An aerial view of Simhachalam Temple
An aerial view of Simhachalam Temple

Simhachalam Temple is located at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh state of South India, dedicated to Lord Narasimha, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is located on the top of the hill and hence this temple is called as Simhachalam, where ‘Simha’ refers to lion and ‘Achala’ refers to hill. The mythology says that the demon king Hiranyakasipu, one of the reincarnation of Dwarapalakas (gatekeepers) of Lord Vishnu in heaven. The other was said to be born as a brother of the demon king Hiranyakasipu, who was named Hiranyaaksha.

A closeup view of Simhachalam Temple
A closeup view of Simhachalam Temple

It is said that the Dwarapalakas (gatekeepers) of Lord Vishnu, Jaya and Vijaya has been pushed to reincarnation by the curse of Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanathkumara, and Sanathsujatha, because the Dwarapalakas did not allow them to get blessings of Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakasipu tried to perform penance towards Lord Brahma to become immortal, but Lord Brahma said it is impossible. On the other hand, Prahlada, son of the demon king Hiranyakasipu, became a great devotee of Lord Narayana. The demon king Hiranyakasipu became extremely angry towards Prahlada and made several attempts to kill Prahlada. But Lord Vishnu rescued Prahlada in every attempts.

Sculptured pillars inside the Simhachalam Temple
Sculptured pillars inside the Simhachalam Temple

Specialty

Nine temples are dedicated to ‘Lord Narasimha’ (one of the ten incarnations of ‘Lord Vishnu’) which is called as Nava Narasimha temples and also situated at Ahobilam in the Allagadda municipality of Karnool district in Andhra Pradesh. The Nava Narasimha Temples are:

  1. Ahobilam Narasimha Temple
  2. Varaha Narasimha Temple
  3. Jwala Narasimha Temple
  4. Malola Narasimha Temple
  5. Yoganandha Narasimha Temple
  6. Chatravata Narasimha Temple
  7. Paavana Narasimha Temple
  8. Bhargava Narasimha Temple
  9. Ahobilam Nrasimha Swamy Temple

The presiding deity of Simhachalam temple is Lord Varahalakshmi Narasimha Swamy and the deity is always covered with sandalwood paste. The deity can be seen without sandalwood only for 12 hours in a year. The presiding deity is seen in a tribhangi posture (tri-bent pose), with His two hands and the head (head of a lion) on the trunk of the human body. The temple is surrounded with magnificent environment covered with cashew trees, mango groves and shrubs.

The temple contains a Mandapa which has 16 pillars, which depicts the incarnations of Lord Vishnu and the temple brags with a wonderful stone chariot, which has been drawn by the horses. And it is said that the Simhachalam Temple was built on the exact place where Lord Vishnu appeared to save Prahlada.

A night view of Simhachalam Temple
A night view of Simhachalam Temple

Pooja Timings

The temple remains open from morning 7.00 am to 4.00 pm and in the evening from 6.00 pm to 9.00 pm.The Poojas offered are:

  • Asthottaram
  • Sata Namarchana
  • Sahasra Namarchana
  • Visista Nitya Kalayanam
  • Visista Nitya Kalyanam
  • Garuda Seva
  • Laksha Kumkjumarchana
  • Laksha Tulasi Puja
  • Kappasthambham Aliganam
  • Dampathalinganam
  • Kodedooda Pradkshina

Festivals

  • Chandana Yatra – May
  • Sri Narasimha Jayanti – June
  • Giri Pradhakshanam – June
By Road

Visakhapatnam has a broad network of roads and runs buses to various places like Kakinada, Guntur, Kadapa, Kurnool, Rajahmundry, Vijayawada etc. Also, to distance places like Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, and Bhubaneswar etc.


By Train

Visakhapatnam is the nearest station. There are direct rail links to many parts both in and outside the state to all major junctions.


By Air

Visakhapatnam International Airport is the busiest airport in Andhra Pradesh. It is connected by daily flights with Dubai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kochi, Bhubaneswar, Raipur, Tirupathi and Vijayawada.

  • Devipuram Temple
  • Nookalamma Temple
  • Sri Nookambika Ammavari Temple
  • Kotilingam Temple

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