Namperumal makes his annual trip to this temple on Vijayadasami evening
Located 200 yards east of the Srirangam Railway Station is the Kaattu Azhagiya Singa Perumal temple in Srirangam. This temple dates back to a period prior to the Srirangam Ranganatha temple when this Kshetram was referred to as Velli Thirumutham. Only much later, after the construction of the Ranganatha temple, this place came to be called Thiruvarangam.
Lord Narasimha is seen in a seated posture facing the West (towards Srirangam Ranganatha temple) with Lakshmi to his left.
This Kshetram was a forest thousands of years ago, surrounded by the two rivers- Cauvery in the South and Coloroon in the North, and inhabited only by the rishis and their families. Time and again, wild animals would attack the families of the rishis and consume them for a meal.
While the rishis had the power to burn the animals just by their looks, they would not forego the fruits of their penance by killing these wild animals. Instead they undertook a more severe form of penance invoking the blessings of Lord Narasimha.
Pleased with their prayers, Lord Narasimha appeared here providing darshan to these rishis. As per their request, he stayed here with Goddess Lakshmi protecting the lives of all those who offer their sincere prayers at this place.
The idol of Lakshmi Narasimha here is a Svayambu moorthy and the temple was built and renovated at later periods of time. No inscriptions are found relating to the period of construction of the outer walls.
As the Lord appeared here in the middle of a forest and stayed back to protect the devotees, he came to be called ‘Kaattu’ Azhagiya Singar.
Utsava deity at the Ranganatha Temple
Centuries ago, with this temple being in the midst of a forest and with minimal human existence, it was considered unsafe and hence the utsava deity was placed inside the Koorathaazhvan Sannidhi at the Srirangam Ranganatha temple.
That tradition has come to stay and today one finds the Utsava idol of Lord Narasimha not at the Kaattazhagivya Singa Perumal Koil but at the Srirangam Ranganatha temple.
Old time residents say that this place was very much like a forest till the early 1970s. It is only in the last 3 decades that there has been development around the Kaatazhagiya Singar temple.
Namperumal’s visit to Kaattazhagiya Singar temple
Once a year, on the evening of Vijayadasami day, Namperumal, the Utsava deity of Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam, comes on a street procession to this temple in a palanquin. Goddess is believed to have undertaken penance at this place and handed Nam Perumal a bow and an arrow at the end of the 10th day of the Navarathri festival.
After Thirumanjam, the event of Lord Namperumal on a Horse Vaahanam, striking an arrow on the Vanni tree to signify the destruction of evil forces and protection of the devotees, is enacted every year on the Vijayadasami evening at this temple.
Special Occasions at the temple
There are special poojas and Thirumanjanam organised every month on the Swathi Nakshatram and Prathosham days. Also, Saturday is an auspicious day to visit this temple.