Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple Simhachalam
The main idol of this temple is Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy. Lakshmi is the consort of Narasimha Swamy. There are 10 Incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Varaha is the third and Narasimha is the Fourth incarnation. The idol in this temple is the combination of two incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
The history of Simahachalam temple links back to Purana's and there are some interesting facts about this history. Those facts goes as:
There was a demon called Hiranyakasipu. Prahlada was the son of the demon King Hiranyakasipu. Prahlada was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu.
Being a demon Hiranyakasipu did not like that. He forced him to stop worshipping Vishnu and punished him severely. There are four places where he punished his son. They are:
At Visakhapatnam sea Hiranyakasipu threw a big Mountain on Prahlada and Lord Narasimha came from Vaikuntam to save Prahlada.
Every time he punished Prahlada Lord Vishnu used to save him for his devotion and he came in the form of Narasimha ( Man Lion). Nara means man and Simha means Lion.
Varaha is the Third Incarnation of Lord Narayana. In this avatara he killed demon Hiranyaaksha, the brother of Hiranyakasipu
Narasimha is the fourth incarnation of Lord Narayana. He killed Hiranyakasipu the father of Prahlada at Ahobalam.
After killing his father Prahlada prayed Lord Narasimha that he want to see a calm incarnation of both Varaha and Narismha. Then god accepted his request and told him that he will be at Simahachalam with both incarnations as Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Murthy.
Prahlada worshipped Lord Narasimha at Simahachalam. After Prahlada there was no one to worship there and an ant hill covered the idol.
After few years King Pururava one of the Shatchakravarthis, came to Simhagiri. Lord Narasimha appeared in his dreams and told about his existence. He ordered him to build a temple at that place.
According to his wish King Pururava went for the search of the idol. He found the idol and that day is Vaisakha shukla Thruthiya or Akhsaya Thruthiya ( It falls in the month of May). As the idol has been covered with an ant hill all these years God told him to cover the idol with Chandanam (SandalWood Paste) for the whole year except on the day of Akshyathruthiya when the king found the idol.
So Lord Varaha Narasimha idol can be seen only on Akshyathruthiya day. Remaining 364 days he is completely covered with Chandanam.
Chandana Yatra or Chandontsavam: This festival is the most important festival in this temple. Only on this day people can see Lord Narasimha without Chandanam and it is called as Nijarupa Darshana. On this day after removing Chandanam there will be special Abhishekam to the Lord Narasimha with 1000 vessels of water bought from Gangadhara. After that 108 coconuts and 108 times Harathi are offered to Lord.
Next day morning Lord Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha is covered with Chandana again. After that day Chandana is applied on specific days according to Telugu Calender.
1. Vaisakha Pournami (April or May): Dvithiya(Second) Chandana Samarpana
2. Jyeshta Pournami (June):Thruthiya(Third) Chandana Samarpana
3. Ashada Pournami(July):Chaturdha(Fourth) Chandana Samarpana
4.Sravana Pournami (August): On this day a soft Chandana is applied on the idol to keep Chandanam on the idol soft without getting cracks. That Chandana is called Thirumani Sri Churnamu. This is called Karaala Chandana Samarpana.
Giri Pradakshina: People turn around the Simhagiri mountain which is 40 Kms. It is called as Guru Pradakshnia. It is done on Ashada Pournami which falls in the months of July or August.
Sri Thripuranthakaswamy is the Kshetrapalaka of this temple. There is a sacred pond called Varaha Pushkarini near the temple.
Other temples around are Godadevi, Lakshmi Narayanganj Swamy, Sri Simahachalam Thayaru, Sitaramaswamy, Bhairava Swamy, Venkata Swamy.
There are other temples of Madhava Swamy, Sri Venugopala Swamy, Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy temples near Madhava Dhara which is situated 8kms from Simahachalam.
Festivals celebrated are
Ugadi, Narasimha Jayanti (Jayantuutsavam), Dhanurmasam.
One of the popular Narasimha Kshetras in South India.