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. Hello Sir,

    Very wonderful description.Made me feel in that place for a second in the midst of all devotees singing bajans.
    Though unlucky i cannot visit those places, gave me good darshan thru yr photos and descriptions.
    Thanks! Keep up yr good service.

  2. Hello Sir,

    Excellent job and this is a treasure for us.

    Please mention about “Arasar Koil” near Mamndur (after chengelput). Its the “Adhilakshmi” temple and this is the first Thaayar formed in the world. History says after this only other idols of Thaayar came in this world (eg. one in Kanchi varadharaja Perumal). Hence, its ADHILAKSHMI.

    Temple Contact – 93658 52321.
    ROute – After crossing Mamandur, one has to take the left at Padalam Koot road. The temple is in a very dilapidated state.

  3. This was really very interesting! we hadnt even heard of this temple earlier. the next time we are in chennai, we will surelytry to visit this place….. thanks a lot….

    just a small query.. would you have any contact numbers of the 108 shivalayam at Papanasam (keezhai rameswaram)? One of our friends wants to do some puja there…

  4. Respected sir,
    really awesome …am very much thankful 2 planning to go to this place by next week…thank u

  5. respected sir
    it is wonder ful and beautiful to see navanarasimmer.
    even ibelong still unlucky to visit those places and you have given an opportunity to see all the divotional pictures.thank you very much and great ful to you for giving good information

  6. Dear Raju,
    I am very happy to see the Dakshina Ahobilam.
    We pray HIM to give you and your Family Good Health to continue the Good work
    DR V Thanumoorthy& Radha T

  7. Respected sir,
    Seen the pictures of Navanarashimer ,beautiful to look ,and my hearty thanks for the information provided.
    If in future if arrange any tour kindly let me know .

  8. Sawmi. good information given to all. For your information we have constructed 16 foot Sri Viswaroopa Lakshmi Nararsimhar temple at kattawakkam near walljabadth. Befor that this Yagnammorthy visited many temples and performed Narasimha Yaganam anf for your information we tried to do this in this temple also. But no body from this temple came forward to provide space to perform.

    If this persons who replied for this cometogeather we can perform and each if contributes Rs.500/- towards this Yagnam we can perform.

    9444356750 /9841280567

  9. Thank you and i am very much greatful to you for giving this type of useful information .



  10. Thanks….
    Excellent Job.
    Best experience..
    done a good job, it is really wonderful.
    Nice Photos

    G. Amaran,

  11. Wonderful. Makes you nostalgic.

    Glass mirrors (even defective ones) can be mounted outside to reflect sunlight inside. That is how some of the caves of Ajanta were painted.

    Time to get the politicians to do something about power supply. Time to make them accountable. I think the young in India can make it happen. The past generations have failed to do this.

    Through your web site, please extoll our well wishing folks to stop building new temples and instead take care of the ones we have built over the ages.

    Please keep these lovely narratives coming.

    Best regards

  12. very interesting and useful.thanks.let the Almighty give you all good health.hats off to your perseverence.

  13. Good coverage !
    Thanks for guiding us to new temples…

    Please continue the good work.


  14. Dear RAJU,
    You guys have so much fun!
    Sorry about your electricity problem here.
    I’d really like to see a lioness -faced Lakshmi, too!
    What about using powerful flashlights, or is that not respectful ?

  15. Dear Rajuji,

    I envy you sir. You are so blessed to take these trips and equally blessed are we by getting to share it through your narration and pictures. The style is so natural that I felt I was there as one among of the group.

    Thanka a million for the service.



  16. if anybody has contacts with Inverter manufacturers,
    an Inverter can be donated to the temple which will be of great use during power breakdown.


  17. Dear Sir,

    Excellant narration in very practical manner,i felt as if we had personally visited the shrine.

    We prey your good work should continue.



  18. Dear Sir

    You have given a very detailed narration of the entire trip which would be of immense help to other devotees who may plan to visit these temples. May your tribe increase.

    with best regards


  19. Dear Sir
    Thanks Once More for a good darshan , and we should join together and give the current to the God , so that Many will be happy in the days to come

  20. Thanks for the very lucid description.

    I should thank you for the note on the route to the temple.

    Is it possible for you to have a note on the offerings to be made at the various temples, for people like me who are not aware of such details ? For instance, I came to know after visiting Dakshinamurthy temple that we can offer Channa (kadalai) garland ! Sometimes we come to know of it only after visiting the temple, but then it will be too late 🙂

  21. Your contribution towards all temples is really good.

    your coverage is excellent. I have been seeing your mail more than 2 years.

    All the best sir.

    with regards,

    v.srinivasan. chennai, T.Nagar

  22. Namaskarams Anna,
    Exquisite narration. We will surely plan a trip to visit this temple. Thanks a million for these divine information.

  23. Very interesting to have a feel of the Narasimhar temple as the Jayanti is close by. Gives a very devine feeling. Will plan to cover in my agenda. Many Thanks !


  24. wonderful.
    pl inform me of your next trip to such adventures!
    i will join you.

  25. Hi Sir,

    That was an awesome narration of your trip. I felt like I hav evisited personally. Hope to see many more posts like this in future. Thanks.


    • Dear Mr. Raju

      I have read some of your posts and found them to be extremely informative in elaborate detail. It is amazing to note that you have so much information about so many temples in your blog!!! However, I wonder why there have been no posts since April. Keep it going Sir!!!

      It has been useful for me to visit some the temples which were not known to me before. For example, I recently visited the Brahmapureeswarar Koil at Thirupattur along with 32 other temples around Kumbakonam. I have been inspired by your blogs and have started a blog of my own at I have posted details on about 10 temples there and I am adding to that almost everyday.



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