ worship for nearly 700 years, finally got a facelift and the Kumbabhisheham took place in 1999. Sanghu theertham is present in the hill in the shape of Sanghu. It is said that there is a spacious cave here where Pampatti Chithar is living in the form of a snake.

Legend: Agasthiar worshipped here. Once on an ego battle between Brahma and Vishnu, they set off to reach the top and bottom of Shiva as a competition. During that time Thazamboo gave a false witness to Shiva that Brahma had reached the top of Shiva. Knowing this, Shiva cursed Thazampoo that it should not be used in any Shiva pooja. In order to get rid of the curse, it stands here as the Sthala Vruksham. Nandhi’s footsteps are seen here.

Photos of the temple can be seen here .


  1. Very good detailed write up would be very useful to figure pilgrims. Expecting a visit to Avaniyapuram temple at the earliest. Our Kula Deivam Sri yoga Lakshmi Narasimhar will arrange a visit. R.Narasimhan IYENGAR, Bangslore.

  2. மிகவும் அறுமையான ஸ்ரீ நரசிம்மர் ஆலயம் பற்றிய தகவல்கள். இது வரை கேள்விப்பட்டதில்லை.

  3. sir,
    Information excellent. Self with family want to visit only NARASIMHA temples in Tamil Nadu by four wheeler. Please guide us with details of all Narasimha temples and route start from Bengaluru (karnataka)

  4. Dear Sir,
    I am resident of Tirupati(A.P) all these days I have not heard the temple. After seeing u r web Along with my family(My wife is devotee Lakshmi Narasimhar) went to the AVANIPURAM TEMPLE enjoyed the temple.We have started our first trip in the month of March 2013 The priest also suggested to visit the INJIMEDU PERUMAL KOIL which is roughly 10 to 12 kms from AVANIYAPURAM. Thanks for the information.

    • I happened to visit this temple on a sunday morning. They have opened only the first shrine on the hill. When enquired, the priest informed the other shrines will be opened only on saturdays. So plan accordingly.

  5. We are going to visit the narasimmar for last
    2 years.he is a very power full god.last month we
    Put a steps in chenjulakshmi thayyar temple
    In we r going to put thujasthampam
    This project cost is 4lak. If u guys donate small small
    Amount we going to construct very soon

  6. Dear Mr. Raju,

    Can you give me the correct easy direction on a good road to reach avaniyapuram from tambaram. I am also interested to visit all the Nrisimha temples in tamilnadu till today. Is there a list ?

    Please let me know.

    Thanking you.


    • Dear Mr. Madhwaraj,
      You can take the Tambaram-Cheglepat-Uthiramerur-Vandavasi-Avaniyapuram route;
      The other route is Tambaram-Padappai-Kanchipuram-cheyyar-Avaniyapuram but you have to pass through the Kanchipuram town traffic and also the Kanchipuram-Cheyyar-Avaniyapuram route was not all that good when I went more than an year ago – not sure how is it now.

    • Hello sir, the easy way to reach this temple is via Chennai – kancheepuram – cheyyar – vazhapanthal kottroad (when u reach this place take a right turn on state high way arani-vandavasi) – Avaniyapuram kottroad (take left turn from the state highway which connects arani-vandavasi) – and u reach this temple (excatly it takes 121 KM from Koyambedu bus terminus !! the road from cheyyar is absolutely perfect now with out any potholes. Even u can reach this temple from CMBT through bus as it has 3 diff timing service (5.45 AM – 8.20 AM – 2.00 PM) on daily basis.

  7. DearSir,after reading about Vidaithangi Lord Nandeeswarar, we set out to visit his holy shrine at the base of Navanarasimhar hill temple.What was very striking about Lord Nandeeswara was his partially open mouth.As if to answer that he is indeed Vidaithangi, in an otherwise dry atmosphere there was a gentle breeze which blew and pushed a small piece of a garland which adorned his head.We were divinely thrilled.On enquiry the purohit explained that the temple was nearly 2000 years old but had been modified recently thro donations pouring in.The Lingam was consecrated by Adi .Shankara.What was also interesting was, adjoining the main prakaram was a small place where there is an idol ofGoddess Parvathi worshipping Lord shiva in a small Lingam form believed to be over 2000 years old.Our trip to the temple was very gratifying indeed.

    • Sir
      Is that Vidai Thangi temple is located near by navanarasimhar temple??
      I wish to visit the holy Vidai Thangi temple sir.
      Pls kindly reply me whether, the navanarasimhar temple and Vidai Thangi temple are two different individual temple or the same???

  8. Hello there – i’m from Malaysia.

    This is my first visit to your website and found very interesting /
    informative especially you have taken full plight to update some of
    unique temples around India. Thanks to you first for taking your
    time to guide us into spritual journey.

    Got 1 question : am looking for the following temple. Hope you could give me some insight on how to reach to this temple.

    Temple : Veera Bairavar (main deity)
    Location : Avinashi
    Vilage : Ulugu Mangalam ?

  9. Mr. Raju,
    I visited Avaniyapuram Narasimha shetram.I am a freelance writer. I want some of the important photos, Can you help me. Please mail me back.My i.d. is ——– I will let you know my tel. no. by mail.
    Thank you. Malathi Chandrasekaran.

  10. i am the resident of avaniyapuram.. i made effort to solve the problems of devotees. in this regard i made representation to the temple authorities and the HR&CE department.. i hope that all problems would be solved within 3 months.. i would take steps to approach the HIghcourt by way of Public interest litigation..

    • Dear Sir
      We would like to visit Avaniyapuram and other places near by on pilgrimage. Can we cover within a day or two days require where can we stay.Which is the Best route from Chennai. Pease guide us.

  11. Raju Sir, Yesterday I visited all these temple though I missed Avaniyapuram. Most of these temples are in very good shape and well maintained. Everyone (all the bhattachaiars)was appreciating You for you service in the Internet! I am ready to extend my help/service with you. Whatever it may be (financial or service), to my strength. Let us provide some help to these temples of whatever mean it could be. Thanks

    • Dear Sir,
      I heard about your visit from Sri.Vasudeva Bhattacharyar yesterday. Nice to know that you enjoyed the trip.
      I will send you the details of temples in need of attention, whenever I get the info.
      Thanks and Regards,

  12. Dear Raju,

    Thanks for your detailed info about Aaavaniyapuram Sri Narasimhar temple. It really helps lot..Me and my one of my friend had nice darshan by yesterday (09-Oct-2011). On reading thro your article i understood you went by your own transportation. So i just want to share few points to fellow bus commuters like us.!!

    1> Temple timing : 6 Am to 12pm & 4 Pm to 8PM (Monday to Friday & Sunday)

    On Saturdays only : 6 Am to 1Pm & 4Pm To 8Pm

    2> Temple Location : It is located in Between Vandavasi & Arani.. so bus commuters can take bus from any of those destinations.

    Best route(s)

    From Chennai: Chennai to Vandavasi & then get bus from Vandavasi to Arani. (If anyone interested to see more, make sure to get down at Uthiramerur and have nice darshan of Sri sundara Varadharaja Perumal temple which has three forms of Vishnu. This vishnu deities are placed in three different levels like we have in our besant nagar Ashtalakshmi Temple.

    From Kancheepuram : Get bus from Kancheepuram to Arani & from Arani get any bus towards Vandavasi ( It’s about 14 Km from Arani).

    3> Make sure to reach temple before 11 am or After 5 pm on hot sunny days. There is no shelter on hill foot path. (About 50 – 75 steps to go). As said by raju “The steps can be boiling”… It’s not boiling alone. it will definitely roast your bare foot.. 😦

    4> Make sure to carry your pooja artticles from your home. or Buy it from Arani or Vandavasi. There are not enough shops to buy and Avaniyapuram is very small village which doesn’t have eateries too.

    5> Devotees standing area inside temple is so congested and it doesn’t have proper ventilation. So please take some enough rest before entering in to sanctum. This is specifically for age old people & those who have Breathing difficulty.

    An appeal :

    If anybody wish to contribute, please make sure to contribute it for shelter which is a must need at this moment.

    We got to see temple chariot’s progress and most of the people are donating for chariot which is very good. But, why temple authority not insisted them to weave roof on hill path?

    Venkadesh. N

  13. dear brother raju
    wonderful narration. thanks for all the information. let u be blessed by Bhagavan Lakshminarasimha

  14. sir, thanks to all the information our family members have had a chance to see many temples in tamil nadu. keep this great work going.

  15. Looking at your site, visited this temple on Vaikunta Ekadasi Day, and had the blessings of the Lord by performing Homam.

  16. Dear Sir,

    After reading your templevisit blog, especially About the Pancha divya desam “Aavaniyapuram” Iwould like to visit for the comming Vaikunda Ekadasi, with some of my relatives. Thank you very much for the details. Canyou please suggest any more tips, such as contact person and phone number to enquire about the timings of the temple. Once again thanks a lot.

  17. Your description and photos of the temple is superb. I hope I will visit this temple shortly. I am reminded of my father who used to give me a lot of information on temples. Thank you.

  18. sir,

    Your briefing and work was meticulous.

    i am interested in visiting temples of ancient and historic nature.
    will you please let me know whether i could join you in the next temple tour.


  19. Hi, we stays at adambakkam, we got a opportunity to do the Sudarshana & Narashima homam on 18/7/2010, which comes once in 60 years

  20. Sir,

    Thank u so much for providing in depth informations about narasimhar temples. Even though i had been to padavedu couple of times i never know about ramanathapuram narasimhar kovil. But, after seeing your blog i had been to ramanathapuram narasimhar temple thrice in last 4 weeks. and avaniyapuram too.

    Without your information i would not have gone to these places. It is a blessing from Lord through you to visit him.

    Once, again thank u so much for providing us the informations with contact nos.


  21. Dear Shri.Raju,
    I am in US.My wife suffered a stroke.I consulted
    an astrologer at Nanganallur,Chennai and he has given a verse to propitiate Lord Lakshmi narasimha daily for one hour and we have been doing it and my wife is responding to the treatment and I intend taking her back to Bangalore for further treatment,tomorrow.I wished to visit all the laksmi narasimha temple in Tamilnadu and I just happened to visit your
    blog and I am really thrilled by your experience.
    Excellant narration and I am really thankful to you
    I pray the almighty to give you enough strength
    to post many more i…with regards.


  22. there are no words to praise you sir it is an exemplary work done by you may god bless you with whatever you desire

  23. The way you presented is excellent and makes a feel to visit continue your service.Thank u very much for your contribution.

  24. Dear Raju:
    Excellent narration. Hinduism and our spiritual love is alive and kicking, judging from reading all the comments.
    How about installing a generator at the temple so that power will be there even when there is no electricity? How much will it cost and whom should I contact at the temple?
    I will be in Chennai in November (live in the US) and hope to get some information.

  25. Sir,
    Thanks to your very vivid presentation of Aavaniyapuram, we were Blessed with plenty of light and could see the Moolavar as described by you. Also we have been Blessed enough to participate in the Avathara Utsavam of Aavaniyapuram Thaayar on 6th september 09.(This is performed only once in 60 years). I am deeply grateful to you for your information. thanks.

  26. hello sir .after seeing your visit to avinyyapurram ,yesterrday we wentt to the temple and we feel verry ggreatt to be there such a ggeat temple we miss to see these yyears thankingg ou very much for showingg such a wonderful temple to us

  27. Dear Sir,

    As usual, remarkable contribution. Thanks for giving me an opportunity to visit these places (atleast through web!).

    Soon am expecting a nice website from you, which shall be a virtual temple tour page for all unfortunate ones like me!

    Thanks & best regards.

  28. your narration of the Avaniapuram Narasimhar shrine was every informative.

    would like to know if you have plans of organising a trip to the above place again. would like to join

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