Lord Narasimha is known popularly known as the ‘Great Protector’. Narasimha is a significant avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu. He is one of Hinduism’s most famous deities. He is been worshiped by Hindu devotees over a millennium throughout India and abroad.
There is strong evidence for these in the temples that are largely dedicated to this particular Lord. There is also lot of evidence in the puranas too.
There are nearly seventeen different versions of the primary narrative and references to Lord Narasimha in a good variety of puranas. They are as follows
The Bhagavat Purana (Canto 7),
Agni Purana (4.2-3),
Brahmanda Puran (2.5.3-29),
Vayu Puran (67.61-66),
Harivamsa (41 & 3.41-47),
Brahma Puran (213.44-79),
Vishnudharmottara Puran (1.54),
Kurma Puran (1.15.18-72),
Matsya Puran (161-163),
Padma Purana (Uttara-khanda 5.42),
Shiv Purana (2.5.43 & 3.10-12),
Linga Purana (1.95-96),
Skanda Purana 7 (2.18.60-130)
Vishnu Purana (1.16-20)
The depictions of the avatar of Narasimha are contained in all these Puranas. There are short reference related to this particular Lord in earliest of Vaishnav Upanishads, a Gopal Tapani Upanishad (Narasimha tapani Upanisad) and Mahabharat (3.272.56-60).
An epithet, attributed to Narasimha is mentioned in the Rig Ved. It is to be noted that this particular avatar is largely described as “like some wild beast, dread, prowling, mountain-roaming”. An allusion to a Namuci story is also mentioned in the Rig Vedas. It is cited as “With waters’ foam you tore off, Indra, the head of Namuci, subduing all contending hosts.”