ad

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Ahobila Sri Narasimhaswamy temple in Prahaladavarada Varadhan


Ahobilam is primarily famous for the Sri Vaishnava Vadakalai (sect) religious institution established here 600 years ago. This religious order, called Sri Ahobila Muth, was established by Sri Athivan Satakopan in the temple of Lord Lakshmi Nrisimha (Narasimha), an incarnation of Vishnu, in Ahobilam.

Located in Karnool District, Andhra Pradesh, Ahobilam is near Nandyal Railway Station and is perched on the hills of the Eastern Ghats, about 400 kms northwest of Chennai. The temple consists of nine shrines to Lord Nrisimha (Narasimha) and all of them are built around a 5 km circle. In addition to the nine shrines, there is a temple for Prahaladavarada Varadhan, Lord Vishnu, at the foothills of the mountain. Due to security reasons and the difficulty of performing daily worship, many of the utsava vigrahas (processional images) of the nine different forms of Narasimha from their original shrines are kept in this temple.




Sthala Puranam
The Himalayas rise high to the Everest in the north while the far south of India shows the deep sea - rather communion of the three oceans. The western region and the eastern region of the Peninsular India, on the other hand, while tapering towards Kanyakumari, exhibit a wide range of mountains known as Western Ghats present wholesome sceneries and adventurous travel both by rail and road, the Eastern Ghats display not only picturesque view but demonstrate divinity as well. The Eastern Ghats are likened to the great serpent Adhisesha basking in the sun with its head (or hood) at Thirumala, its middle at Ahobilam and its tail- end portion at Srisailam - all the three with famous temples on them.
The subject we have before us is Ahobilam. Of course, Thirupathi and Srisailam are also frequented pilgrimage centres. Ahobilam because of this special issue. Not only Mahabharatha; but also ancient puranas like Koorma Purana, Padma Purana and Vishnu Purana mention about Ahobilam and its presiding deity Narasimha. In fact, Brahmanda Purana says that this place was once the palace of Hiranyakasipu who was slain by Sriman Narayana manifesting as Narasimha from a pillar there for the sake of his staunch devotee Prahlada. Vagaries of time brought about the destruction of the then existing structures yielding place to nature's creation of the mountain range that preserved the site of incarnation as "Svayam Vyakta Kshetram" of Lord Narasimha.
According to Stala Purana, there are two popular legends for the derivation of the word 'Ahobilam'. It is stated that the Devas (Gods), while witnessing the terrific aspect (Ugra Kala), the lord took on in order to tear to pieces Hiranyakasipu sung in His praise as 'Ahobala' (Lo: the strength). Hence this place has come to be known as Ahobilam. In support of this, there is a prapatthi sloka about-Ahobilam that reads:-
"Aho Veeryam Aho Souryarn Aho Bahuparakramah
Naarasimham Param Daivam Ahobilam Aho Balam.
The other version is that because of the great cave, the Ahobila, where Garuda worshipped, did penance and realised the lord, the place itself has come to be called Ahobilam. The Ahobilam 'Kaifiyat' gives support to this legend. (The Ahobilam Kaifiyat forming part of Mackenzie collections gives very valuable information regarding the Ahobilam temples. Kaifiyats - the digests from 'Kaviles' or village registers containing information on the political, social, religious and other conditions of the villages in Deccan were prepared by Pandits and Mussadis working under Col. Mackenzie.) The Ahobilam Kaifiyat is in Telugu and available in the State Archives at Hyderabad (vide "Ahobila Narasimhaswamy temple" - Monograph by P. Sitapati, Commissioner of Archives).
As per this record, "On one of the mountains in the Nallamalai hills range, eight amadas from Srisaila Kshetra, Garuda commenced silent penance to obtain a vision of Lord Narasimha who destroyed Hiranyakasipu. The Lord in his grace, after long years of the tapas of Garuda, manifested Himself in the cave of a mountain".
"Ten 'Paruvus' to the north-east of the mountain, where Garuda was doing penance, a vision of His manifestation was then granted to Garuda, who after obtaining a sign of the location of the mountain-cave, gladly traveled thither and saw the embodiment of the Sathsvaroopa,' Mahapurusha, Lord Jwalanarasimha - not easily accessible to common people. Garuda then worshipped the Lord and praised him that 'Ahobilam is Mahabalam' (Ahobilam is a great sustainer with strength). The Lord's Divya Mangala Vigraha was worshipped by him with several sthotras- Garuda then considered himself as blessed after a vision of the Lord. This divine place thereafter obtained the deserving name of Ahobilam".
"The mountain on which Garuda performed tapas became famous as Garudachala. In the days of yore when truth and dharma prevailed, great heat was observable near the mountain- cave of Ahobila; according to legend when green grass was put in the cave, it would catch fire and smoke would be emitted. Several great Rishis lived there for a time; after sometime with the knowledge that great places would become common Janapadas in the Kali age, they left for northern lands, covering up the Narasimha cave with boulders. Traditionally therefore this place is being called the Narasimha Kshetra. There are thus nine Narasimha places, Nava-Narasimhas; Rishi- installed and worshipping areas:
Jwala Ahobila Malola Kroda Karanja Bhargava
Yogananda Kshatravata Pavana Nava Moorthayaha.
The Nine Narasimhasthalas are :- 1. Jwala Narasimha 2. Ahobila Narasimha 3. Malola Narasimha 4. Kroda Narasimha 5. Karanja Narasimha 6. Bhargava Narasimha 7. Yogananda Narasimha 8. Kshatravata Narasimha and 9. Pavana or holy Narasimha.
Before visiting these nine shrines, let us see how we approach the place. Situated in the Nallamalai Hills, Ahobilam is about 24 Kms. from Allagadda Taluk Headquarters, 112 Kms. from Cudappah and 65 Kms. from Nandyal in Andhra Pradesh and can be reached by bus from Hyderabad and also by rail via Kurnool and then by bus from there. Long long ago, the Tamil mystic bard, Thirumangai Azhwar sang that Singavel Kunram (Ahobilam) was accessible to none but Gods.
Due to the efforts of the current 45th Srimad Azhagiyasingar, the access routes to several of the shrines have been greatly simplified such that people of different age groups are now able to visit the places easily. The whole complex is in two parts - one called Eguvu Ahobilam (Upper Ahobilam) with Nava Narasimha shrines and the other called Diguvu Ahobilam (Lower Ahobilam) with a single shrine for Lakshmee Narasimha connected by a road, stretching a distance of about 12.8 Kms. from Lower Ahobilam to Upper Ahobilam.


Temple History »»


The Ahobilam is a famous temple of South India. It is situated on the Nallamalai ranges near Nandyal Railway Station of Andhra Pradesh state. The Nallamalai ranges south of river Krishna, down to Tirupati and are called `Sesha Parvatha`. Sesha is the name of the king of serpents. The hood of the sesha is at Tirupati, the tail at Srisailam and the middle is situated at Ahobilam. Nallamalais at the tail are called Sringiri, at the middle are called Vedagiri and Garudagiri referred to as at the hood.

The shrine of the Ahobilam temple is situated on the top of the first range and is referred to as Upper Ahobilam and down below is called Lower Ahobilam. A huge temple surrounded by a number of buildings can be seen at the Upper Ahobilam. The main shrine or the "sacro sanctum" at Upper Ahobilam was carved out of a big egg like rock with mandapams. There is a tank here, which supplies water to the residents of the Upper Ahobliam temple. It is mainly for growing flowers for the shrine.

There is a Lower Ahobilam in the below with a big temple and enclosures, It was built according to the South Indian style. Thousands of pilgrims can stay here in this temple. The priests of both Upper and Lower Ahobilam stay there even today.
Upper ahobilam

A number of costly and different types of valmnas for processional purposes are found in Lower Ahobilam. Recently, many pillared halls are added at the Lower Ahobilam. It is believed that the presiding deity, Lord Narasimha here have had a romance with a Chenchu girl, who is locally called Chenchu Lakshmi. During the annual festival here, the romance and the marriage are celebrated in a dramatic way.

Ahobilam is one of the ancient Vaishnava shrines of Indian and it has a matha at Srirangam. The idol of the presiding deity Lord Narasimha is shown in a sitting posture with jatagata or matted hair. This is the unique posture of Vishnu and which can only be seen here. A rivulet, popularly known as Bhavanasi flows near the temple, which has crystal clear water. It is believed that there is a cave underneath the temple where stays a Swayambhu (self manifested) Narasimha. Another story says that the demon Hiranyakashipu exclaimed `Ahobilam! Ahobilam!` when he saw the ferocious and gigantic form of Lord Narasimha. Hence, the place was named as Ahobilam.

There is a shrine of Malola Narasimha on the outskirts of a nearby village. Here goddess Lakshmi is worshipped by the name of Shantha Swaroopa. The Jwala Narasimha shrine is situated in the higher portion trikala of Lord Narasimha can be seen. This is said to be the actual place where the anger of the Lord reached its climax, when he killed Hiranyakashipu.

One more sacred Narasimha shrine is situated at a nearby place, where worship is done in the Shakta form. All the Nava Narasimhas (nine Narasimhas) - Prahlada Varada, Chatrata, Garuda, Yoga, Urga, Krodha, Malola, Jwala and Lakshmi Narasimha are worshipped at this place. This is a very ancient temple.

The inscriptions available at the Ahobilam temple indicate that king Vikramaditya VI of the Western Chalukya line of Kalyani worshipped the Mula Narasimha of this temple. The `utsava murthi` of the temple is made of gold and it is said to be installed by the famous Kakatiya king Prataparudra. Now, the great spiritual Jiyars of Ahobilam Matha worship it. It is said that while returning from Srisailam, Prataparudra stopped at the Ahobilam and had placed the idol at a place called Rudravaram near the village.

Legend of Chenchu Lakshmi

After execution Hiranyakashyapa, Lord Narasimha proceeded to the Nallamala forest in his UgraAvataram (aggressive form). The devas were upset relating to this manner and prayed to spiritual being Lakshmi to pacify him. She took kind as Chenchu Lakshmi, a social group lady, inside constant forest. On seeing her, Lord Narasimha asked her to marry him. She places him through lots of tests to calm him down absolutely before agreeing to marry him.


Diguva and Eguva (lower and upper Ahobilas)

In the lower Ahobila, Lakshmi Narasimha Swami is in a peaceful form. The temple has exquisite stone art. The Ahobila temple is sculptured in stone. Lord Srinivasa himself installed the main Deity here. He sought the blessings of Narasimha before His wedding but finding Narasimha in a fierce form in the upper Ahobila, he is said to have installed the peaceful form in the lower Ahobila.

It is a common practice to worship the Prahlada Varada Narasimha (the Narasimha who gave boons to Prahlada) in lower Ahobila before worshipping Eguva (upper) Ahobila Narasimha, who is situated eight kilometers away on a hilltop inside a cave. After worshipping the Lord, it is another practice to visit Navanarasimhas (nine Narasimhas). The legend has it that Lord Narasimha, after slaying Hiranyakashipu was roaming around the forest hills of Ahobilam and settled at nine places to bless the devotees. Here are the Nava Narasimha temples. Another legend describes when Lord Garuda did penance to see Lord Vishnu in the Narasimha form, Lord Narasimha took nine different forms on this hill.



Deities: This Nava Narasimha Kshetra enshrines Ahobila Narasimha, Varaha Narasimha, Malola Narasimha, Yogananda Narasimha, Bhavana Narasimha, Kaarancha Narasimha, Chakra Vada Narasimha, Bhargava Narasimha and Jwala Narasimha. In the temple at the foothills, the Moolavar Prahladavarada in a seated posture is facing east; there are festival Deities of 8 of the Narasimhas, other than Malola Narasimha. The festival Deities of Malola Narasimha is located in the Ahobila Mutt. The Moolavar in the Ahobila Mutt is Lakshmi Narasimha, while the utsavar is Rama.
Upper Ahobilam is 2800 feet above sea level. It is an arduous trek to upper Ahobilam from the foothills. The Lakshmi Narasimha temple at the lower level, has mandapams, with remnants of fine sculpture from the Vijayanagar period. Upper Ahobilam enshrines Ahobila Narasimha and Ugra Narasimha. The Moolavar Deities were the only shrines of worship during the period of the Chalukyan king Vikramaketu, while it was during the period of Prataparudra that festival Deities were made. Krishna Devaraya is known to have made endowments here.
The two crests of the hill are called Vedadri and Garudadri, through which the Bhavanasini Thirtha flows. Legend has it that Rama, separated from Sita worshipped Lakshmi Narasimha here.  Lord Garuda, desirous of seeing the Narasimha form of Vishnu worshipped Him here, and Vishnu manifested Himself as nine forms of Narasimha. Mahalakshmi reincarnated into a family of hunters as Senjulakshmi, and married Narasimha here. This event is commemorated in the annual festival in the Tamil month of Maasi, when the local tribe actively participates in the festivities.
Guha Narasimha - the self manifesting Shaligram of Lord Narasimhadev in a cave at upper Ahobilam. There's a smaller Deity on the His knee that represents Sri Prahlada. The Deity is also wearing a garland of Saligrams. This Saligram stands about two feet tall and wears a garland of saligrams also.
According to legend when the Devas saw the manifestation of Lord Vishnu as half-lion, half-man, they shouted "Ahobala" (great strength) as well as "Ahobila" (great cave in which the current sanctum is). Hence, this place could be called either "Ahobalam" or "Ahobilam". This place is mentioned in the Brahmanda Purana. The place where Lord Narayana appeared from the stone pillar to kill Hiranyakashipu can be seen in this place. The name of this pillar is Ugra Sthambha, which is now referred to as “Ukku Sthambha” in Telugu, which roughly translates to steel pillar.

Legend has it that Rama, separated from Sita worshipped Lakshmi Narasimhar here.  Legend has it that Garuda, desirous of seeing the Narasimha form of Vishnu worshipped him here, and that Vishnu manifested himself as nine forms of Narasimha. Mahalakshmi is believed to have reincarnated into a family of hunters as Senjulakshmi, and married Narasimhar here. This event is commemorated in the annual festival in the tamil month of Maasi, when the local tribe actively participates in the festivities.

On the way to Upper Ahobilam from Lower Ahobilam, we can see the Karanja Narasimha Temple.

Best way to complete all 9 Narasimha is start with Upper Ahobilam, for that you need a guide because it is inside deep forest.

1. Ahobilam Narasimha:
The temple, situated on the Upper Ahobilam, at a distance of 8km from the Lower Ahobilam, is the main temple and the earliest of all the nine temples there. The Lord here appears in his fierce aspect, called Ugra Narasimha, who is the presiding deity of the temple and is known as Ahobila Nrisimha Swamy. It is firmly believed the Lord Narasimha was 'Svayambhu' (self-manifest) here.

2. Kroda Narasimha:
The temple of this Lord is 1km away from the main temple of Ahobilam Nrisimha Swamy on the Upper Ahobilam. The image of the deity has the face of a boar (varaha or kroda) and the Lord is seen along with his Consort, Lakshmi. Hence the Lord of the temple is known as Krodakara (Varaha) Narasimha Swamy here.

3. Jwala Narasimha:
 The temple of Jwala Nrisimha Swamy, lies higher up the above temple, on a hill called, 'Achalachaya Meru'. This is about 4km from the Upper Ahobilam temple. This place is said to be the actual spot, where the fierce anger of the Lord reached its culmination when he tore Hiranyakasipu.


4. Malola Narasimha:
Nearly 2km from the main temple of Upper Ahobilam, is the famous shrine of Malola Narasimha Swamy. The deity here appears in 'soumya' (graceful) form. As Lord Narasimha is seen with his consort, Lakshmi, He is known as Malola Narasimha Swamy. The word 'Malola' means beloved to Lakshmi (Ma=Lakshmi, Lola= beloved).

5. Karanja Narasimha:
This shrine is situated at a distance of 1km from the Upper Ahobilam and one furlong from the road leading to Lower Ahobilam. The image of the deity is installed under a tree, called 'Karanja Vruksham'. Hence this Lord is called Karanja Narasimha Swamy.

6. Yogananda Narasimha:
This temple is to the south-east of Lower Ahobilam at a distance of 2km. The popular legend is that after killing Hiranyakasipu, Lord Narasimha taught Prahlada several yogic postures. Therefore, the Lord in this aspect is called Yogananda Narasimha. It is on the same route to Pavana Narasimha.

7. Chatravata Narasimha:
About 3km  from lower Ahobilam, the image of the deity is installed under a peepal tree, surrounded by thorny bushes. Hence, the Lord is called as Chatravata Narasimha Swamy. It is on the same route to Pavana Narasimha.

8. Pavana  Narasimha:
Pavana Narasimha is on the banks of the river, Pavana and it is about 6km from the Upper Ahobilam temple. Hence the Lord of the shrine is known as Pavana Narasimha Swamy.
In addition to the shrines mentioned above, there is a famous shrine dedicated to God Narasimha Swamy in the Lower
Ahobilam, which is popularly known as Prahlada Varada Sannidhi. The other objects of this place are 'Ugra Sthambham' and 'Prahlada Mettu'.


A. Ugra Stambham:
At a distance of 8km from the Upper Ahobilam temple, we can see a cleft of the mountain dividing it into two visible parts. It is a long-held view that from the cleft, the Lord appeared in the form of Narasimha and this cleft is known as 'Ugra Sthambham'.

B. Prahlada Mettu:
The small shrine, situated in a cave on the hill, is in between Ugra Sthambham and the Upper Ahobilam. It is dedicated to Prahlada Narashimha Swamy. The image of the Prahlada is installed in a small cave.

9. Bhargava Narasimha:
The Bhargava Narasimha Swamy is situated at a distance of 2km from the Lower Ahobilam, on a hill, near the sacred pond, known as 'Bhargava Theertham', where Bhargava Rama performed his penance. Hence the Lord of the temple is known as Bhargava Narasimha Swamy. It is different side of Pavana Narasimha.


Suggested routes

Route 1:

 Upper Ahobilam ---> Varaha/Kroda ---> Jwala through river route ---> Ugra sthambam (most difficult), ---> Jwala ---> Malola ---> Prahalada Mettu ----> Malola ---> Ahobila ---> Karanja on the way.

Take rest and visit Chatravada, Yogananda, Bhargava and Prahalada Varadhan in the evening.

Next day visit Pavana and Senju lakshmi cave by hiring a jeep (3 hrs travel time to and fro) or take the steps and trekking route from Upper Ahobilam whichever is convenient.

Route 2 :

 Start from Upper Ahobilam ---> Varaha/Kroda ---> Malola --->Prahalada Mettu ---> Malola ---> Jwala ---> Ugra sthambam ---> Jwala ---> Ahobila --- > Karanja

Take rest and visit Chatravada, Yogananda, Bhargava and Prahalada Varadhan in the evening.

Next day visit Pavana and Senju lakshmi cave by hiring a jeep (3 hrs travel time to and fro) or take the steps and trekking route from Upper Ahobilam whichever is convenient.

Theerthams of Ahobilam

In this sthalam, 13 theerthams known as Holy Water Ponds are which is said to cure all kinds of diseases, evils and doshams.

1. Kaalava Theertham:

This theertham is also called as "Asalathruvam". It is said only on the shore of this theertham, Kaalava Maharishi did tapas towards Emperumaan and finally got the seva. This theertham is found in the west side where Jwala Narasimhar is seen. If any human, takes bath in Karthigai month, it is believed that we can attain wealth and finally attain Mukthi.

2 & 3. Rama - Lakshmana theertham:

The 2nd and 3rd theertham are collectively called as "Rama - Lakshmana theertham". This theertham is said to be the theertham where Sri Ramar and Lakshman took bath after they lost Seeta Pirattiyaar and worshipped the Narsimhar. So these theerthams are said to be "Maha Punya theerthams".

4. Bheema Theertham:

It is believed that this theertham is found to be constructed by Lord Shivan. Bheeman means Bayangaran (terrific). So, if any person who takes bath in this theertham, his pabham (sin) itself is terrified by the effect of this theertham and ridded off from us. If we do viradham and say the Gayathri Jabham near this theertham, we can find good results and can attain good position in our life.

5. Sanga theertham:

In this theertham, a rishi by named "Sangar" along with his brother "Likithar" did tapas for the good of the world. It is believed that if we take bath in this theertham for around six years, we can remember of pervious Janmha. And if we give food for the Brahmanas is the shore of this theertham, it is said to be equivalent for doing the after funeral and to generations are said to gain the good stage in life.

6. Varaha Theertham:

It is believed that only shore of this theertham, Varahar explained the puranas to Bhoomi piratti. It is also said that this theertham emerged from a drop of water that came from varahar after he got out Bhoomi piratti. It is said that near this theertham, if we give the dhaanam of clothes, in Chitirai Dvadasi and Pournami, it is a special one.

7. Sudharsana Theertham:
As advised by Brahma,  King Ambhareesha told the Sudharsana mantram near this theertham and got the complete blessings of Chakkarathalwar.

8. Soodha Theertham:

This is the theertham where all 18,000 rishis stayed on the shore and did tapas. The perumal stood near this theertham as a mango tree thereby giving fruits and leaves as food for the animals. Swarna, flower and Kannika Dhaanam are said to be the effective dhaanams near this theertham.

9. Thaara Theertham:

Using this theertham only, the food (or) Naivedhuam for Narasimhar is done and it is said to be theertham of purity. By giving cow, Salagramam near this theertham is a special one in Aadi month - Dvadasi.

10. Gaja Kundam:

It is said to be the theertham where groups of elephants come to take the water. Even though, Lion being the enemy for Elephants, they wish to take the theertham from this Gaja kundam.

11. Vinayaka Theertham:

On the shore of this theertham, it is believed that Vinayaka perumal is said that he is doing tapas for the entire world to live in happiness. Doing Anna dhaanam (food Dhaanam) in Maargazhi is said to be special dhaanam in this theertham.

12. Bairava Theertham:

It is believed that Brairava Moorthy cut his head and dedicated it to the Bavanasini Nadhi which came so fast. Bairavar cut his head to stop the fast flow of the Bavanasisni river. It is said that Bairavar is doing tapas without head on the shore of this theertham.

13. Raktha Theertham:

It is said that in this theertham only Narasimhar washed his hands after the Vadham (killing) of Hiranyakasibhu.

It is said these 13 theerthams not a separate theerthams, but all are considered to be the Bavanasini Nadhi, but it is categorised into 13. On the shore, there are 3 Gughais (Cave) in which 3 Narasimhars are found to give this seva. In the middle, the Narasimhar is Ugaraha Narasimhar in Veetrirundha thirukkolam facing his thirumugham along the east direction, along with Lakshmi thaayar.








Temple timings:-

Hill top temple from 7.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m and 2.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m., Foot hill temple from 6.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and 3.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Simhachala Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swami Temple Simhachalam



Simhachala Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swami Temple:-


Simhachalam 16 kms. away from Vishakhpatmam, it is Eleventh Century old temple dedicated to Lord Varaha narasimha.Moreover it is also called “Simhagiri” or “Lion’s Hill” .It is lies in the northern direction of Visakhapatnam, which is a District Headquarters of Andhra.It has been hailed as the most famous and the best sculptured shrine.It has Sri Varahalakshmi Narasimha Swamy as the presiding deity.Simhachalam temple is known as the second richest temple (after Tirupati) for earning a revenue.

It is highly popular among the devotees of Lord Vishnu. The temple architecture represents a combination of Orissa and Dravidian style.

Deity:-

The image of the deity in the shrine is overcovered with a thick coating of sandal paste, which is said to have appeased the fury of the Lord after the destruction of Hiranyakasipu. This coating is removed only once a year, on the Visaka day in May, and that day is considered to be specially sacred, and people visit the shrine to have Darshan of the Lord on the day. Lord Siva assumed the shape of bird or Sarabha and pacified Lord Narasimha. The consecration of this image of the Lord in this form is said to be destroy enemies, secure success in battles, cure all ailments and procure every good.

Archeological facts:-

According to some Telugu and Tamil inscription traced back to 500 years ago Krishnadevarayar made huge donations in gold to this temple along with many other famous temples. But no one is able to find the where about of these treasures as no genuine investigation is made so far in this regard. Records related to gold and jewelry is available only from 1970, and there is only remote chance of the list of gold donated by Krishnadevaraya to be included in it. As per inscriptions, this particular zone has many temples which received land holdings and jewels as offerings from the king in the name of his mother Nagalamba. Krishnadevaraya donated a necklace studded with 91 pearls, a pair of anklets, one pendant and a gold plate to Simhachalam temple.

Buddhist settlements are found on almost all hill-tops but little known fact that there were Buddhist settlements on Simhachalam hill-range has come to light during a recent renovation and restoration works taken up by the Endowments Department. Assistant Director in Department of Archaeology K. Chitti Babu told The Hindu that the architecture of the Chalukyan period had come out transparently after the lime wash cover was removed on the khondalite rocks used for building the temple. “These stones are available in the Eastern Ghats, but the interesting part of the structure got revealed when large earthen bricks were found in the mast region,” he added.

History:-

Varahalakshmi Narasimha Swamy as the presiding deity. The deity at Simhachalam, the lion-man incarnation of Lord Mahavishnu is usually covered with sandalwood paste. The original shape of the deity in the tribhanga posture has two hands with the head of a lion on a human torso. An inscription dated as far back as 1098 AD of the Chola King Kuloththunga provides some clue as to its antiquity. Another inscription shows a Queen of the Eastern Ganga of Kalinga (ancientOrissa) (1137-56 AD) covering the image with gold while a third inscription says the eastern Ganga King of Orissa, Narasimha Deva, built the main/central shrine in 1267 A.D. With more than 252 inscriptions in Oriya and Telugu describing the antecedents of the temple, it is a historically important monument.

Sri Krishna Deva Raya after defeating the Gajapati ruler of Orissa Gajapati Prataparudra Dev visited the shrine twice in 1516 AD and 1519 AD and offered numerous villages for maintenance of bhogam (worship) along with valuable jewellery of which an emerald necklace is still in the temple. For the last three centuries the royal family of Vizianagaram, "The Pusapati Gajapathi's" have been the temple's trustees.

Sthala Purana:-

The Sthala Purana of Simhachalam recounts the history of the great devotee Prahlada Maharaja and his demonic father, Hiranyakashipu. After many unsuccessful attempts to kill Sri Prahlada, Hiranyakashipu orders, as a last resort, to hurl Sri Prahlada into the sea and place a huge mountain over him. The servants chose to do this at Simhachalam. But before they could finish, Narayana rescued Prahlada by jumping over the hill and lifting him from the sea. Simhachalam, therefore, is the place where the Lord rescued Prahlada. It is also said that since the Lord jumped at once to rescue Prahlada, the Lord’s lotus feet went into Patala. The local Sthala Purana says that the Darshana of Lord’s lotus feet is available only to inhabitants of Patala Loka.

At Prahlada’s request, the Lord then assumed the form of the Varaha-Narasimha Deity, so that Prahlada could see both aspects of the Lord—the one by which He had already killed Hiranyaksha and the one by which He would soon kill Hiranyakashipu.

After the death of Hiranyakashipu, Prahlada built a temple around the Deity. It is said that after Prahlada handed over the kingdom to his son, he worshipped the deity personally.  However at the end of Satya Yuga, owing to neglect perhaps, a huge anthill gathered around the Deity. But at the beginning of another yuga the Deity was rediscovered by Pururava, the king of the lunar dynasty, who is mentioned in the Ninth Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam.

Riding with his wife, Urvashi, in an aerial chariot over the hills of the South, Pururava was drawn by a mysterious power to Simhachalam. Some say that Narasimhadeva had appeared in Pururava’s dream and then he went to Simhachalam and he discovered the deity in a Garden of Malati trees.

Nonetheless, he discovered the Deity and cleared the earth around Him. Pururava then heard a voice from the sky which told him to cover the Deity with sandal paste, worship the Lord in this form, and expose Him only once a year, on the day of Chandana-yatra. Following this instruction, Pururava covered the Deity with sandal pulp equal to the earth he had removed, worshiped the Deity, and rebuilt the temple, which has flourished ever since.

About the temple:-



Lord Varaha Narasimha Swami's temple is located in Simachalam .Located on the Hill top, at a height of 244 mts, popularly called the Hill of the Lion Lord, is the temple of Lord Vishnu in the avatara of Sri Narasimha Swami varu. This great temple built in the 11th century by the King Sri Krishnadevarayam .
The presiding deity here is Varaha Lakshminarasimha, combining the iconographic features of Varaha and Narasimha. The image resembles a Shivalingam covered with sandal paste. It is only once a year, during the Chandana Visarjana that the sandal paste is removed, and the image is seen by pilgrims. The artwork here has elements of similarity with that of Konark. Elephants, flowers and plants are portrayed in plenty. The outer walls of the sanctum depict images of a royal personality (said to be King Narasimha) in various postures. The Kalyana Mandapa within the temple has 16 pillars with bas relief depicting the incarnations of Vishnu.



Varaha Lakshminarasimh temple boasts of a beautiful stone chariot drawn by horses. The Kalyana Mandapa within the temple has 16 pillars with bas reliefs depicting the incarnations of Vishnu. Narasimha, the man lion incarnation of Vishnu is seen in several depictions throughout the temple.

Millions of devotees visit this temple every year especially during the Chandanotsavam Festival Season. On the annual ritual Chandanotsavam day, the Lord is covered with a new fresh layer of Sandalwood.

A unique statue of Lord Narasimha ... in a standing posture.
The architecture of the temple is a combination of that of Konarak's Sun Temple, those of Chalukyas and the Cholas. In fact coastal Andhra — from Visakhapatnam to Srikakulam — was under the Gajapathis of Orissa (1470-1541 A.D.) As in Konarak, the three-tier sikara rising over the sanctum sanctorum is shaped like a stepped pyramid, and is profuse with ornamentation. The temple was built in the 9th or the 10th century, and was extensively rebuilt in the 13th century. There are 525 inscriptions in this temple, and the earlier one dates back to 1087 A.D.

The corners of the base of the sikara bear lion statuettes symbolising Lord Narasimha. On the eastern face of the sikara are found the sculptures of Indra on his mount, Iravatha, and lower down Gajalakshmi. Capping the sikara is the gold plated dome with the Vaishnavite symbol held aloft.

Around the inner prakara is found the 96-pillared Kalyana mantapa. The shape of the pillars, the ornamentation on them, and the cornices stand on a unique pedestal. To the right of the northern entrance is the 16-pillared natya mantapa. These pillars carry simhalalathas or lion's head at the base. While the `jagatti' or the railed parapet around the ardha mantapa carries a row of well-sculpted elephants, which denotes strength, the inner `jagatti' around the garbagraha carries a row of swans. Just above this is the scrollwork with sculpted figures at intervals. Then above this is a row of smaller simhalalathas interspersed with other figures. By the side of niches are the simhalalathas riding over elephant on the supporting pillars. The capital, architrave, frieze and cornice of the column are beautifully shaped. In between the pillars is the convolution carrying figures. The eaves of the sidewalls carry excellent filigree work in stone. A study of the pillars in the Kalyana mantapa and the sculptures in the niches reveals that basalt and schist appear to have been the media with which the artisans worked.

Devout pilgrims have their heads tonsured as a sort of offering to the Lord. Since Simhachalam was for sometime under Vijayanagar empire, its influence is also felt on this temple. In fact Krishna Devaraya of Vijayanagar captured Udayagiri (Nellore district) in 1541 A.D. and Kondavidu (guntur district in 1515 A. D. from Prataparudra Gajapathi of Orissa.

Kappastambham :-



Kappastambham One of the pillars in the Mukhantantapa is named Kappam Stambham or the pillar of tribute. ‘Kappam’ means (offerings) many devotees take oaths to come to this temple and make their offerings for the fulfillment of their much cherished wishes. This may be the reason why this pillar is known as Kappastambham. It is widely believed that this pillar had the miraculous power to cure cattle diseases and provide barren women with fertility. We can see many childless couples embracing the stambham with the belief of getting the bliss of parenthood. Thus this divine pillar attracts lot of devotees with the hope of realising their dreams

The temple comprises of a square shrine, with a tall gopuras and mukhamantapa has a small circular tower over it. The natyamandapam has a stone car drawn by two horses, and is enclosed by a veranda, here scenes from the vishnupurana have been sculpted with great skill. Outside the enclosure, to the north is the kalyanamantapam that has 96 exquisitely carved pillars where the Kalyana Utsava is performed on the eleventh day of the Suklapaksha, Chaitramasa every year. Here Lord Vishnu is represented as Matsya, Dhanvantri and Varuna. There are many murtis of Narasimha here. A perennial spring called gangadhara is found here and is said to have medicinal properties. The Sthalapurana for the temple describes the temple in 32 chapters, and Vedavyasa wrote about the original temple in the Skanda Purana.


Giripradhikshana:-



Giripradhikshana (circumambulation) around the hill range (40 km) from Hanumantha vaka/MVP colony to Simhachalam is done by piligrims during the auspicious days. Crowds of elderly people/youth/children are observed walking the 40 km stretch over night. They visit the temple after the long journey and give their offerings to the deity.

Temple Timings:-

 Morning 7am to 4pm And Evening 6pm to 9pm

Asthottaram  –   50.00
Sata Namarchana -  100.00
Sahasra Namarchana – 100.00
Visista Nitya Kalayanam (Special) – 500.00
Visista Nitya Kalyanam (Ordinary)  – 100.00
Garuda Seva  – 200.00
Laksha Kumkjumarchana -  500.00
Laksha Tulasi Puja  – 1000.00
Kappasthambham Aliganam  – 10.00
Dampathalinganam – 15.00
Kodedooda Pradkshina  – 15.00.

Fairs and festivals:-

Four major festivals are being celebrated every year which were introduced and traditionally celebrated.

Chandanotsavam or Nijaroopa Darshanam:-


Chandanotsavam at Lord Lakshmi Nrusimha Swamy Temple, Simhachalam
Simhachalam is one of the best places in India which resembles the rich Culture and Heritage. Simhachalam Hill Ranges are the host for one of the most unique temples of Lord Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swami is India.

The Chandanotsavam or the Nijaroopa Darshanam Day, is the annual ritual conducted at the temple. It is only on this day that devotees would have a chance to see the actual shape of the lord ( Nirjaroopam ). On normal days, the Lord in the temple is visible with a layer of Chandanam (Sandalwood paste) covered. This process is conducted on the Vaisakha Suddha Tadiya as per the Telugu almanac. It is on the Chandanotsavam day that the Lord's Sandalwood paste is removed and is covered with a fresh layer of Sandalwood paste brought from Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. The ceremonial process would take some time and during the process of removal of the sandal paste, the sanctum sanctorum doors will be closed. Abhishekam and special pujas will be performed after the diety is fully uncovered. This happens at around 3:00 PM. Heriditary Trustee of the temple, Ananda Gajapathi Raju will be the first person to have the darshan of the Lord on this day at around 4:00 PM.

Millions of people from round the world, particular from the coastal states of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu vist the Temple to take the darshan of the Lord in his true form.

As like any other Chandanotsavam Day, authorities of the Temple have taken additional steps to make this festival day an easy one for the Devotees. The Executive Officer of the Devasthanam oversees and ensures that all facilities were implemented so that devotees can take the darshan of the Lord easily. Special Queues will be setup for both Tickets and the Prasadam's. An estimated 50 Lakh laadoos will be sold and thus the Devastanam has made arrangements for the production of the same. About 3 Lakh people will be provided with free food (Anna-Danam) on this day alone.

The Visakhapatnam City Police will look at all Security arrangements and Special Police teams will be deployed to make sure no brench of security takes place. APSRTC is running special Buses from many parts of the state. Special City buses will also be run from various parts of Visakhapatnam to Simhachalam.

A representative from the Government of Andhra Pradesh will generally be presenting the slik-woven clothes to the Lord on this day.

On the Chandanotsavam Day, special tickets in the denominations of Rs. 30, Rs. 100, Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 will be sold at the temple premises. Of course, there is always a Dharma Darshanam, or a free Darshan that generally draw huge crowds.

Kalyanotsavam:-



This occurs on the 11th day, Ekadasi in the first half of the lunar month of March or April and extends over a period of 5 days that is from the 11th day to the full moon day.

Narasihma jayanti:-

The narasihma jayanti festival, which occur on the Fourteenth day of the first half of month of Vaisaka is celebrated as Birth day of the lord

How to reach:-

The temple is just 18 mk away from Visakapattanam

Air :-

The nearest airport is at Vishakhapatnam, which is well connected with flights from major cities.

Rail :-

The nearest railway station is Vishakhapatnam Railway Station. From Chennai - Calcutta lane, it is around 20-kms, and is well connected with trains to all important destinations in A.P. and India viz. New Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar etc.

Road :-

There are frequent buses operated between Vizag and Simhachalam and the main bus stand is at Vishakhapatnam. APSRTC operates buses to all important towns/cities in Andhra Pradhesh like, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Rajahmundry, Tirupati and so on. There is bus facility from the foot of the hill to the temple for every 10 to 15-minutes.

Antharvedi Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple


Antharvedi Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple:-



Antharvedi is located at a distance of 130 Kms from Kakinada, 100 kms from Rajahmundry and 65 Kms from Amalapuram. In Kritayuga, Sage Sounaka and his colleagues gathered in Naimisaranya to conduct Satrayaga. In the their Leisure time, they used to learn about the distinguished and significant historical India Shrines from Suta, a quaranic narrator. One day, they asked him to tell about the greatness and significance of Antarvedi Shrine and of Lord Lakshmi Narasimha. Suta was pleased to tell the story which was once told by Lord Brahma to Sage Narada.

Temple:-


The temple is called as an island temple because of its confluence. This temple is among the rarities as the main Deity i.e. Lord Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy(one of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu) who faces towards West instead of East (usual direction of other temples in India) constructed between the 15th and 16th centuries. This is 32 kshetra of 108 Narashima kshetrams. It is a temple of 5 storeyed Vimana Gopuram. As one enters the temple one can Garuda on one side and Bhaktha Anjaneya on the other side of temple entrance. While approaching “Garbha Gudi” (Sanctum Sanctorum) one can see an adorable “Vatapatra Sayi” (Lord Krishna on a palm leaf) on its roof. The idol is made from a single stone. In the Garbha Gudi, one can have a darshan of the magnificient Lord Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy with his Consort Goddess Lakshmi Devi on his lap.


After the darshan, one has to go around the sanctum, as there are different deities. On the east side of the prakaram(wall), is Goddess Rajyalakshmi and Lord Venkateshwara, to the north side is Bhoodevi and Ranganadha Swamy, to the west side of the prakaram is Santhana Gopala Swamy and Keshava Swamy, and finally to the south side of the prakaram is the Acharyas and Alwars sannidhi(small temples) and Chaturbhuja (four-armed) Anjaneya. Apart from the presiding Deity, Lord Narasimha Swamy, there are also Deities of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. A temple of Neelakanteshwara (Lord Shiva) is also present which is located at the other side, almost nearer to the bank of Godavari, also called, Vasishta Godavari is a must see. This deity was installed by Lord Sri Rama and is said to be worshipped by Brahma himself.

There are many other temples over here too like 'Nilakanteswara', 'Sri Rama, and Anjaneya' etc. This place has glorious past, connected with several 'August Munies' such as 'Brahma' among celestials, Sri Rama among the incarnated and Vasishta among Maharshis.

There are five important spots of this Holy shrine namely.
1. The Sea
2. The Sagar Sangam
3. The Vasishta River
4. The Raktakulya River
5. The Chakrateertham.

It is said that there will be no re-birth on taking a dip at these places and on offering charities there. Performing ceremonial formalities to the ancestors at this holy-shrine is equivalent to these done at Gaya and Ganges. One on nearly visiting this place, will be blessed from with multitudes. People from distant place, like Varanasi, also visit this place, especially to participate in Lord Narasimha's Chariot procession in the month of Phalguna (January) and dolepournami celebration in the month of Phalguna (March). Then the lord is worshipped with panchamrita abhishekam. This shrine blesses the pilgrims with Mukti, and so it is also called the Mukti Kshetra. Antarvedi is also named after the Lord as 'Narasimhakshetra'.
Antarvedi has the sea in the East and the South the Godavari in the West and the Raktakulya river the North. It covers a distance of about four square miles. It is in the Razole Tq. of the East Godavari District. Special conveyance facilities are arranged for the convenience of the pilgrims coming from distant place to attend the annual Mela there. At the time of Mela, Antarvedi seems to be kaliyuga Vaikuntha. The Mela run for about nine days. It is One hundred and eight shrines of Lord Narasimha.
Antarvedi is said to be the second Varanasi by the grace of the Lord. The residents of the shrine have a fear of the floods or of the drought. A more wish to visit this holy place, will bless the devotees with desired results. Thus the great glory of the shrine is boundless.

History of Temple:-

The temple constructed between the 15th and 16th centuries. There is also a temple of Lord Siva that is older than Narasimha Swamy temple. The temple's idol of Lord Siva was installed by Lord Sri Rama.
In the 18th century, Peddapuram Rajas were the trustees and were responsible for developing the temple. Mogaltur Raja's are the traditional trustees of Antarvedi Temple, with this duty beginning in the 19th century. Late Shri Raja Kalidindi Kumar Ramachandra Raja Bahadur also contributed a lot to the temple. He was the former chairman of temple development and the hierarchical trustee of temple. Later, the present temple was constructed by Kopanathi Adi Narayana, a merchant who was also an overseas businessman.
The lord and temple was gifted along with many priceless jewels from past kings, nobles and even the East India Company. These jewels have been stored in a vault at the treasury department for the last 50 – 60 years. the age old jewellery of the god is being brought to Antarvedi and the idols of the Lord are being decorated during the Kalyanotsavam.


Legend:-

  Also known as "Dakshina Kashi (Kashi of the South), Antarvedi, is an important pilgrim centre in the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh state in India, situated at the interior part at East coast. Lord Brahma, in order to get freed from the sins he had committed against Lord Sankara, had performed Rudrayaga and installed Lord Neela kantheswara there. As that place was made a stage or "Vedik" to perform the Yagam, it was named as "ANTARVEDI" It is a small village in Sakhinetipalle Mandal which is located close to Narsapur near the Bay of Bengal Coast and Vashishtha River. This river is said to have been brought by Maharishi Vashishtha, one of the Sapthrishis(seven great sages) of Hindu Mythology. It draws people from far off places throughout the year because of its unique rarity: the confluence or mergence of Bay of Bengal and Vashishtha River, a tributary of River Godavari. The place of confluence where the mighty ocean Bay of Bengal meets the Vashishtha River is called the "Sapta Sagara Sangam Pradesam" and also as "Anna Chelli Gattu". One can even taste the water here as it is not salty but quite sweet!!!! Unbelievable but true!!! This place is the last and the most important of the seven sacred bathing places. It is popularly believed that the Tretha Yugam episode of Ksheera Sagara Mathanam took place here.

Sometime later once a fisherman was fishing his net in the Raktakulya river. He found a marble Saligrama instead of finshed. He carelessly threw it back into the water and again spread his net. He found the same stone as many times as he was fishing at different spots of the river he found the same stone coming again to him. Being afraid of this incident, he angrily dashed it to the ground then there was a strange continuous blood flow from the stone with surprise and fear, he prayed to the Lord and fell senseless there. The Lord appered to him in dream and said that he only appered in the waters of Raktakulya river as Kurmavatara in marble and asked him to take him to the temple and install him at the Abode of Lord Narasimha telling the priests as his words to celebrate the “Nityabhisheka” formalities to him along with Lord Narasimha there. The fisher did so this stony from Kurma incarnation of the Lord can be seen available even today at Antarvedi Devasthanam.

Festivals:-



Every year on the day before Bhishma Ekadashi i.e. Dashami, which is observed Magha Shukla Ekadashi (Eleventh Day) in Magha Masam (February) Lord Sri Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Kalyanotsavam (divine wedding of Lord Sri Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy and Goddess Lakshmi Devi) is celebrated with much enthusiasm. On the Bhishma Ekadashi, the Rath Yatra is celebrated. Devotees in huge number attend to watch the Celestial Wedding and take holy dip at the sangamam (Saptha Sagara Sangamam).During the month of November, throngs of devotees come to the temple premises to witness the Deity of Narasimha Swamy without any of the ornaments, garb, or chandanam (sandal paste) that normally adorn the Lord’s Form. In the month of Phalguna (January), the Lord’s chariot procession is held. Dole pournami celebrations are also held, when the Lord is worshipped with panchamrita abhishekam. Sri Venkateswara Swamy kalyanam, (Jyeshta Sudha Ekadasi)., Sri Narasimha Jayanthi (Vysakha Sudha Chaturdasi) are the other festivals celebrated here.

For tourists as well as pilgrims one can hire ferries(boats) which are available to visit the small island that is on the other side of the river and also to the point where the river and the ocean actually meet. On off seasons, one avail the ferry service for a nominal fee whereas in the peak seasons the fee rises alarmingly. The cost varies depends on the number of people. If limited a number of people are willing to visit the island, a nominal amount of INR 350 will be charged. If a more number of people are available, INR 50 will be charged for each person.

Annual Kalyanotsavam:-

The area's religious fair is held on Bheeshma Ekadasi, which is generally in January or February. The annual Kalyanotsavam will begin on the day of Ratha Saptami and concludes on the day of Pournami with Chakra Snanam. It attracts lakhs of people to this usually sleepy village located at the confluence of River Godavari with Bay of Bengal. Lord Narasimha Swamy's Kalyanam is performed on Dasami and Rath yatra was performed on 'Ekadasi day'. The royal Polamuru Sree Raja Kalidindi family descendants have rights to submit talmbarlu biyyam and other marriage items. The royal Mogaltur Sree raja Kalidindi family male descendants are the first people to pull the rope of rath, and then it is pulled by the devotees.
Hundreds of thousands of devotees attend this festival starting on Dasami and continuing until the full moon day. Thousands of devotees thronged the Lakshmi Narasimha Swami temple on Thursday night to witness the celestial wedding of the Lord with goddess Lakshmi. The rituals began with spata nadi jalabhishekam (abhishekam to Lord Narasimha Swami and goddess Lakshmi with water fetched from seven rivers). All rituals commenced as ordained in Vaikhanasa Agama Sastra. Maha shanthi homam was performed from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Mudrikalankarana is one of the main rituals before the kalyanam. Bellamkonda and Vundavalli families sponsored the ritual.
In keeping with tradition, archakas from Peruru participate in special puja to Koormanatha Swami, whose idol was caught in the nets of fishermen in Raktatulya River during the 14th century.

How to reach:-

By Rail:-

The nearest railway station are at Rajahmundry and Narsapur.

By Road:-

Antarvedi can be reached by boat from Narsapur, which is 112-km south of Rajahmundry. There are buses from Razole that take pilgrims to this sacred place.

Penchalakona Sri Penusila Narasimha Swamy Temple


Sri Penusila Narasimha Swamy Temple:-



Penchila Kona is very pleasant and a hilly place where Lord Narasimha manifested himself here as a huge of rock in yoga mudra and hence it acquired the name of ‘Penusila’ (huge rock) and in course of time became famous as ‘Penchalakona’ and this temple is known with name Sri Penusila Narasimha Swamy Temple.

This is very powerful and ancient pilgrimage place. It is believed that after slaying the demon Hiranya Kasipa, Lord Narsimha bathed in Penchalakona and withdrew that “Avatara”(incarnation) of Narasimha, shedding his anger and ferocity. The Lord here goes by the name of Somasila Narasimhaswamy and has become one of the Nava Narasimhas (nine manifestations).

Devotees come from various places to visit Narasimaha swamy (Aadhi Laxmi matha temple is beside this temple), It believes that all wishes of devotes get fulfilled If they visit this place with faith and unconditional love.

The Lord here goes by the name of Somasila Narasimhaswamy and has become one of the  Nava Narasimhas (nine manifestations). People believe that because the sage Kanva resided in this area in the past, the river flowing here acquired the name Kanva Nadi and that with efflux of time it became Kandaleru. It is also learnt that the temple was renovated in the 10th century.

History:-

Lord Vishnu took Narasimha avatram to kill HIRANYAKASIPA. After killing Hiranyakasipa, Lord was moving in this forest with Ugra Rupa. In order to calm down  the anger of Narasimha Swamy, Goddess Sridevi came in a disguise of Chenchu Lakshmi (name of a tribe, that lives in that area), daughter of the king for that tribe. Lord married Chenchu Lakshmi and became Son – in –law of the tribes. So Chenchu tribes are given importance in this temple. Lord looks as if he hugged (penavasukovatam) Chechu Lakshmi, so he is called as Penusila Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy. As time passed by it is called as Penchula Narasimha. The deity inside the temple is Swayanbhu(self manifested).

Temple:-


The Temple of Sri Penusila Lakshmi Narasimaha Swamy is situated at the foot of Hill of the picturesque Penchalakona Valley. The river flows through Rapur Taluk and empties itself in the Bay of Bengal, Near Krishnapatnam. Everyday gollabayadu used to go to the Kona to graze his cattle regularly from Gonupalli. One day boyadu saw an old man who told him that Penusila Lakshmi Narasimah Swamy established Himself in Kona. He asked boyadu to straight to the village head an inform of this miracle. He turned back to see the old man. To his astonishment the old man transformed himself into a rock.


The only construction that appears to possess been at tempted regarding 670 years past was the Garbhalayam (SANCTUM SANCTORUM) that had step by step been left neglected. And nowadays it’s in an exceedingly state of virtual collapse. The image of the lord may be a self manifested one. (SWAYAMBHU) 2 stones put down twisted to from a lion’s Head at the highest. Thus the Lord is termed “PENUSILA Lakshmi NARASIMAHA SWAMY” I Telugu “PENU” means that twist and “SILA” is stone. when killing Hiranya Kasipa as NARASIMAHA, Lord Vishnu married Chenchu Lakshmi in BHAIRAVAKONA, an area at a brief distance from Pensusilakona and killed the RAKSHASAS who were torturing “RISHIS” . The Lord, Vishnu won’t to visit the lake each Saturday and as a proof a Silver Umbrella rose from the Lake. The divinity is extremely powerful area unit celebrated because the savior of chaste girls.

Everyday  gollabayadu wont to move to the Kona to graze his cows often from Gonupalli. in the future boyadu saw AN old man who told him that Penusila Lakshmi Narasimah Swamy established Himself in Kona. He asked boyadu to straight to the village head AN inform of this miracle. He turned back to check the previous man. To his feeling the old man remodeled himself into a rock.


Temple is constructed on or in front of a hill, the positive energy of the hill reinforces the positive energy of the Gods within the temple. We are welcomed into the temple by a tall tower or gopuram. The height of the gopuram symbolizes the generosity of the local rulers who contributed money for the 800 year old temple's construction. Statues of lions sit guard over the entrance - a lion in Hindu culture is brave, loyal, and strong. Guardians called dwarapalikas or those who dwell in the door welcome us into the temple. 

Festivals:-

The annual festival of the temple, during the month of April and May, is a major event at Penchalakona. Devotees from near and far distances congregate for Narasimhaswamy Jayanthi with great devotion. The river KANDLERU as it is now called, originates from the water falls of the mountain ranges on the West and the South, had another name KANVAYERU. The river flows through Rapur and empties itself in the Bay of Bengal, Near [Krishnapatnam].

Waterfalls:-


Water fallsThe water fall coming from the hill where the Lord lies, flows down in the northward direction. In ancient days a devote, Maharishi (Saint) by name ‘Kanva’ dwelled by this river and used this for his basic needs. This is what people here believe. So, this lake is named after him as ‘Kanvayeru’. As the days passed by the name was changed to ‘Kandaleru’. Government in 1982 constructed a dam In a low level region nearby this lake. They named this dam as ‘Kandaleru dam’. Because of this dam the agriculture of many surrounding lands was fruitful and this dam gave Livelihood to many natives.

Sri Khadri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple in Kadirik

Sri Khadri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy:-


Narasimha or Nrusimha also spelled as Narasingh and Narasingha, whose name literally translates from Sanskrit as "Man-lion", is an avatar of Vishnu described in the Puranas, Upanishads and other ancient religious texts of Hinduism.and one of Hinduism's most popular deities, as evidenced in early epics, iconography, and temple and festival worship for over a millennium.

He is often visualized as half-man/half-lion, having a human-like torso and lower body, with a lion-like face and claws.This image is widely worshiped in deity form by a significant number of Vaishnava groups. He is known primarily as the 'Great Protector' who specifically defends and protects his devotees in times of need.

Lord lakshmi Narasimha swamy in Kadiri temple is swayambhu rising from the roots of Khadri tree. He seems here as Ashta Bahu Narasimha (having eight hands) tearing Hiranyakasipu. We are able to see Prahlada standing beside him with bifold hands. 

Several scenes from 'Ramayana' are painted on the ceiling of the 'Rangamantapa' and several frescos on that of the Lakshmi mantapa depicting scenes from the 'Bhagavata'. Unfortunately the murals have lost their freshness and are fading. Many inscriptions on the temple mostly mention the gifts given by kings to the temple.

The legendary significance of this sacred shrine dates back to Trethayuga, and according to local version, the presiding deity - Narasimhaswami in His terrific aspect - 'Vugrarupa' chose to settle down here after killing Hiranyakasipu.

It is said that devotees who offer prayers here get relieved of their sorrows, sufferings and sins. There are several sacred thirthas connected to the temple that are a worth visiting.

History:-

The town got its name from Khadri, in Sanskrit, meaning Indian mulberry. It is believed that Lord Shri Khadri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy came out of this tree. The main deity in Kadiri Laksmi Narasimha Swamy temple is Ashta Bahu Shri Narasimha who has eight hands clawing open the body of Hiranyakashipu.  This was one of the ten avatars or reincarnations of Lord Vishnu. The specialty of this temple is that after the daily obeisance known as Abhishekam is performed; the Lord Narasimha is seen to be sweating despite being wiped clean by the temple priests.

Narasimha means ‘Man Lion’ as that was the form taken by Lord Vishnu to kill Hiranyakashipu who could not be killed otherwise. This incarnation has been mentioned in the Puranas, Upanishads and the other religious text books of the Hindus. It is merely a mention on how truth can overcome evil despite the difficulties.  He is envisioned as a half man with the torso and lower body and the face and hands, that of a lion.

Thousands of Hindu devotees throng this temple during festivals which is otherwise known as the Laksminarayana Temple. The legendary aspect of this temple dates back to Thretha yuga, one of the four Yugas which are measured by the number of years. The four Yugas are:

Satya Yuga: 1728000 years

Tretha Yuga: 1296000 years

Dwapara Yuga: 864000 years and

Kali  Yuga: 432000

The scriptures say that Lord Vishnu, in one of his incarnations as Lord Narasimha , in his rage descended down on to earth as Ugrarupa to kill Hiranyakashipu, who wanted to avenge the death of his brother Hiranyaksha . Hiranyaksha was killed by one reincarnation of Lord Vishnu as Varaha. He took the people to task and tortured the sages and the common people for praying to Lord Vishnu. The sages appeared before Lord Vishnu to end this terror. In the meanwhile Hiranyakashipu got a boon from Lord Brahma after praying fervently for a favour. The boon was that it would be impossible for any human to kill him. Ultimately, Lord Vishnu had to reincarnate as Narasimha to kill Hiranyakashipu, as he was about to kill his own son for showing allegiance to Lord Vishnu.

It is said that Lord Narasimha emerged from the Khadri tree to act his part in killing Hiranyakashipu at this place. The temple was built by one Ranganayudu, a Palegar of Pathariapattanam.

The Rangamantapam has been ornately carved with scenes from the Ramayana and further down, the Lakshmi mantapa has depictions of the Mahabharatha. There are inscriptions on what the rulers have given to the temple. The carvings and scriptures have started fading due to the vagaries of climate and weather.

Idol:-


The image of Sri Narasimha swamy is in human form with Lion’s Head, covered with silver armour decorated with silver shoulder blades, moustaches and eyes and is in the posture of bearing the stomach of Hiranyakasipu.    The procession image of the deity is in the form of Vishnu made of metal with Bhudevi and Sridevi on either side.Actually the kings from the Paschima Chalakya Dynasty housed Durgadevi under an amazing stone curved pillar mandapam and Lakshmi Devi Vigraham was also housed in the temple in 1953. As per the orders of the Lord Narasimha Swamy varu the Lord  Idol was housed and mandapams equal to Ammavari temple are constructed in excellent curving on stones to southern side to ammavari Temple was constructed by  the Vijaya Nagara Rulers.   

Construction of Temple:-


The temple is enclosed in a 500 ft square high walled compound with 4 entrances having a gopuram at each entrance constructed.  The stone sculpture  in Yagnamantapam conspicuously abound in lions.  The temple is facing east and the Kalyanamandapam in  its front to the left Yagasala a  pakasala, astana mandapam  to the north where the utsava vigraha of the lord is made to sit during the festival are the important structures within the compound.  A 80 ft square pushkarini is in the north east corner within the temple compound.  To the south of the temple there is the shrine of Chinnamma with her image in stone.



The inscriptions in the temple relate mostly to the Vijayanagar period and are all in Telugu, except two.  One of them on the south wall of the arthamantapuram, states that the temple was built by a Nayaka during the reign of Bukka I saka 1274 (1332 A.D.).  Another inscription near it, dated the next year records the gift of a jewel to the idol by Gopanna  an officer under Kempanna Odeyar, the restorer of the Srirangam temple and the contemporary of Vedanta Desikar.  A stone slab is said to contain an inscription regarding this custom which still prevails.   Yet another inscription shown that in the Salivahana Saka 1451, 1529 A.D. the palegar  of Tadipatri constructed the Vasanta mandapam adjacent to the prakaram (now called the thousand pillar mandapam in which feeding is conducted  along with breath taking Kotai Mandapam.  Further proof of antiquity of the temple, its great ness and importance and the sancity attached to it, are vividly described in the Khadri Sthalapuranam in Brahmanda Puranam.    The temple car which is considered to be the biggest in Weight in South India contain numerous indecent carvings and the Car streets contain several small mantapams on four tall pillars in which the idol is set down and worshipped during festivals.


          The famous East, South, North, West Rajagopurams of this temple were constructed by Vijayanagara Emperors, Chinnamma a devotee, not known, Kokanti Poligar  respectively.  The gate way at West Rajagopuram, leads to a tank which supplies water to the temple from which principal metal idols of the temple were recovered by the Sage Brigu. The popular king of Vijaya Nagara Sri Krishna Devaraya and Maharastra King Shivaji Maharaj visited this famous temple and  constructed sub temples and Mahishasuramardini Temple respectively.


The sacred pond lying behind the mandir going by the name of Brighu maharshi thirtha is said to have been dug by him. 'Me locals extol the glory of the tank and its water, concluding that the Utsava vigrahas were found buried and were taken out during the digging operations. There is one more pond in the vicinity called Palabavi, on account of the milky white water it is containing. 



Temple Timings:-

On regular days the worship of the deity starts at 6:30am in the morning until 12:45pm in the noon and then starts at 16:30hours in the evening and continues till 20:30hours in the night.

The temple remains closed from 12:45 to 4:30pm in the afternoon. On the day of Brahmotsavam, the temple remains open from early morning 06:30hrs to 07:30 and in the evening 07:30 to 8:30hrs. 

Festivals:-


An event carried out every year is the Rathothsavam (Car Festival), on this holy day, a huge Rath (Chariot) with the Lord Lakshmi Narasimha's idol on it is pulled by hundreds of devotees are watched by lakhs of people. Thousands of people arrive from almost all surrounding districts and from Karnataka to watch the event.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Sri Panakala Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy Mangalagiri

Sri Panakala Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy:-

It is believed that this Kshetram grants "Moksha" with a single visit. Lord Rama visited this temple for his mental peace and physical tenor. He got what he lost after praying in this Kshetram. Legend is that Anjaneya dwells here permanently as Kshetra Palaka at the instance of Lord Rama. It was also visited by spiritual dignitaries like Sri Sankara Charya, Ramanuja, Chaitanya Prabhu and Monarchs like Sri Krishna Deva Raya.

It is a regular practice in the temple to offer beverage made of jaggery and water as Naivedya. To fulfil the vows devotees offer this beverage and Lord glady accepts the Panaka Puja. The pecularlity of the above offering is that He receives it whole-heartedly and drinks to his satisfaction by a strange gurgling sound while pouring the beverage in his mouth. Half of the quantity of the beverage again comes out of his mouth which is distributed as prasad. Another strange fact one could experience here is the absence of flies or insects of any kind. Though jaggery brought for making "Panakam" is found in abundance in Garbhagriha one could notice that there is no passage for this huge quantity of beverage to let it out. Nobody knows where and how the Panakam goes leaving the entire area always dry and hot.

place is one of the 8 important Mahakshetrams (sacred places) in India. The eight places where Lord Vishnu manifested himself are (1) Sri Rangam (2) Srimushnam (3) Naimisam (4) Pushkaram (5) Salagamdri (6) Thothadri (7) Narayanasramam (8) Venkatadri. According to sayings, Thotadri is the present Mangalagiri.

The temple of Sri Panakala Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy is situated on the hill. On the right side of the steps (provided to reach the temple), there is a stone inscription by Sri Krishna deva Raya of Vijayanagar, and a little further up, the foot prints of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu can be seen. Midway up the steps, there is a temple of Lord Panakala Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy; there is only the face with the mouth opened wide.                                  

A dhwajasthambham was erected in front of the temple in 1955. Behind the temple, there is the temple of Sri Lakshmi; to the west, there is a tunnel which is believed to lead to the on the banks of the Krishna River.The stone inscription of the kings of Vijayanagar relate besides to the conquest of Raya over Kondaplli etc., that Siddiraju Thimmarajayya Devara granted a total of 200 kunchams (10 kunchams make one acre) of land in 28 villages of which Mangalagiri was one and gift of 40 kunchams by China Thirumalayya to Ramanujakutam

Panakala Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy - God Who Drinks Panakam:-



One of the amazing things to notice in Panakala Narasimha Swami temple is that when the "archakas" (or the priests) offer Panakam (jaggery water) with a conch to the Lord, a gargling sound is clearly audible. The voice rises to a high pitch and then lessens towards the end of the offering.

Interesting things to note are, only half the quantity of Panakam offered to God goes inside the mouth while the remaining spills out and not even a single ant can be traced though a large quantity of jaggery water is offered. 

While the intake of Panakam by the Lord is looked up as a divine phenomenon by some people, some atheists believe that there is a scientific reason behind the intake of jaggery water. It is said that the hill was once a volcanic hill and sugar or jaggery water neutralizes the sulphur compounds present in the volcano, thus preventing the volcanic eruption. Whatever be the reason, the sanctity and divinity present in the temple, makes every devotee visit Mangalagiri again and again. 

Laxmi Narasimha Swamy Temple:-



At the foot of the hill, there is another temple whose origin is traced to the time of Yudhishtira, the eldest of the pandavas. Yudhishtira is said to be the founder of the chief image of this temple and the deity here is called Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy. In Vijayawada itself, which is 8 miles from Mangalagiri there is a hill called Indrakeeladri in which Arjuna is said to have done tapascharya (penance) in order to obtain the weapon Pasupata from Lord Siva. About 200 years back Raja Vasireddy Venkatadri Naidu who ruled from Amaravati as his capital constructed a stupendous gopuram (tower) on the eastern gate of the Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy. It is one of the highest gopurams in South India and only one of its type in this part of India. It is 153ft. in height and 49 feet wide with 11 storeys, and gates facing east and west. This great and imposing tower dwarfs the central shrine. The devoted patience of thousands of skilled craftsmen and the labour of many more apprentices which had gone into this great structure is a testimony to the religious fervour which characterized the builder. After constructing the gopuram, it was leaning towards one direction. The Kancheepuram Architects suggested to dig a tank opposite to the tower. After digging the tank, it is said that, the tower became straight. 


The Image of the Lord in the form of Narasimha (man-lion) and that of Lakshmi Devi to his left are of stone. The garland of the Lord with 108 saligramams is of special significance here. Dakshanavrutha Sankham, a special conch believed to be one that was used by Lord Krishna and resented by the Maharaja Sarfoji of Tanjore, is one more possession of significance of the Lord. There is also an ancient ratha (temple car) belonging to the temple with ornamental wood carvings depicting the scenes from the great epics of Bharata, Bhagavatha and Ramayana. Thimmaraju Devaraju a military chieftain of the Vijayanagar rulers improved this temple. He had constructed prakarams (compound walls), mandapas, gopurams (towers), five images of Lord Bhairava, a festival chariot, ten varieties of courts for annual ceremonies, flower gardens lakes and tanks. He had also installed utsava vigrahas in the temple (metal images intended for being taken out in procession). To the north of the temple there is a temple of Sri Rajyalakshmi to the south that of Rama with Sita and Lakshmana and to the west vahanasala (the store house for the vehicles of which the golden garudavahanam, the silver Hanumanthavahanam and ponnavahanam are noteworthy). The Lakshmi narayana temple and the Anjaneya Mandiram in Pedda Bazar are the other places of worship in the town.


The archa vigraham in this temple is in the form of Narasimha with His consort Lakshmi Devi to His left. One of the significant features of this temple is the garland of the Lord that is made of 108 “Saligramam”. A special conch called “Dakshanavrutha Sankham”, believed to be the one used by Lord Krishna, is still used in this temple during daily rituals. This conch was gifted to the temple by the Tanjore king Maharaja Sarfoji.


The stone inscription of the kings of Vijayanagar relate besides to the conquest of Rayalu over Kondapalli etc., that Siddhiraju Thimmarajayya Devara granted lands to the temple and gift of 40 kunchams by China Thirumalayya(son of Annamacharya)  to Ramanujakudam in 1561.

History:-




Mangalagiri means that ‘The holy hill’ near the foot of the stone flight of steps may be a stone pillar with a Telugu inscription, recording grants of villages. It dated AD 1520 and mentions the capture of Kondavidu by Timmarusu, general of Krishna Deva Raya, in 1515 from the Gajapati Raju rulers of Kalinga (ancient Odisha). Another stone near to the temple of Garudalvar has inscriptions on four sides recording grants within the reign of Sadasiva Raya of Vijayanagara Empire AD 1538. The lofty gopuram in the temple at the foot of the Hill was erected by “Raja Vasireddy Venkatadri Nayudu” in 1807-1809, and in terms of sculpture and design this temple stands to be a final testimant for the traditional vishwakarma sthapathis in designing and sculpting these temples.

This place was underneath the management of Golkonda Nawabs for an extended period. It had been looted by in 1780 by Hyder Ali however couldn’t be conquered. In 1816, a gang of Pindaris once more pillaged the place. It slowly recovered from these 2 attacks throughout the time of Raja Vasireddy Venkatadri Nayudu WHO ruled the place from Amravati. There’s a giant koneru (tank) within the center of the place that visited dry in 1882. As several as 9,840 guns and forty four bullets which could are associated with pindaris are found here when the pindaris pillaged this place.

The picturesque hill was visited by the great Sri Krishna Deva Raya.

Gali Gopuram (Tower):-



Thoorpu Gali Gopuram (Tower on East Side) is the main attraction for the Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple. Vijayanagara kings constructed three storeys and Raja Vasireddy Venkatadri Naidu constructed another 8 storeys. Raja Vasireddy constructed this from 1807 to 1809. Height of this temple is 153 feet and width is 49 feet. It is very rare to find out towers, which have less width and more height like this tower. Utthara Gali Gopuram (Tower on North Side) is opened on the Vaikunta Ekadasi (Mukkoti) day. It was constructed by Rangapuram Jamindar Madapati Venkateswararao in 1911. When Padamati Gali Gopuram (Tower on West Side) was being constructed, accidentally some stones fell down and some workers died. By this incident, the work was stopped and had not been started till now. Dhakshina Gali Gopuram (Tower on South Side) was renovated in 1992 for Krishna pushkaras by the initiative of the Executive officer Sri Nootakki Kotaiah.

Legend:-



According to legend that, in Tretayuga, Lord Rama could not get liberation in spite of strict observance of the Dharma and therefore he was advised to visit this temple to get Mukti. That is why this hill is also called the Totadri. In the Kritayuga, when the ocean Ksheeraodadhi was being churned by the Mandara hill, Sri Mahalakshmi came out of it. The Devas constructed a Pushkarani by bringing the waters from all the ancient and holy rivers of the land and Sri Mahalakshmi after a bath in this holy Pushkarani offered herself to Lord Narayana as his beloved consort. This Pushkarani is said to exist in Mangalagiri and hence it is even now called as Lakshmi Pushkarani. There is another temple at the foot of the hill, which traces its origin to the time of Yudhishtiira the eldest of the Panavas. In Vijayawada itself, which is eight miles from Mangalagiri, there is a hill called the Indrakila Parvata in which Arjuna is said to have done his tapascharya in order to obtain Pasupata from Lord Shiva. This hill Indrakila is said to be the scene of the Kiratarjuniya where Lord Shiva in the form of a hunter had a fight with Arjuna. Hence, there is legendary connection between Vijayawada and Mangalagiri which is very near and the five Panadava brothers. Yudhishtiira is said to be the founder of this temple and the deity here also is called Sri Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy. The Kshetrapala of this place Lord Anjaneya and it is stated that Anjaneya wanted to follow Lord Rama to Vaikunta but the Lord advised him to stay at Mangalagiri with his blessings so that he may remain for ever in the world for the Lokakalyanam. Hence, Anjaneya is said to have taken his abode at this place.

Lord Chaitanya has visited the temple in the year 1312 AD and the imprints of his feet and a verse dedicated to his honour are still seen in the temple. At the foot of the hill, there is an inscription of the time of Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagar dynasty who had visited the temple. On the Eastern gate of the lower temple a beautiful Gopuram has been built over 170 years ago by Sri Vasireddi Venkatadri Nayudu who was famous figure in Andhra Pradesh ruling from Amaravati. The Gopuram has eleven stories with gates facing east and west and is an excellent example of solid construction with big proportions. There is also an ancient Radha belonging to temple with ornamental wood carvings depicting the scenes from the great national epics of Bharata, Bhagavata and Ramayana.

There is a motivating legend to point out however the mountain came into existence. The mountain itself is in the sort of an elephant. Pariyatra, Associate in nursing ancient king, had a son – Hrasva Srungi. He visited all holy and sacred places to regain traditional bodily stature and at last visited this place of Mangalagiri and stayed for 3 years activity penance. All the Devathas (Gods) suggested him to remain at Mangalagiri and still do penance in praise of Lord Vishnu. The father of Hrasva Srungi came along with his retinue to bring his son back to his kingdom. However Hrasva Srungi took the form of an elephant to become the abode of Lord Vishnu WHO is regionally called Panakala Lakshmi Narasimha swamy.

Mangalagiri Temple  of  Sri Panakala Lakshmi Narasimha swamy Temple  is located on Capitol Hill. On the correct aspect of the steps (provided to succeed in the temple), there’s a stone inscription by Sri Krishna deva Raya of Vijayanagaram, and a little more up, the foot prints of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu will be seen. Midway up the steps, there’s a temple of Lord Panakala Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy; there’s only the face with the mouth opened wide. A dhwajasthambham was erected before of the temple in 1955. Behind the temple, there’s the temple of Sri Lakshmi; to the west, there’s a tunnel that is believed to steer to the Undavalli caves on the banks of the Krishna watercourse.

The stone inscription of the kings of Vijayanagar relate besides to the conquest of Raya over Kondaplli etc., that Siddiraju Thimmarajayya Devara granted a complete of 200 km (10 kunchams build one acre) of land in twenty eight villages of that Mangalagiri was one and gift of forty kunchams by China Thirumalayya to Ramanujakutam.

In 1970′s there was a large water insufficiency in Mangalagiri. Goli Gopala Rao, the then Municipal Chairman of Mangalagiri has brought installation to the city through water pipelines and he was referred to as as “Apara Baghiratha” because of his best services to the general public.

Demon Namuchi:-


The Lord who has established himself on the hill is in the form of Narasimha (man-lion), which Lord Vishnu assumed to kill Hiranyakasipu, a rakshasa father of Prahlada, a great devotee. He is also called as Sudarsana Narasimhaswamy. The legend says that Namuchi, a Rakshasa after great penance obtained a boon from Brahma that he would not be killed by anything that is either wet or dry. He began to harass Indra and the Devathas. Encouraged and supported by Lord Vishnu, Indra commenced destroying the army of Rakshasa Namuchi, who hid in a cave in Sukshmakara (small size) giving up his sthulakara (Physical manifestation).

Indra dipped Sudarsana, the disc of Lord Vishnu in the foam of the ocean and sent it into the cave. Lord Vishnu manifesting himself at the centre of the disc destroyed the Pranavayuvu (life breath) of the Rakshasa with the fire of his exhalation. He thus got the name of Sudarsana Narasimha. The blood that flowed from the body of the Rakshasa seemed to have formed into a pool at the foot of the hill. The Devathas themselves were unable to withstand the anger of the Lord and they prayed for appeasement. The Lord drank amruta (nectar) and cooled down. This happened in Krithayuga. The Lord said that he would be satisfied with ghee in Threthayuga, with milk in Dwaparayuga and with panakam (Jaggery water) in Kaliyugam. Hence the Lord is called in Kaliyuga as Panakala Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy.

Story in Threthayuga:-


In Threthayuga, the second of the four yugas, people who were in heaven as a result of their good deeds in the world were most unwilling to return to this world (when once the fruits of good deeds are exhausted, the soul has to come back to the world). They prayed Indra, the Lord of heaven to save them from the impending fate. Indra advised them to spend their time in the world at Mangalagiri to attain heaven again. In Krithayuga, the first of the four yugas when the sinners were few, Yamadharmaraja, the Lord of hell advised them to wash off their sins by doing penance at Mangalagiri.

Mangalagiri is in existence from the beginning of the Universe with the names Anjanadri in Krithayuga, Thotadri in Threthayuga, Mangaladri and Mukthyadri in Dwaparayuga and Mangalagiri in Kaliyugam affording salvation to sinners also. In Krithayuga, Vaikhanasa Maharshi worshipped the Lord and the idol is worshipped even today in the temple. It is also believed that Lord Rama while departing for Vaikunta after completing his mission in that incarnation advised Anjaneya to stay at Mangalagiri and after obtaining his blessings to remain in this world forever. Anjaneya took his adobe at Mangalagiri as Kshetrapalaka.

Ksheera Vruksham (milk tree) :-




Ksheera vruksham on the Mangalagiri hill is of great attraction particularly to the women. The legend goes to say that king Sasibandi was advised by Narada to go on pilgrimage. The king left the kingdom and his queen, and started on a pilgrimage. The queen came to know about this, and grew furious and cursed Narada to become a Ksheera vruksham on the hill within the easy reach of devotees, blessing women at its very sight, with property, children and washing off the sins they committed out of ignorance or oversight, for having ill-advised her husband to desert her and take to penance. Narada took this not as a curse but as a boon as it meant service to humanity, blessed the queen with happy life with her husband and a thousand children. Even today the milk tree is on the Mangalagiri hill and throughout the year, thousands of women visit and worship the tree for begetting children.

Miracles - unbelievable:-

There is a legend connected with the making of the procession deities of the temple. A reputed goldsmith was appointed to make the procession deities of the Lord. In spite of all his skill and care, the panchalohas (five metals) melted together in a huge crucible and smeared over the images to form a brilliant coating, the metals used to separate themselves and this bitter disappointment continued day after day. He began the process of burning one day after praying for the Lord's grace and heard a voice that success in his work required human sacrifice. Just then his son rushed to him and requested the father for water to quench his great thirst. He lifted his affectionate son and threw him into the molten mixture of the five metals and the body disappeared in no time. The amalgam was cast and beautiful icons of the Lord were then completed. After completing the work, the goldsmith thought about his son and called out in agony, 'come my son and I will give you water to quench your thirst'. It is believed that the body jumped out of the deity and stood before his father.

Sri Lakshmi Devi Temple:-


 Behind the main temple, there is a temple of Sri Lakshmi Devi, the consort of Lord Narasimha. Here, to the west of the temple, you can find tunnel which is said to end at Undavalli on the banks of River Krishna. It was believed that sages used to pass through this tunnel to have bath in River Krishna. 

Gandalayam:-


On a small hillock behind the Panakala Narasimha Swami temple there is a small shrine of Lord Narasimha where He is called as Gandala Narasimha Swami. There is no particular deity inside the temple except a provision to light a lamp. It is believed that this lamp was visible from many villages in good old days. People who suffer from miseries come here and light the lamp with cow ghee which is believed to ward off all their troubles.

Temple Tank Lakshmi Pushkarini :-



The temple tank is known as the Lakshmi Pushkarini. Legend has it that this pushkarini was created by the Gods, combining the waters from several holy rivers of the land, and that Mahalakshmi (who came out of the milky ocean when it was churned by the gods and the asuras), bathed in this pushkarini and married Vishnu thereafter.

Sight Seeing around Mangalagiri:-

Undavalli Caves:-

These caves are located in Undavalli which is 10kms away from this town. These caves belong to 4th and 5th century. Of all the caves, largest cave is 4 storied. At this cave single block of Granite statue of Lord Vishnu can be seen here.

Guntur:-

 It is a centre of learning and administrative capital of Guntur district. It is located 23kms away from Mangalagiri.

Amaravati:-

 it is located 38kms from this town. This place is famous for Amareswara Temple. Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. At this place great Buddhist Stupa of Pre- Mauryan time. Other attraction of this place is Mahachaitya Stupa.

Vijayawada:-

 It is located 13kms away from this town. Major attractions of this place are Kanaka Durga Temple, Bhavani Island, Prakasham barrage, Mogalarajapuram Caves, Victoria Museum, Gandhi Hill.

Kondapalli Fort:-

 It is located 28kms away from this town. Tanisha Mahal is the major attraction of this fort. There are 3 entry gates to this fort.

Best time to visit Mangalagiri:-

 Best time to visit this place is between October to March. Summer at this place is too hot.

Temple Timings :-


Panakala Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple Timings :-


 7 am to 3 pm

Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple Timings:-


 5am to 12.30pm and 4pm to 8.30pm. 

Festivals:-


Sri Panakala Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Brahmothsavam is very important annual festival in Mangalagiri. The celebration was inaugurated by Dharmaraja at the behest of Lord Krishna. Pradyumna, Krishna's son, requested his father to celebrate his birthday annually for a sapthaham (seven days) from Phalguna Suddha Sapthami. Lord Krishna entrusted this work to Dharmaraja, the eldest of the Pandavas, who was the successor to the throne at Hasthinapur.
At present the festival is celebrated for 11 days commencing from Phalguna Suddha Shasti (February-March). One day before Phalguna Suddha Purnima, i.e. on Chaturdasi, the marriage of Santha Narasimha Swamy, Sridevi and Bhoodevi is celebrated. The Agama sastra is followed for this celebrations. Before the marriage, Chenchus celebrate on the occasion of Narasimha Swamy marrying their daughter, Chenchu Lakshmi. On that night, Narasimha Swamy comes by his Sesha Vahanam and participates in Eduru Kola.
The next day after the marriage is Purnima, on which the Holi festival is celebrated. The same day here, people celebrate Tirunalla, and about 1,000,000 people come from local and from distant places congregate together. The Lord goes on procession in a big chariot and hundreds of devotees pull His cart with fervour and enthusiasm.
"Srirama Navami", "Hanumajayanthi"," Narasimhajayanthi"," Vaikunta Ekadasi" and "Mahasivarathri" are the other festivals celebrated here on a large scale. On Mahasivarathri, the Lord goes on procession in a small chariot.



How to reach:-


By Air :-

 Vijayawada is connected by Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam.

By Rail :-

 Vijayawada is well connected by rail with every city in India.

By Road :-

 vijayawada is well connected by road withMadras, hyderabad, Vizag, Nellore.