Simhachalam Temple

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India >> Andhra Pradesh >> Visakhapatnam >> Attractions >> Simhachalam Temple

Simhachalam Temple

History

The Simhachalam Temple is a Hindu temple located on a hill top 18kms from Visakhapatnam and is dedicated to Lord Narsimha – an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The hill derives its name from Simhachalam, implying ‘hill of the lion’. Millions of devotees from across the world visit this Vaishnavite shrine of south India every year.

The temple has Sri Varahalakshmi Narsimha Swamy as the presiding deity. He gives ‘nijaroopa darshan’ i.e. holy appearance in true form for only 12 hours in a year and for rest of the time, the deity is covered with sandalwood paste. The occasion of the darshan is portrayed as Chandanotsavam or the Chandana Yatra. It is only once a year, during the Chandanotsavam that the paste is removed, and the idol is seen by the devotees. As per the annual ritual, the Lord is then covered with a new fresh layer of sandalwood paste.

The deity at Simhachalam, the Narsimha avatar of Lord Vishnu looks like a Shivalinga when covered with sandalwood paste. The original form of the deity in the tribhanga position has two hands with the head of a lion on a human body.

The architecture on the temple has elements of resemblance with that of Konark. Carvings of elephants, flowers and plants on the walls and ceilings are inscribed in plenty. The temple premises also have a stunning stone chariot. The outer walls of the Kalyana Mandapa (sanctum) depict images of a majestic personality (believed to be King Narasimha) in various postures. The chamber has 16 pillars, all depicting the Narasimha incarnation of Vishnu.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit the Simhachalam Temple is during the occasion of ‘Chandanotsavam’ in the months of March – April, as it is only during this time that the devotees can get a glimpse of the idol.

Ideally, one can visit the temple and Visakhapatnam during the winter months of October to March, as the city has pleasant climatic conditions.

Trivia

Simhachalam temple is acknowledged as the second richest temple in India, after Tirupati, generating revenue of Rs 520 million.

The Simhachalam temple was built facing the West which is different from other temples that commonly face the East.

Timing

The timings for the Simhachalam Temple are from 7:00 am – 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm.




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