In Puri town, to the western side of Gundicha temple and to the east of the sacred Indradyumna tank there is a temple known as the Yagna Narasimha temple. Devotees can approach the temple on the right side of the road leading from Gundicha temple towards matiapara sqaure. The temple is facing towards west and the height of the temple is about 60ft. Local people also called this temple as Nrusingha Temple and Nrusimha Temple.

The presiding deity is Lord Narasimha. There are two images of Lord Narasimha inside the temple, one behind the other. The image in front is called Santa Narasimha. In local language 'Santa' means 'Calm' or 'Sober'. Anyone who sees this image of Lord Narasimha will have his anger, frustration, and anxiety will vanish. The Deity in the back is called Ugra Narasimha. In local language 'Ugra' means 'Angry'. He is the internal mood of Narasimha.

As per the legend, When Kalapahad attacked Puri and was smashing Deities of various temples, he saw Santa Narasimha image and his anger subsided; hence he could not break the Deity as he had planned. Santa Narasimha's features are human-like. He has a sharp human nose, a large curly mustache, and an outstretched tongue. Non-Hindus are not permitted in the temple, but the Deities are visible from the door.

There a story behind the name of the temple as 'Yagna Narasimha'. As depicted in the purana once King Indradyumna stayed near Nilakantheswar temple to make arrangements to perform Aswamedha Yagna (Horse sacrifice) for one thousand years. On the advice of Sage Narada, King Indradyumna made a Nrusimha image out of black stone and placed the image under black sandal wood tree and worshipped Him. It is believed that in front of this temple the Aswamedha Yagna took place and hence He known as 'Yagna Narasimha'. Devotees will earn more punya if they make a darsana of Sri Nilakantheswar, Yagna Narasimha and Panchamukhi Hanuman (Lord Hanuman image with five faced) after the sacred bath in Indradyumna Tank. Festivals like Narasimha Janma, Satapuri Amavasya etc are observed in Nrusingha temple with great devotion.

Yagna Narasimha Temple
Yagna Narasimha Temple

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