Sri Varaha Laxmi Narasimha Swami Temple of Simhachalam is very popular among the devotees of Lord Vishnu since it is dedicated to Vishnu’s ninth incarnation, Lord Narasimha. The temple is built on the top of the hill that is called Simhachalam or the Lion Hill. The temple is said to be the second richest temple in India after that of Tirupati. The architecture of the temple showcases an amalgamation of Orissan and Dravidian style.
According to Hindu mythology, Lord Vishnu took the form of Narasimha in order to save His devotee Bhakta Prahalad from the hands of his cruel father. Prahalad’s father had been granted a boon that he could not be killed by either a man or an animal and that he wouldn’t die either on earth or on space. Lord Vishnu turned himself into a half-lion, half-man form and killed Prahalad’s father by placing him on His lap and pulling his guts out. The temple is counted among the eighteen Naarasimha Kshetras or the shrines of Lord Narasimha.
It is a belief that earlier when some Muslim invaders sought to destroy the temple, Kumaranatha, a poet piously pleaded with Lord Narasimha; a swarm of copper hornets attacked the invaders and vanished behind the hillock of Simhachala. The people of Simhachala believe that it was the Grace of Lord Narasimha which saved them and the temple from plundering and destruction.
The road leading to Simhachalm presents a pretty picture with surrounding greenery. Needless to say, the place where the temple stands is also enchanting.