A US national who had come to India on a trip fought off a man claiming to be a holy man on August 23, who allegedly attempted to sexually assault her, according to local media reports.
The incident happened in the town of Tiruvannamalai, in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Sunday.
The woman came to Tiruvannamalai in March and was planning to return after visiting the Sri Ramana Ashram (shrine).
However, she was stranded there due to the coronavirus lockdown. She extended her visa and rented a house in the area, according to Indian media reports.
On Sunday, when the woman was outside her house, the accused, who was described to be wearing saffron clothes, approached her, and pushed her inside and reportedly attempted to rape her, according to media outlets.
However, the woman who was trained in martial arts managed to overpower the attacker and fought back.
She raised an alarm and with the help of some locals, caught hold of the accused who was thrashed by the mob and then handed over to the local police.
The man, identified as Manikandan, a native of the Namakkal district, was roaming around the temple town falsely claiming to be a priest "attempted to sexually assault" the woman, a senior police official was quoted as saying.
"We are questioning him, investigation is going on and nothing more could be divulged now," he added.
The accused who claims to have travelled across several spiritual centers across the country had come to Tiruvannamalai earlier this year and was living on handouts from pilgrims visiting the temple town, Indian media reported.
Tiruvannamalai is a Hindu pilgrimage town at the foot of Arunachala Hill.