CHENNAI : Anthili, a village which is home to a tiny temple for Lakshmi Narasimha Perumal, is located near the well-known town of Thirukoilur, famous for its temple dedicated to Trivikrama Perumal. The Lakshmi Narasimha Perumal temple in Anthili is one of the many Narasimha Kshetras in this region, the others being at Parikkal, Poovarasankuppam and Singiri Kovil. Anthili is located close to River South Pennar (Then Pennai) which is also known as Dakshina Pinakini.
According to the tradition connected with this temple Garuda, the vehicle (vahana) of God Vishnu once undertook severe penance on the rock in Anthili and had a vision (darshan) of Vishnu as Lakshmi Narasimha. Garuda requested the deity to remain in this place so that other devotees could also worship here. In fact, the very rock on which this shrine is built looks like Garuda with wings outspread.
This tiny, east-facing temple is reached by climbing up a steep flight of steps from the rock on which it is situated. Consecrated in the main sanctum is a small and beautiful image of Lakshmi Narasimha Perumal. On one of the pillars close to the central shrine is a sculpture of Madhvacharya, the eminent 12th-century Dvaita preceptor.
Another sculpture portrays Anthili Lakshminarasimhachar, a great Vedic scholar and a devotee of Lakshmi Narasimha Perumal of this temple. There is a monolithic deepa sthambam (lamp post) at the entrance to the temple which was used to illuminate the temple in the days bygone.
Close to this temple is a shrine for Anjaneya atop another rock overlooking River Then Pennai. Some beautiful stucco sculptures of Hanuman are seen on the vimanam here. The deity inside this sanctum, which faces south, is according to tradition, believed to have been consecrated by the famous Madhva preceptor, Vyasaraya Tirtha of the 16th century AD, one among the very great galaxy of scholars who flourished during the glorious Vijayanagara era.