Ahobilam Temple is the only place where all the nine forms of the Lord Narasimha Swamy are worshipped. It is said that the entire Nalmalla Hills from Kurnool to Chittoor is a personification of Lord Adisesha himself whose tail end is Srisailam, whose middle is Ahobilam and whose head is Tirupati.
Ahobilam Temple History
At the foot of hills, there is a temple of Prahladavarada Narasimha i.e, the aspect of Lord Narasimha as blessing Prahlada. This temple was built in Vijayanagar style.
The deity is installed under a pipal tree which is surrounded by thorny bushes.
From the foot of the hills, one has to ascend up the hill to reach Upper Ahobilam. This path is of 10.5 km where several shrines of Narasimha are installed here.
Karanda Narasimha, Yogananda Narasimha
There is a Shrine of Karanda Narasimha and another called Yogananda Narasimha. As per the Legends, that after killing the demon HiranyaKasyapa, Lord Narasimha taught Prahlada several yogic postures and the Lord in this aspect is called Yogananda Narasimha. It is said that the Sages Gobhila and Bharadwaja performed penance to get rid of the sins that they had committed.
The two crests of the hills are called by Vedadri and Garudadri. The Tirtham divides into two and joins Kumadavati and Penna. The Tirtham is said to be an Antarvahini i.e. a river which flows inside during part of its course.
In the southern slope of the hill, the Lord is worshipped in his fierce form Ugra Narasimha. Near to this shrine is the shrine of Guha Narasimha, at the entrance of which is a huge pillar (Ugra Sthambha). It is believed that it is the Pillar which Hiranyakasyapa hit with mace asking his son whether Lord Vishnu was immanent in that pillar too was this same pillar, and that out of this pillar, Lord Vishnu finally emerged out in his ferocious form Ugra Narasimha and killed the demon.
Moving further will take us to Kroda Narasimha, where the Lord is worshipped in the form of a boar. It is said that if one does Narayana Satakshari Japa and Parayana of Varahakanda at this place will be blessed with immense spiritual consciousness.
Little further up the hill will lead us to Malola Narasimha. The deity here is Santaroopa, always in the sport with the divine mother Lakshmi. The Kakatiya King Prataparudra has donated the Utsava deity made of gold which is under worship by the Ahobilam Jeeyars.
Moving up the hill, there located a shrine for Jwala Narasimha, where the Ugrakala of the Lord is seen, and it is said that this is the actual spot where the fierce anger of the Lord reached its climax when he tore asunder Hiranyakasyapa
Nearby, is the Pavana Narasimha, where worship in the Shakta form of the worship of the Lord is said to be done .
The Lord in the Upper Ahobilam is said to be Swyambhu i.e self-manifested. There are two popular legends for the derivation of the word Ahobilam. It is said that the Devas while witnessing the ferocious form of the Lord and the terrific aspect he took on in order to tear to pieces Hiranyakasyapa sang in his praise
‘Narasimha Paramam Devam Aho Balam Aho Balam’
and hence, the place has come to be known as Ahobilam.
Another version is that because of the great cave, the Ahobila, where Garuda worshipped and realised the Lord. The place itself is come to be called Ahobila.
Ahobilam Temple Holy Tirthas
It is said that Lord Narasimha after killing the demon washed his glory hands at this Tirtham and hence, the water is still reddish in appearance.
This Tirtha is 4 km to the northeast of the shrine, en route to Bhargava. It is said that once upon a time a courtesan, on having the mere darshan of the Lord here, repented of her ways and built the Tirtham to wash off her sins.
This Tirtham is 8 km from Lower Ahobilam Temple.
Contributions towards Ahobilam Temple
Some inscriptions refer to Vikramaditya, one of the Western Chalukyan Kings of Kalyan (1076 AD–1106 AD), who worshipped the main deity of this temple. King Krishna Deva Raya also visited this shrine on his return from the conquest of Kalinga and made offerings to the deity.
The popular Legend about Prataparudra is that the King wanted to cast a gold Siva Linga but whatever be the cast, the final figure that emerged was the figure of Lord Narasimha. The king was deeply perturbed at this experience, and during his meditation, the Lord appeared and told him that it was futile to make a distinction between Siva and Vishnu and asked him to worship the Lord in upper Ahobilam, as the Lord was the same in whatever shape he was worshipped.
Ahobilam Temple Brahmotsavam
The annual festival takes place in the first fortnight of Phalguna Month, a fortnight after Sivaratri. The Padmasalis of the place claim the divine consort as a maiden of their class, and so they claim the right to perform Kalyanotsavam for the Lord.
Ahobilam Temple Timings
Lower Ahobilam (Diguva Ahobilam)
- Morning Hours: 6:30 am – 1:00 pm.
- Evening Hours: 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Upper Ahobilam (Eguva Ahobilam)
- Morning Hours: 7:00 am – 1:00 pm
- Evening Hours: 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
How to reach Ahobilam Temple?
- The nearest airport is Tirupati, which is 229 km away.
- Hyderabad International Airport is at 333 km away.
- The nearest railway station is at Prodattur which is 60 km away
- Jammalamadugu Railway Station is 55 km away
- Direct bus to Ahobilam is available from Kadapa, Kurnool districts.
Ahobilam Temple Gallery
Reference Links:Temple History