CHENNAI : Singiri Koil, near Puducherry, has a Vishnu temple enshrining an image of a rare form of Ugra Narasimha worshipped in the main sanctum. The ancient and traditional name of Singiri Koil is Krishnaranya Kshetram. The main deity, facing west, is an awe-inspiring image with sixteen hands and is very unique. In Singiri Koil, of the sixteen hands, one is in pataka hasta (with the fingers stretched out and held together tightly), others hold the prayoga chakra (discus ready to be hurled at enemies), kshirika (dagger or knife), and bana (arrow).
Another hand is held as though beheading a rakshasa, another kills an asura with a knife, one is on Hiranyakasipu’s body; other hands hold the intestines of Hiranyakasipu as a garland, other hands have the sankha (conch), dhanush (bow), gada (mace), kedayam (shield), and the head of a rakshasa. A hand holds the head of Hiranyakasipu tightly and another hand tears the stomach of this demon. Also seen near the main image, are the figures of Goddess Niladevi, Prahlada, Sukracharya and Sage Vasishta. Facing north are small images of Yoga Narasimha and Bala Narasimha. The processional image (utsava-murti) is Yoga Lakshmi Narasimha worshipped as Prahlada Varada.
There are separate sanctums for Goddess Lakshmi known here as Kanakavalli Thayar, Andal, and Rama, Lakshmana, Sita and Hanuman. At the entrance to the temple is a tall Rajagopuram studded with stucco images of the various forms of Vishnu. The five sacred tanks (tirthams) are traditionally known as Jamadagni Tirtham, Indra Tirtham, Brighu Tirtham, Vamana Tirtham and Garuda Tirtham.
There are a few fragmentary ancient epigraphs seen on the walls. It is believed that worshipping Lord Narasimha at his temples in Singiri Kovil, Parikkal and Poovarasan Kuppam (which fall in one straight line) on one day, will bring special benefits to devotees.