During his pilgrimage to Varanasi, a Namboothiri priest from Angamally had a supernatural vision. He saw a brilliant beam of light descending towards the earth and travelling in a southwesterly direction. The priest followed the beam closely. At a pre-ordained point in a village called ‘Poothanilam’ in central Kerala, the light hit the earth and disappeared into the ground. The priest dug the earth at this spot and saw an extraordinarily beautiful idol of Mahavishnu in Anjanakallu (a rare kind of black stone) buried underneath. While the idol was being salvaged, the heavens opened up and blessed the event with a shower of fireworks which lit up the sky and shook the earth with a thunderous sound. This Vishnu idol was later to become famous as Sree Narasimhamoorthy.
The priest enshrined the idol in a Sreekovil of its own near the sanctum of Sudarsanamoorthy. It is said that the idol occupies a site, which was originally the abode of Goddess Bhagavathy. The Bhagavathy idol was relocated at a place a little towards the west, as per Hindu ideology. Reinforcing this belief is the fact that the multi-tiered bronze lamp in front of the Narasimhamoorthy temple bears the image of a lion - the carrier of Goddess Bhagavathy. The place came to be also called ‘Surapuri’ - probably because of the presence of an entire galaxy of gods and goddesses.