Story of Lord Narasimha
Hiranyakashipu (the brother of Hiranyaksha who was killed by the Varaha Avtar) wanted to take revenge on the Devatas and in particular on Lord Vishnu. He wanted to become the master of all the three worlds - Heaven, Earth & Pathala. He went to Mount Mandarachala and began penance which continued for years. Due to the intensity of Penance, Lord Brahma appeared before Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyakashipu asked for immortality as boon. Brahma, however, declined, saying "All living beings must face death Hiranyakashipu. You can, however, choose your death wish."
Hiranyakashipu then asked
for three conditions, as his death wish, "'O Brahma, let not death come to me either
by man or beast, nor devil, nor god shall cause my death by day or by night with steel or
stone or wood, indoors or outdoors, or earth or in sky. Grant me undisputed lordship over
the world". Brahma agreed and Hiranyakashipu got his
death wishes granted. Thus he became practically immortal.
Hiranyakashipu ordered his servents to kill
Prahlad if he refused to accept the supremacy of his father. They tried to kill him by
throwing down a mountain, drowning, poisoning, burning etc. and failed in all attempts
since Lord Vishnu saved him from all the attempts. The king got angry on hearing the
reports about Prahlad.
"Prahlad! Is my enemy, whom you worship, present anywhere here?".
Prahlad replied, "Vishnu is omnipresent. There's not a single place where he's not found."
Hiranyakashipu's fury was at its climax. He got
an iron pillar heated and asked Prahlad, "Can you embrace this pillar if your
Vishnu is in it also?"
And to his surprise! The pillar cracked with a thundering sound and Vishnu appeared there in the form of Narasimha.
One half of his body was of a lion and the other half of a man. He had matted hair on his head, large moustaches on the face and terrible teeth in the mouth. His paws had terrible nails on them.
Hiranyakashipu remembered his first death wish, "To be killed by some one who is neither human nor beast." It was also the twilight hour, neither day nor night, the second death wish.
The demon king hit Narasimha with his mace but Narasimha brushed it aside swiftly. It was twilight and Narasimha caught hold of the demon Hiranyakashipu.
The main temples of Lord Narasimha in Kerala are at Alleppey, Thuravoor and Tellicherry