Yoga Narasimha Perumal Temple, Narasingam, Yanaimalai – Legends
According to the Sthala Purana for the Madurai Koodal Azhagar Temple, sage Romasa had installed the Narasimha idol in a cave in the hill. And the 87th chapter of the Uttara Kanda of the Brahmanda Purana says the sage did penance on the banks of the Padma Thadagam, as it was filled with lotus flowers, near the Gajagiri Kshetram (the present Anaimalai) seeking progeny, and wanted the Lord to appear in his Narasimha avatar. The Lord appeared as Ugra Narasimha and the heat that emanated from him was unbearable.
Even the celestials were affected by it and they all came to Gajagiri Kshetram and prayed to the Lord to calm down. The Lord could not be pacified and then they sought the help of Prahlada, whose arrival quietened him to some extent. They prayed to the Goddess Mahalakshmi, who also took her abode in him as Narasingavalli, after which he became Yoga Narasimha. The Lord later granted the boon sought by the sage.
According to another legend, Lord Siva was afflicted by Brahma Hathi Dosham (a curse that descends upon a Hindu if he murders a Vedic Brahman) after he plucked one of the five heads of Lord Brahma. He was relieved of it after he took a bath in the holy water source there, also known as Chakra Theertham, and he worshipped Lord Narasimha. It is believed that taking a dip in the Chakra Theertham, which is near the temple, rids one of all sins.
The Thiruvilayadal Purana, written by Perumbatta Puliyur Nambi and later amended by Paranjothi Munivar, says that the Chola king, who could not win the battle against the Pandya ruler, sought the help of Jains. They created a giant elephant using their mystic powers and directed it to kill the Pandya king and destroy his capital. But the Pandya prayed to Lord Siva to save him and his capital. The Lord sent to him the "Narasinga Asthram" (the eight-lettered word Namo Narayana), which turned the elephant into a hill. To commemorate this event, a stone elephant was installed in Madurai near the Vaigai facing the north, which is found near the Yanaikkal bridge even today.
This hill is in the shape of an elephant hence it is called Yanaimalai (elephant hill). This place is mentioned as the Gaja Giri Kshetram, Narasingam or Hasthigiri.
Pulasthya Maharishi penance on this place:
Pulasthya Maharishi, the great grandfather of Lankan King Ravana is said to have undertaken penance at this place and had darshan of Lord Narasimha.