Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Home > City News > Shantigrama – Narasimha, the God of Protection

Shantigrama – Narasimha, the God of Protection

Shantigrama Sri Lakshmi Sametha Varada Yoga Bhoga Narasimha Swamy city kempThirteen kilometres from Hassan, is an early 12 century temple built by Acala Prakasa Muni in 1122 AD during the reign of Veera Ballala. It’s a powerful Narasimha temple known to the world as – ‘Sri Lakshmi Sametha Varada Yoga Bhoga Narasimha Swamy temple’. This is a very simple Hoysala architecture temple with roots of Chola art & influence courtesy Shantala Devi – the beautiful danuese queen of Vishnuvardhana. She got Shantigrama as a gift from her husband king.
When you enter Shantigrama off the highway one comes across a beautiful large temple on the left. . . this is a beautiful built temple of Sri Sowmiya Keshava Swamy Temple built by Queen Shantala’s father – Narasingimayya. Though they were Jains they were converted to Vaishnavism by Ramanujacharaya. Being an admirer of Jainism Queen Shantala has modified the two Chola temples to Hoysala architecture. One can find Jain Viharas in Shantigrama too. Today Shantigrama houses two beautiful temples – Sri Sowmiya Keshava Swamy & Sri Lakshmi Sametha Varada Yoga Bhoga Narasimha temples.
Shantigrama is famous for its Narasimha temple. Here lord Narasimha the 4th avaatar of Vishnu is in seated in his yogic form – lion headed man with chakra, mace, nails & jaws . . . Lord Vishnu took this form on Himvat mountain Harivamsa to vanquish Hiranya Kashabu who had become the all mighty & powerful with a grant of a wish by Bhrama and turned evil, arrogant and unreasonable! Even the 3.3 crore Hindu God’s were powerless in front of him. This temple is powerful because of the ritualistic poojas taking place from the past 1200 years. Highest level of discipline & attention needs to be followed when worshipping Lord Narasimha. Here Lord Narasimha is with Lakshmi with shanka (conch) is in his right hand otherwise it’s usually in the left, chakra (wheel) is in the left.
The temple priest is patient friendly and forever educating devotees. The nine forms of Narasimha are – ugra, krodha, veera, vilamba, koapa, yoga, aghora, sudharshana & LakshmiNarasimha. Once you enter the temple and raise your head towards the ceiling you will find the ‘Nava Narasimha’ in a circle above – the nine avatars of Lord Narasimha!
It’s believed that encircling Lord Narasimha 48 times before noon hungry in pure cleanliness after a bath at the adjacent lake (dry in summers – fills up in rainy spells) and asking for a boon – gets delivered. The only thanks one does after that is to feed every devotee who comes to the temple on your thanks giving pooja day. More details of poojas & rituals with the temple poojary. The temple is open from 8 am to 12 noon and again from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. Worth the ritual if one is going through difficult challenging times.
Being on a Hassan tourist excursion…covering Shravanabelgola, Belur etc… one can perform a small pooja for divine intervention in your life.
Hassan Tourist has a lot more places to cover and it’s mostly temple tourism. Rest & Relaxation one could head to Chickmagalur to be in the nature’s lap of luxury!
-Jagdeesh Laxman Singh
aka Jugie Singh
Text & Photography
[email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *