Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple
Simhachalam is one of the famous temples of Lord Narasimhaswamy - an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. This 11th century temple is located on a hill and is one of the important Vaishnaivite temples in South India. The temple is located at a distance of nearly 16 Km from Visakhapatnam and is easily approachable / accessible by public transport as well as private transport / cabs from Visakhapatnam. Pilgrims can reach the temple by climbing the steep and natural stone steps as well. There is even a trekking route to reach the temple from the Maadhavadhaara side.
Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple History
The temple architecture is a blend of Orissan and Chalukyan features. The original shrine in the temple was renovated in the 11th century by Vengi Chalukyas of Andhra Pradesh. Later much of the present structure is renovated by Narasimha I of the Eastern Ganga dynasty in the 13th century. As seen from the inscriptions here, it is evident that the monarch of Vijayanagara Kingdom Sri Krishna Deva Raya visited the temple in the early 16th century.
Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple details
The temple is on a hill which is at a height of nearly 800 feet above the sea level. The uniqueness of the deity is that it is completely covered with coats and coats of sandalwood paste and hence the Moolaviraat (the original deity) cannot be seen throughout the year except on the Chandanotsavam Day. Due to these coats of sandalwood paste the original deity looks like a Shiva lingam. Few days prior to Chandanotsavam all the dried coats of sandalwood paste are removed from the main deity. And once in every year, on the Akshaya Tritiya / Akha Teej Day which falls on the 3rd day after Amavasya (no moon day) in the month of Vaisakha according to the Hindu calender, the devotees are allowed to have darshan of the Moolaviraat. And late night on this day a fresh coat of sandalwood paste is smeared on the deity after the darshan is stopped for the devotees. Hence the devotees throng the temple on this auspicious day to have the Nijaroopa Darshanam of the Lord. Once again the deity is covered with coats and coats of fresh sandalwood paste.
The temple attracts lots of pilgrims from the entire state as well as from the neighboring states esp. from Orissa.