Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lord Varaha Lakshmi Nrusimha Swamy temple

Name : Simhachalam hill

Location : Simhachalam - the hill of the lion is located at a distance of 18 km from Vishakapatnam

Deity : 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.

Legend has it that the Ugra (angry) form of Narasimha as he killed the demon Hiranyakashipu was so fierce that the image is kept covered by sandal paste throughout the year.

Temple History: Kulottunga Chola I of Tamilnadu, made endowments to this temple, as evidenced from inscriptions dating back to the year 1087. The Vengi Chalukyas of Andhra Pradesh renovated the original shrine in the 11th century. Much of the structure as it stands to day is the result of renovation by Narasimha I, of the Eastern Ganga dynasty, in the second quarter of the 13th century CE. Krishna Deva Raya, the Vijayanagar monarch visited this temple in the year 1516, as seen from inscriptions here. There are as many as 525 inscriptions in this temple.

It is said to be the second richest temple in the State after the Lord Venkateswara Swamy temple at Tirupati, the Simhachalam temple in the city draws a large number of devotees not only from Andhra Pradesh but also from neighbouring Odisha and other states.

Noteworthy features of the temple: This 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.

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