AHOBILAM

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» South India
» Andhra Pradesh
Location : 74-km From Nandyal, Kurnool District
Presiding Deity : Lord Narasimha In Nine Forms
Architecture : Vijayanagar Style
What To See : Nine Shrines Of Lord Narasimha

Ahobilam, is a great religious centre of considerable antiquity, it is located 74-km from Nandyal and 26-km from Allagaddal. It is a reputed Hindu pilgrim centre, especially for Vishnavites. The temple is divided into two parts- the lower 'Ahobilam' and the upper Ahobilam. The upper Ahobilam is a plateau 2,800' above sea level.

Ahobilam Temple, Andhra PradeshThe two crests of the hill are being called "Vedadri" and "Garudadri", through which the sacred 'Bhavanasani Teertham' flows. The Teertham divides into two and joins Kumadavati and Pennar. The Teertham is said to be an 'Antarvahini' i.e., a river that flows inside during part of its course. This place is known as "Singavel Kundram". This temple lies in the Centre of three 'Prakara', which are built in the Vijayanagar style.

The Legends
The lord in upper Ahobilam is said to be a 'Swayambu' i.e., self-manifest. There are two popular legends for the, derivation of the word Ahobilam. It is stated that the 'Devas', while witnessing the 'Ugrakala' of the Lord and the terrific aspect he took on in order to tear to pieces Hiranyakasipu, sang in his praise and hence the place has come to be known as Ahobilam. The other version is that because of the great cave, the Ahobila, where 'Garuda' worshipped and realised the Lord, the place itself is come to be called Ahobila. 'Chenchus' are a peculiar tribal people who live in these hills.

The temple of 'Prahlada Varada' is 'Lakshminarasimha'. Down the hill, is the lower Ahobilam, which is dedicated to Lord Narasimha - one of the 'Dasha Avatars' of Lord Vishnu, which he took on in order to kill the demon Hiranyakashyapu. From the foot of the hill one has to ascend up the hill, to reach what is called Upper Ahobilam At upper Ahobilam worship is offered to 'Navanarasimhas', the nine forms of Lord Narasimha. Nearby this temple there is 'Alwar Koneru', which supplies good drinking water.

Nine Forms Of Lord Narasimha
There is a temple of 'Chatravata Narasimha' (first form), about a mile and a half from the main temple. The image of the deity is installed under pippal tree surrounded thorny bushes.

'Yogananda Narasimha', is the second form of the nine forms. The popular legend is that after destruction of Hiranyakasipu, Lord Narasimha taught Prahlada his disciple, several yogic postures and the Lord in this aspect is called Yogananda Narasimha. The temple is a magnificent one, with a 'mandapa' and 'gopura'. It is said that the 'Maha Rishis', 'Gobhila' and 'Bharadwaja' are said to have done 'Tapascharya' in order to rid themselves of the sins that they had committed.

Amongst several shrines of Narasimha installed on the hill path, about six miles, and is cut across virgin hills and forests, and served by several cascades of exquisite natural beauty is a shrine of 'Karanda Narasimha' (third form).

Very near is the shrine of Yogananda Narasimha is the shrine of 'Guha Narasimha' (fourth form), at the entrance of which is a huge pillar.

In a southern slope of the hill the Lord in his fierce aspect called 'Ugra Narasimha' (fifth form) is worshipped. The popular belief is that Lord Vishnu emerged as Ugra Narasimha and killed the demon from the pillar, which Hiranyakasipu kicked asking his son to prove whether Lord Vishnu was immanent in that pillar. It is said that the existing pillar is the same pillar.

The shrine of 'Kroda Narasimha' (sixth form), where the Lord is worshipped in the form of a boar is located at three furlongs from the shrine of Ugra Narasimha. It is believed that if 'Narayana Satakshari Japa' and 'Parayana' of 'Varahakanda' are done at this-shrine for three days, it bestows immense spiritual benefit to the devotee.

The famous shrine of 'Malola Narasimha' (seventh form) is located just two miles from Kroda Narasimha Shrine. The deity here is a 'Santaroopa', always in sport with the divine mother Lakshmi. The famous 'Kakathiya' King 'Prataparudra' has donated the 'Utsava Vigraha' made of gold, which is under worship, by the great spiritual seers of Ahobilam called the "Ahobilam Jeers".

The 'Jwala Narasimha' shrine (eighth form), an eight armed form rushing out of the pillar is where the Ugrakala of the Lord is seen, and this is said to be the actual spot, where the fierce anger of the Lord reached its climax when he tore Hiranyakasipu.

Nearby, is the 'Pavana Narasimha' (ninth form), where worship in the 'Shakta' form of the worship of the Lord, is said to be done.

Festivals
Sri 'LakshmiNarasimha Swami Bramotsavam' is celebrated annually for four days from 'Phalguna Suddha Panchami' (February-March). About 20,000 Hindu devotees attend it.

HOW TO GET THERE

Rail & Road: There are three routes, which a tourist can opt for to reach Ahobilam according to their convenience. Pilgrims from the north can get down at Nandyal, which is a railway junction from Kurnool, and travel by bus to Allagadda and Ahobilam, which is only thirty miles from Nandyal.

The second route is from Dhone which is another railway station and from which one can reach Ahobilam via Banganapalli and Koilakuntla.

The other and easy route is to get down at Cuddapah, which is a district headquarters and an important railway station in the Chennai - Mumbai route. From Cuddapah one has to travel to Allagadda, which is forty miles over and from there by bus to Ahobilam.

WHERE TO STAY

Tourists can stay at Lakshmi Nilayam Tourist rest house, TTD Choultry and Arya Vysya Choultry at lower Ahobilam.



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