Narsobawadi became a pilgrim centre as Shri Dattatreya, in his incarnation known as Narsinh Saraswati lived here for twelve years. Here there is no idol of Shri Dattatreya symbolising his presence. Instead of that his existence is symbolised by his "padukas "(slippers).
In ancient times, there was a thick forest here. Narasinha Saraswati Swami is one of the 16 descents of Lord Datta. Kurundwad was his spot of penance. Wadi has during 1034-1982 tradition of Ramchandra Yogi, Narayan Swami, Mouni Maharaj, Tembe Swami & Mhadaba Patil whose tombs are seen. The original Mandir on the confluence of the Krishna Panchganga has a tradition of 500-600 years.
History - Architecture - Location
The name signified that he was the dispeller of the sins and miseries of human beings.
The child Narahari grew up to be a handsome boy of five, but he could not speak and the parents were very much worried about it.
Thus life is very short when viewed in the light of the only purposed of it, i.e., Self-realization. To be emotionally attached to anything in this phenomenal world amounts to mere self-betrayal and is self-defeating too. This body, with the skin as its surface layer, flesh, bones and the blood within, is as frail a structure as a water bubble. Excessive fondness for one's spouse and children is the root of all other evil tendencies. In itself, this body of ours is made of inanimate matter and is ever changing and perishable. Only the 'Self' within is eternal and is our only true being. Joys and sorrows of worldly life are merely relative, subjective and are therefore illusory experiences to the realized. Man can break the fetters of this illusion only through the grace of the Guru. Therefore, Oh mother, do not hinder me in my resolve. You shall be blessed with some more children. Go on meditating on me and thereby you shall cross the ocean of misery and ignorance too".
So saying, Narahari again blessed His mother with the vision of His Divine form. She perceived it through the eye of wisdom and wasat once reminded of her previous birth. So she said to the Lord 'Holy one, you are indeed Lord Sripaad, who, in my previous life, saved me from my unwise resolve to commit suicide. I bow before you. You are, indeed, the Unbounded one. All the universes have their being in your infinite expanse. To say that you are born to me as my son is but a fallacy; for you are eternal. Yours is the omnipotent will. I shall not hinder your resolve to renounce the world for the welfare of all sentient beings. You have assured me that I shall be blessed with a few more children. Pray, stay with us, at least till such time!' Lord Narahari graciously acceded to her request and stayed away. The blessed couple used to worship the Lord every day with full awareness of his divinity.
On his way to Badrinath, Narahari reached the Holy Varanasi (Kashi) in the guise of a seeker after liberation. Lord Narahari, in accordance with Holy tradition, resorted to His Holiness Swami Krishna Saraswati as his Guru and from him took the vow of sanyas. Henceforth, He came to be known as Shri Narasimha Saraswati. He formally took the vow of lifelong celebacy. Thus he became a full-fledged sannyasi who has transcended the opposites of joy and sorrow and the limitations of a self-centered will.
This World Teacher has laid down the tradition of sanyas for seekers after liberation.
Shri Nrishimha Saraswati expounded the nature of sanyas to some and the meaning of the Vedas, which can secure the true objects of life (Purusharthas), to others. Then, he proceeded in his wanderings round the country in a clock-wise direction, along with his disciples. He had seven disciples and they were Baala, Krishna, Upendra, Janajyotim Sadaananda, Madhava and Siddha.
All have the title 'Saraswati' suffixed to their names.
He took holy dips in all the holy rivers along the way and reached the sacred place where the river Ganga joins the sea. From
Benares he went to Badrika Ashram with his disciples. Then moving from place to place for the welfare of common people, he arrived at Ganga sagar, near calcutta. Some Twenty years passed this way. Shri Nrisimha Saraswati reappeared at his home to the wonder and joy of his family and town people, He blessed them all.
In the Guru Charitra the miracles performed by him are described. These miracles were meant to increase faith among people in a higher power and start them on the path of spiritual path.
Shri Narasimha Saraswati then went to Trumbakeshwar, Parli and Parli vaijnath. At Parli Vaijnath he did penance for one year and remained in seclusion. Afterwards he went to Audumbar and Amarapur near the confluence of the rivers Krishna and the Panchaganga. At Amarapur he stayed 12 years. This place was called "Nrisimhawadi" and later "Narsob awadi" by his affectionate disciples and devotees. From Amarapur he went to Gangapur and remained there for 24 years. During his stay there many astonishing incidents and miracles took place.
Shri Narasimha Saraswati was now considered as 'Siddha Purusha' (Perfect, almost Godlike being) with Divine powers of healing physical ailments and alleviating worries of his devotees. Hindus and Muslims used to come to him considering him their Sadguru.
One day he bade good-bye to people of Gangapur and with his 7 select disciples went to the confluence of Bhima and Amraja rivers and stood for a while under the Aswatha tree. He stated "worship this tree and practice penance, your wish will be fulfilled and your life will be blessed". He announced his departure from this world and his disciples were plunged in grief.
When people were in utter despair, Shri Nrisimha Saraswati brought about a religious and spiritual renaissance and restored their morale. The places where He stayed, have become centres of pilgrimage viz., Narsobawadi, Audumbar and Gangapur. Gangapur is believed to be the abode of Lord Dattatreya. There is a holy hillock of Vibhuti (holy ash) from which devotees pick up the sacred ash as Prasad to take home. This hillock has not been depleted, even though devotees have been taking away sacred ash for centuries.
The Mandir is managed by Devotees' Mandal under West Maharashtra Devasthan committee. There are shops with Datta Cult-things & sweet marts. Saint Eknath got the Ghat built as per Paithan's. On purnima & Kanyagat big fairs are held. It is 40 Kms. from Kolhapur.