Sri Varaha Lakshminarasimha Temple Simhachalam ,Visakhapatnam
The word Simhachalam means the hill of the lion. refers to the 11th century temple of Lord Narasimha - an incarnation of lord Vishnu. It has been hailed as the most famous and the best sculptured shrine Millions of devotees from round the world visit this temple every year. It has Sri Varahalakshmi Narasimha Swamy as the presiding deity. Simhachalam temple is known as the second richest temple (after Tirupati) for earning a revenue. A famous pilgrim centre Simhachalam, also known as Simhagiri, devotees coming over here steadily growing and this is the west facing temple. According to religious belief, An east-facing entrance brings prosperity while the west - facing one brings victory.
There is a Trekking route available for trekking lovers from Madhavadhara side, two hours climbing to temple premises with steep natural stone steps and a beautiful view of Vizag city and at the other side the temple view from hill top. The presiding deity in this most revered temple gives 'Nijaroopa Darshan' Chandana Yatra (holy appearance in true form) for only 12 hours in a year, on all the remaining 364 days and 12 hours, the Lord is covered with sandalwood paste. The real shape of the deity can can be viewed only during Chandanayatra Festival (March-April).
The local people believe that an ancient image of Sivalinga was converted into Varahanarasimha form (the present idol of the temple) by Ramanuja, the founder of the Visistadhvaitham of Hinduism. It signifies the celebration of Kamadahana (burning of the god of Love) festival. The origins of the temple are shrouded in mystery.
The artwork here has elements of similarity with that of Konark. Elephants, flowers and plants are portrayed in plenty. This temple boasts of a beautiful stone chariot drawn by horses. Within the temple the Kalyana Mandapa 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.
Elephants, flowers and plants are portrayed in plenty and the artwork here has elements of similarity with that of Konark. The outer walls of the sanctum depict images of a royal personality (said to be King Narasimha) in various postures.
Simhachalam is 707 km from Hyderabad.
Simhachalam is 16 km from Visakhapatnam Airport.