In Kizhappavur village, Alangulam taluk close to Tenkasi is a 1000-year-old temple for Sri Lakshminarasimha. The dilapidated condition of the temple has urged devotees to form a renovation committee.
Narasimha, according to legend, was Vishnu’s incarnation in a man-animal form to annihilate the demon Hiranyakasipu and the place is said to be Ahobilam in Andhra Pradesh. Legend has it that Kashyapa rishi, Narada and Varuna wished to see Narasimha avatar. Mahavishnu ordained them to do penance on the banks of the Chitra river in the Podigai hills.
The penance began and pleased with their dedication, Narasimha emerged in a ferocious form. The place is Kizhappavur where in the temple the deity is seen with 16 hands, Hiranyakasipu on his lap. He is called Ugranarasimhar and Prahladavaradar. At the deity’s feet in total surrender are Kadamba Maharishi, Prahlada, his mother Lilavati and the king of Kasi.
To cool the angry Narasimha appeared a pond, aptly called Narasimha Tirtham. There is a shrine for Sri Prasanna Venkatachalapaty with his Consorts Padmavati and Alarmelmangai. There is no statue of the latter.
The temple is under the care of Kasi Viswanathar temple. Inscriptions denote the interest showed in the temple, but the structure does not seem to be complete. And the inhabitants of Kizhappavur have not seen consecration. Renovation has started but work is making slow progress for lack of funds. Shrines for Garuda and idols of Thayar will be installed.
Pavurchatiram, also known as Pandiya Ahobilam, is 37 km from Tirunelveli and 16 km from Tenkasi. Kizhappavur is located 2 km from Pavurchatiram, on way to Karandai. The temple is close to the bus stand.
How to go: All buses on the Tirunelveli-Tenkasi route pass Pavurchatiram, where pilgrims should alight and board a bus to Kizhappavur. Or take autorickshaws.
Temple Timings: 7.30-10.30 a.m. and 5-7.30 p.m. For details contact 9442330643.