Simhachalam Temple was mentioned in Amukthyamalyada by Sri Krishna Deva Raya (1509 – 1529 A.D). This temple is one of the 18 Narasimha Kshetras. Narasimha Swamy will be fully covered with Sandal paste, only on Akshaya Tritiya day, devotees can have Nijaroopa Darshan for 12 hours.
Simhachalam Temple Legends
It is said that this temple was built on top of Lord Maha Vishnu’s footprint. Maha Vishnu’s feet went deep into the earth while trying to save Prahalada, who was thrown from the hilltop.
Simhachalam Temple History
From the inscriptions, temple construction dates back Chola King, Kulothunga in 1098 AD. Later this temple was renovated by the Orissa queen of Kalinga during 1137 – 56 A.D. Another inscription refers to Orissa King Narasimhadeva II during 1279 – 1306 AD.
Srinatha, the celebrated poet laureate who lived during 15th century A.D, described Simachadri Kshetra as a beautiful place on this earth in his poems.
Simhachalam Temple Architecture
Garbagriha is on a raised platform, with it’s exterior divided into five platforms conforming to the Pancharatha type. The sanctum sanctorium resembles that of the Orissa temple in the exterior. The sanctum sanatorium is approached through the Mukha mandapa and an antarala. The square mandapa exhibits Dravidian and Orissan style of architecture.
The Kalyana Mandapam is a rectangular hall with 78 granite pillars arranged in six rows with a roof atop it. Interestingly one of the inscriptions of the temple mentions, this mandapa as Natyamandapa.
An important architectural member is the Kappa Sthambhamu a pillar is between the Asthana mandapa and Mukha mandapa. It is held with great reverence and it is believed by the local people and devotees that if a childless person embraces it with devotion he/she is blessed with a child.
Giri pradakshina Festival
This festival known as Grama Giripradakshina (i.e circumambulating the hill) is unique to this temple and on this day, the deity is taken around the holy hill Simhachalam in the month of Ashada (June). This festival dates to 1242 A.D.–
How to reach Simhachalam Temple?
- Temple 19 Km from Visakhapatanam, which is well connected by road, air and Train.
- From Visakhapatnam Railway station, the temple is 16 km away.