Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple, Polur, Thiruvannamalai
Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple is located at the top of Sampathgiri Hill in Polur Town in Thiruvannamalai District of Tamilnadu. This hill temple was historically referred as Sampathgiri. Sampathgiri in Sanskrit means "Mountain of Wealth". The same term was referred in Tamil as "Porulur" literally translating to Poruloor (Place of Wealth), now referred as Polur. From the top of the hill, one can have a clear view of the Thiruvannamalai Arunachala Hill and a small hill named Kunnathur Hill located on the outskirts of Polur.
Swyambhu Narasimha Idol:
As per the legend, a group of workers were breaking down stones on a hill called Sampathgiri in Polur village in Thiruvannamalai District of Tamilnadu. Workers were busy doing their job. One of the worker’s spear hit a rock, and for everyone’s shock it started bleeding. They were frightened and left for the day. One the same night, Lord Narasimhar showed in one of the devotees dream. Lord Narasimhar said that he has come one his own to Sampathgiri as Shantha Moorthy.
Next day, the devotee informed this to the villagers. All villagers came to see the idol. They were all shocked to see the lord bleed. All the villagers came together and built a Maha Mandapam for the lord Narasimhar. They worshiped the lord with great bhakti and shraddha. A temple was built atop of the hill for lord Narasimhar. Later people installed Lakshmi - the consort of Lord Narasimhar.
Story of Kolasthiyar Rishi and Pulasthiyar Rishi:
Lord Narasimhar invited two brothers namely Kolasthiyar Rishi and Pulasthiyar Rishi to this temple. These two rishis were ardent devotees of Lord Narasimhar. These two sages did penance to lord Narasimhar and the lord was impressed by their devotions. Impressed by their bhakti, lord gave them a mango. A fight broke up between the two brothers as who would take the mango. In the spur of the moment, Pulasthiyar rishi chopped his younger brother Kolasthiyar’s hands. Even after losing both hands Sage Kolasthiyar continued to worship the lord with great devotion. He took bath at ''Cheyyar'' (3 Kms from Polur) for 48 days (i.e. 3 Mandalams) and circled the Sampathgiri.
After 48th day, Kolasthiyar's hands reappeared magically. This not only surprised the sage, but also others present. It was Lord's plan that Utsavamurthy should be installed by Kolasthiyar rishi. Lord came in Kolasthiyar rishi’s dream and gave direction as where the uthsava Moorthy was. It was in a place called Karapoondi in Cheyyar. The sage went to look for the Utsavamurthy with the direction given by the lord. He found the uthsava Murthy and established a temple i.e. down the hill.
Vijayanagara King built Steps to Hill Temple:
Later, a king from Vijayanagara dynasty expanded the temple. The king built a temple for Venugopala Swamy and his consorts Rukmini and Sathyabhama. They also carved 840 steps on the rocks for the devotees to reach the Lord Lakshmi Narasimhar temple. Even today the devotees use these steps.
Some 160 - 180 years back lord again appeared in one of the devotees dream and said that he needs bells for the temples. The devotee, Srinivasa Rao later bought bells for the temples. Even today, one can find this big, majestic bell at both temples and can also see the painting of Srinivasa Rao on the wall.
The hill is called Sampathgiri and the main deity is the Swayambu Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy facing south towards Thiruvannamalai along with Kanagavalli Thayar. There is a cave here called ''Annai Guha''. Achutha Thasar, Hari Das, Sri Gnanananda Swamigal and Siddhar Vittoba had meditated in caves here. There are two water streams (sunais) are present in the Hill. One in the top of the hill called Brahma Theertham and the other at the bottom called Pulasthiyar Theertham. There is an Anjaneyar shrine at the base of the hill and there are 840 steps to climb to reach this hill temple.
There are two vultures that fly around the hill and people believe that they are the two brothers Kolasthiyar and Pulasthiyar. The hill which is opposite to Sampathgiri is called Sapthagiri and it is believed that the 7 sages still reside in this mountain. This temple is completely built by devotees after lord showed up in their dreams. This place is very powerful and all the prayers are answered in no time. The temple festival is celebrated according to Kamakshi temple of Kanchi.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is currently served by a single priest called Sekhar Bhattachariar who also looks after a small Perumal temple below. He goes atop the hill at 4:30 AM and returns back by 8:30 AM. A Chowkidar remains on the hillock opening the temple for visitors who come later. The priest also visits the hill atop temple in the evenings.
Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple,
Polur – 606803,
Mobile: +91 98423 07594 / 94430 98358
This temple is located at Polur. Polur is situated on the state highway between Thiruvannamalai and Vellore district. It is about 33 Kms from the former and 48 Kms from the latter and 55 Kms from Vandavasi. Nearest Railway is Polur Railway Station, located on the Vellore – Thiruvannamalai rail route. Nearest Airport is located at Chennai.