Simhachalam Varaha Laxminarasimha Temple is one of the ancient Hindu temples in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is located in the city of Visakhapatnam, a suburb of Simhachalam in Andhra Pradesh. Lord Narasimha is said to be an incarnation of Vishnu in the temple. It was rebuilt in the 11th century by the Chalukyas and in the 13th by the Eastern Gangas. The Tamil Chola and Vijayanagara emperors patronized this temple.
This temple of Lord Narasimha established in the Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh. The architecture of the temple is a mix of both Orissa and Andhra. This temple situated on a hill. This temple one of the eighteen areas of Lord Narasimha. It is the second richest temple in India after Tirupati. The annual income of the temple is Rs 500 crore. The granite stone idol of Lord Narasimha is installed in the temple. Lord Narasimha appears in his original form for 12 hours on the day of Akshaya Tritiya and is covered with sandalwood paste for the rest of the time. The festival of sandalwood festival is celebrated in the month of Vaishakh (May).
Legends of Simhachalam Varaha Laxminarasimha Temple
Brahma Ji’s boon Hiranyakashipu became arrogant that he wanted to be worshiped in the whole world, but Prahlad was opposed to it due to being a god. Hiranyakashipu tried a lot for Prahlad, but Lord Vishnu always protected Prahlad, the king gave Prahlad under the mountain. God protected Prahlad here. It is said that this is the mountain where Lord Vishnu came from Garuda to protect Prahlad. The main incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the Simhachalam temple is Narasimha himself. His head is that of a lion and his torso is that of a human. This idol remains covered with everlasting coating.
There is an account of the foundation of the temple in the Sthalapuran. This temple was the favorite site of the gods, but it was not used. The divine Apsara, Urvashi informs Pururvas that she had come to Simhadri hill when Lord Narayana came in the form of Narasimha to save Prahlad. Urvashi along with the Pururavas found the Gangadhara river flowing towards the west. Pururava thought of finding the Lord through penance. On the third day of meditation, he saw the Lord in his dream, who told the Pururavas that an ant held the idol in front of the king and that the king should offer flowers, sandalwood, music, light lamps, and fragrant smoke.
The king awoke, searched Ant-hill, found the idol, renovated the temple, and consecrated it. But the Lord’s feet not found. The Lord told the king that the feet would not be visible and hidden in the earth because from his sight he would get salvation. And therefore, he should not be seen in his pure form, but only covered with sandal paste, except on one day on Akshaya Tritiya, where mere sight was enough to attain salvation.
History of Simhachalam Varaha Laxminarasimha Temple
This temple built by the Chola king Kultunga after the conquest of Kalinga in 1098.
In 1137-56, the idol of Lord Ganga gilded by Queen Ganga of Kalinga Raj.
The central temple built in 1267 by King Narsingh Dev. There are 252 paintings in this building and it is an important and historical building. The king also got the Mukha Mandap and Natya Mandap constructed.
In 1516, Gajapati Pratap Rudra Dev visited the temple and presented many village lands, valuable diamonds-jewels, gold, and silver to the temple. Raja Rudra Deva Raya of Vijayanagara and his queen presented a precious necklace of 991 pearls to the temple.
For the last 300 years, Raja Pushpapati of Vijayanagara is the trustee of the Gajapati temple.
Architecture of Simhachalam Varaha Laxminarasimha Temple
Built on a hill, this temple has wonderfully carved halls. There is extensive use of both Chalukya and Orissa architectural styles. Lord Narasimha is the deity of this temple. The temple situated 800 feet above sea level. A flight of steps leads from the hill to the top, all the way to the temple. At the foot of the hill, there are chitals for the pilgrims to stay. They take bath in the Pushkarni located close to the foothills. The way is through a grove of trees, a wooden hollow near the top towards the north surrounded by a wide circle resembling an amphitheater, this is the temple of Lord Narasimha of the northern circles.
One of the pillars of Mukhtantapa named Kappam Stambham or Pillar of Tribute. It attracts a large number of pilgrims. There is a popular belief that this pillar has the power to cure cattle disease and infertility in women. The deity is covered with a thick layer of sandalwood paste, which pacified the wrath of the Lord after the destruction of Hiranyakashipu. This coating removed only once a year, on Visakha Day in May. The temple consists of a square shrine, with a tall gopura and a small circular tower atop the Mukmantapa. The Natyamandapam consists of a stone car driven by two horses and surrounded by a verandah, where scenes from Vishnupurana skillfully carved.
Outside the enclosure, towards the north the Kalyanamantapam with 96 exquisitely carved pillars where the Kalyan Utsav performed every year on the eleventh day of the Sukalpaksha, Chaitramas. Here Lord Vishnu depicted as Matsya, Dhanvantari, and Varuna. Many mortals of Narasimha will also be found here. The perennial spring called Gangadhara found here and said to have medicinal properties. The Sthalapurana for the temple describes the temple in 32 chapters, and Vedavyasa writes about the original temple in the Skanda Purana.
The inscriptions on the walls and pillars throw light on the history of the temple. 1099 AD belonging to King Kulottungchola. There is an inscription of who conquered Kalinga. Another Velnati chief belongs to Gonka III and dated to 1137 AD, and said to have covered the image of the god with gold. There are many inscriptions of the Eastern Ganga kings of Kalinga. King Narasimha, I built the central shrine, Mukhamantapa, Natyamantapa, etc. The Reddy kings of Rajahmundry, Vishnu-Vardhan Chakravarti of Panchadala, and others contributed to the prosperity of the temple. Krishnadevaraya visited this temple twice in 1516 and 1519 AD and the ornaments offered by him to the Lord can be seen here even today.
Festivals of Simhachalam Varaha Laxminarasimha Temple
The Chandana Yatra festival performed on the third day of the Sukla Paksha of Visakhapatnam, which corresponds to the day of Akshaya Tritiya. On this day, the sandalwood coating removed, and devotees can have the darshan of the Lord. Vyasa Paynami and Ashadha Paynami days, and Kalyanotsav in the first week of April are also important festivals.
The temple remains open from 4 am to 2.30 pm and from 3 pm to 9 pm
The temple remains open from 4 am to 2.30 pm and from 3 pm to 9 pm. 12 festivals celebrated in the temple. Chandan Yatra and sandalwood dedication would have been the biggest festival in Baisakh.
Visakhapatnam to Chennai 781 Delhi 2,650, Mangalore 781, 1,760, Goa 1950, Lucknow 3030 km. is far. The nearest railway station and airport is Visakhapatnam. All level of accommodation facilities is available.
- This is the largest temple of Lord Narasimha in the world.
- Lord Narasimha covered with sandalwood for 364 days a year.
- The mountain on which the temple situated, is 40 km from that temple. The journey considered fruitful.
- Every year Chandan Yatra takes place in this temple, which does not happen in any other temple.
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