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Narasimha Jayanti or Narasimha Chaturdashi is an important festival in the Hindu Sanatan Dharma celebrated on the fourteenth day in the Shuklapaksham (bright fortnight) of Vaisakhmaas.

In 2020, Sri Narasimha Jayanti occurring on May 6. Vaisakh Shukla Chaturdashi will start at 11.21 pm on 5th of May and ends at 7.44 pm on 6th of May.

According to Vedic scriptures, Lord Narasimha appeared during the Pradosham (when sun is about to set) on Chaturdashi to slay the demon king Hiranya Kashipu and protect the boy Prahlad. Hence, Puja is performed at this time. Avatar of Lord Narasimha was to remove ‘Adharma’ (the path of wickedness) and bring the world to follow the path of dharma (the path of righteousness).

On this great occasion of Narasimha Jayanti, Pureprayer takes you on the SpiRitual Journey to the ancient temple of Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha temple in Simhachalam.

Where is Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha temple of Simhachalam?

Temples of South India are treasure troves of sculpture, legends and mystery.

Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha temple of Simhachalam is an ancient, famous and picturesque Teertha Kshetram (pilgrimage) located 800 feet above sea level in a small hill range of the Eastern Ghats, 15 km from Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh of India.

Simhachalam is an important pilgrimage centre among the 32 Narasimha temples in the Telugu speaking region. As per the temple’s legend (which is divided into 32 chapters), Vishnu manifest in this fierce form with a boar head, human torso and a lion’s tail, after saving his devotee Prahlada.

What is Unique about Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha temple?

Except on the day of Akshaya Tritiya celebrated in Vaishaakhmaas, image of Sri Varaha Narasimha is covered with sandalwood paste throughout the year, resembling a Shiva Lingam. Sandal paste is given away as Prasadam on this day. An interesting legend connects Sri Ramanujacharya, the founder of Sri Vishishthaadvaita philosophy and this temple.

Existence of Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha temple:

This ancient temple that may have existed before 9th century CE, is said to have been developed by Kulottunga Chola I during his reign. As many as 250 inscriptions on the temple walls bear testimony to the existence of Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Narasimha Swamy temple. Some of these inscriptions are in two languages, written in Sanskrit and Telugu. Some are exclusively in Sanskrit, there are many Odia and Tamil inscriptions. The earliest inscription discovered in the temple belonged to the 11th century.

Temple Architecture:

Temple architecture is an amalgam of different styles that includes Odisha, Chalukya and Chola.  The Temple-Complex underwent developments by various dynasties like Eastern Gangas, Chalukyas of Vengi, Cholas,Kakatiyas and Vijayanagar Empire. In the latter half of the 13th century, the temple complex underwent radical physical changes during the reign of the Eastern Ganga king Narasimhadeva I. Sri Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagara Empire is said to have visited the temple and has described it in his great work, “Amuktamaalyada”.

Simhachalam temple resembles a fortress from outside with three Prakarams (outer courtyards) and five gateways. The temple faces west and meant to signify victory. Temple complex has two waterbodies. Swami Pushkarini near the temple and Gangaadhaara at the bottom of the hill. Sthala Purana (local legend) of Simhachalam consists of 32 chapters; the number denotes the manifestations of Narasimha.

The central Alayam (shrine), which rises 80 ft. high, stands on a platform that is built on a square ground plan with sides measuring 42 ft. The five-tiered Rajagopuram has been constructed magnificently above the sanctum sanctorum. Outer walls of the Rajagopuram are broken into five projections.

Circular apex of the tower is built in typical Vesara architectural style. The square Mukha Mantap is also a fusion of Odiya and Dravidian construction plan. Mukha Mantap is held by pillars beautifully adorned with inverted lotus design.

Sub shrines are believed to have been built by the Eastern Gangas in the temple-complex, which were dedicated to manifestations of Lord Vishnu: Vaikunthanatha, Yajjnavaraha, and Madhavadeva.

What are the festivals celebrated in Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha temple?

Kalyanotsavam and Chandanotsavam (Also called Chandan Yatra) are the two major festivals celebrated in the temple apart from the main events of Narasimha Jayanti, Navaratrotsava and Kamadahana.

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