On the occasion of #NarasimhaJayanti today, taking a look at some of the well known Narasimha temples in the Telugu states of AP and TG. Narasimha is one of the most worshipped deities down South, the Telugu states by themselves have around 30 odd temples dedicated to him.
Some of the Narasimha Temples like Simhachalam, Ahobilam, Yadagirigutta, Penchalakona, Antarvedi have become major pilgrimage centers in the Telugu states. And like most temples there is a lot of history, culture, tradition associated.
One of the most famous Narasimha Kshetras in Telugu states is Simhachalam near Vizag, where he is worshipped as Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha, and colloquially referred to as "Appanna", this temple is visited not just by Telugu people, but large number of Odiyas too.
It's believed that Prahlad, wanted Vishnu to appear in the form of both Varaha and Narasimha, and he manifested himself so at Simhachalam, the mool virat here combines both forms. The literal translation of the place too is "Hill of the Lion", Chalam means hill in Telugu.
Historically, the Simhachalam Temple was first patronized by the Later Chola ruler Kulottunga I, after him it was the Eastern Ganga dynasty of Kalinga who renovated the temple and built many parts of it. The temple is renowned for it's sculpture.
The Reddy Rajulu and the Gajapathis also significantly contributed to the Simhachalam Temple. During Vijayanagara Era, Sri Krishnadeva Raya visited the temple, built a Jayastambha here, donated jewellery. Surrounded by hills, the temple is worth a visit if you go to Vizag.
The Mool Virat at Simhachalam Temple is covered with a thick layer of sandalwood paste, throughout the year, as it's believed to be very powerful. On one day the paste is removed, called as Chandanotsavam, when the Nijarupa is shown.
Simhachalam Temple draws large crowds of devotees not just from Andhra Pradesh, but many from Odisha too. You have a large number of Odiyas visiting this temple, as this was part of erstwhile Kalinga once upon a time.
While not as well known as the Simhachalam Temple, the Narasimha Temple in Bhimili is also equally worth a visit. You get a lovely view of the Bay of the Bengal from here, very peaceful environs too.
Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple at Antarvedi is one more prominent Narasimha Kshetras. This is also the place where the Godavari merges with the Bay of Bengal, making it even more significant.
Antarvedi is where one the Vashishta Godavari, one of the main tributaries, meets the Bay of the Bengal, and this coupled with the Lakshmi Narashima Temple here makes it very holy. Nice little beach too here, making it worth a visit.
Antarvedi so get's it's name, as it's believed Brahma constructed a stage( Vedika) to perform the Rudrayagna here, and the Godavari here is believed to have been bought by Vashista himself, one of the major tributaries of the river here.
The point where the Godavari river meets the sea at Antarvedi is called "Sapta Sagara Sangamam", locals call it "Anna Chelli Gattu" meaning "Brother Sister Shore", indicating the relation between the Godavari and the Bay of Bengal here. This is the meeting point here.
Apart from Antarvedi, there is one more Narasimha Temple at Korukonda, around 20 km from Rajahmundry, it has a Swayambu Murthy located on a hill, which has around 615 steps to climb.
Another Narasimha Kshetra worth visiting is that of Vedadri in Krishna district, located right on the banks of the Krishna river, a very scenic location. It's believed that Rishyasrunga heard the Veda Mantras in a cave here, and so the name.
The Vedadri Lakshmi Narasimha Temple is located near Jaggayapeta right on the highway connecting Vijayawada and Hyderabad, if ur travelling on that route do visit it. Very pleasant, quiet and you get a lovely view of the Krishna River from here.
Panakala Narasimha Swamy Temple at Mangalagiri is one of the more prominent Narasimha Kshetras, noted for it's very tall Gopuram. You can check out my more detailed Twitter moments on it here.
Down South in Nellore dt, you have the famous Narasimha Temple at Vedagiri, located on a hillock, overlooking the Penna River. This is around 15Km from Nellore City, and dates back to Pallava era. You get a lovely view of the Penna as well as Nellore from here.
And a must visit is the Narasimha Swamy Temple at Penchalakona, also called as Penusila, it's believed Narsimha turned into a rock here. The temple surrounded by hills, thick forests and waterfalls is worth a visit. For more detail chk it out here
Narasimha Swamy Temple at Penchalakona, also called as Penusila, it's believed Narsimha turned into a rock here. The temple surrounded by hills, thick forests and waterfalls is worth a visit. #WalkToTemple #NarasimhaJayanti
Narasimha Temple at Ahobilam in Kurnool dt, is one of the most famous Narasimha Kshetras in AP. Known for it's Nava Narasimhas, dense forest, long trek, it also has the Ugra Stambha where it's believed he broke from to slay Hiranyakasipu. #WalkToTemple
For a more detailed look at Ahobilam, do check out my Twitter Moments on it here, along with Srisailam #NarasimhaJayanti #WalkToTemple
Another famous Narasimha Temple is at Kadiri, in Anantapur dt, and was constructed by one of the Palegars during Vijayanagara Era. This temple is famous for it's frescos of Ramayana painted on the walls, and is visited by many. #WalkToTemple
For a more detailed look at the Kadiri Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, in Anantapur dt, do check out my earlier Twitter moments on it, the famous Thimmamma Marrimanu is also located near by.
Telangana also has an equally large number of Narasimha Kshetras, the most prominent one being at Yadagirigutta on the Hyderabad-Warangal highway. Located on a hill, it is named after a sage Yadu who performed penance to Vishnu.
Pleased with Yadu's penance, Vishnu appeared to him in 3 different forms at Yadagirigutta-Jwala Narasimha, Gandabheranda Narasimha and Yogananda Narasimha. All the 3 forms of him are located in one single cave at the temple.
Hanuman is the Kshetrapalaka for this temple.
The other famous Narasihma Kshetra in Telangana is at Dharmapuri in Karimnagar district, on the banks of the Godavari. It is named after a king who was a Narasimha devotee. Another worth visiting temple #WalkToTemple #NarasimhaJayanti
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