Nine temples are dedicated to ‘Lord Narasimha’ (one of the ten incarnations of ‘Lord Vishnu’) and also situated at Ahobilam in the Allagadda municipality of Karnool district in Andhra Pradesh.These group of temples are named as ‘Nava Narasimha Kshetram Temples’ and also counted among the ‘108 Divya Desam Temples’ dedicated to Lord Vishnu. All these Nava Narasimha Kshetram Temples are in the deep forest and divided by two fields as ‘Upper Ahobilam’ and ‘Lower Ahobilam’. Each region contains four temples and the other one is on the way to ‘Upper Ahobilam’ from ‘Lower Ahobilam’.
Nava Narasimha Kshetram Temples located at Upper Ahobilam are:
- Ahobilam Narasimha Temple
- Varaha Narasimha Temple
- Jwala Narasimha Temple
- Malola Narasimha Temple
Nava Narasimha Kshetram Temples located at Lower Ahobilam are:
- Yoganandha Narasimha Temple
- Chatravata Narasimha Temple
- Paavana Narasimha Temple
- Bhargava Narasimha Temple
And in-between the Upper Ahobilam and Lower Ahobilam, found the Karanja Narasimha Temple.
This is the main temple and earliest among all the nine temples. This temple is situated on the Upper Ahobilam at a distance of 8km from Lower Ahobilam. Presiding deity of this temple is believed to be ‘svayambu’ (self-formed) and worshipped as ‘Lord Ahobila Narasimha Swamy’ and also called as ‘Ugra Narasimha’ because He appears here in His fierce aspect. And it is said that Ahobilam is the place where Lord Vishnu killed the demon Hiranyakashipa, appearing from the stone pillar.
Varaha Narasimha Temple
This temple is 1km away from the Ahobilam Nrasimha Swamy Temple on the Upper Ahobilam. ‘Krodhakara Narasimha’ is the main deity of this temple, has the face of a boar and also known as ‘Varaha Narasimha Swamy’. Here He presides with His consort ‘Goddess Lakshmi’ to bless the devotees. And it is said that the Simhachalam Temple was built on the exact place where Lord Vishnu appeared to save Prahlada.
Jwala Narasimha Temple
This temple lies higher to the Krodha Narasimha Temple on the hill ‘Achalachaya Meru’. This place is believed to be the actual spot where the fierce anger of the Lord Narashimha reached its culmination when he tore Hiranyakasipu. This temple is 4km away from the Upper Ahobilam Temple.
Malola Narasimha Temple
This famous ‘Malola Narasimha Swamy Temple’ is located 2km away from the main temple, Upper Ahobilam Temple. Here also Lord Narasimha presides with His consort ‘Goddess Lakshmi’ and appears in ‘soumya’ form (it is meant by gracefull form). The word Malola means beloved to ‘Goddess Lakshmi’ (‘Ma’ means ‘Goddess Lakshmi’, Lola means beloved).
Karanja Narasimha Temple
This temple is located on the way to ‘Upper Ahobilam’ from ‘Lower Ahobilam’. The image of the deity in this temple is installed under a tree called as ‘Karanja Vruksham’. Hence He is known as ‘Karanja Narasimha Swamy’.
Yoganandha Narasimha Temple
This temple is situated 2km away from the ‘Lower Ahobilam’ A legend reveals that after killing ‘Hiranyakasibhu’ ‘Lord Narasimha’ taught ‘Prahalatha’ about several yogic postures. Hence ‘Lord Narasimha’ presides here in this aspect is called ‘Yoganandha Narasimha’.
Chatravata Narasimha Temple
This temple is located 3km away from the Lower Ahobilam. The image of the deity in this temple is installed under a peepal tree and also surrounded by thorny bushes. Hence Lord Narasimha is called by ‘Chatravatha Narasimha Swamy’.
Paavana Narasimha Temple
This temple is situated about 6km from the Upper Ahobilam on the banks of the river ‘Paavana’. Hence the Lord of this temple is named by ‘Paavana Narasimha Swamy’. The famous ‘Prahalatha Varatha Sannithi’ is located near this temple In Lower Ahobilam.
Bhargava Narasimha Temple
This temple is situated 2km away from the Lower Ahobilam on the hill. A sacred pond called by ‘Bhargava Theertham’ is located near to this temple where ‘Bhargava Rama’ did His penance. Hence the Lord of this temple is called by ‘Bhargava Narasimha Swamy’.