Simhachalam is a small village in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The village lies very close to the city of Vishakhapatnam (Vizag). The place is very popular among the devotees of Lord Vishnu who throng the village in large numbers every year. Simhachalam has one of the eighteen shrines dedicated to Lord Narasimha, a half-man, half-lion incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The temple priests make it a point to keep the idol of Lord Narasimha covered with paste prepared from sandalwood. The idol is in the Tribhanga position and has lion head on top of a powerful human torso.
Prevailing proofs of antiquity
One can only guess the age of the temple, but an inscription on the temple dates it back to at least 1098 AD, the times of the Chola King Kuloththunga. Another inscription points to the Kalinga queen who lived between 1137 and 1156 AD. In fact, there are more than 252 inscriptions on the walls of the temple. All these inscriptions only point to the antiquity of the temple and have gained a lot of historical significance in contemporary times because they help archeologists string together the major historical events. The inscriptions on the walls of the temple are in Telugu and Oriya, and the architecture of the temple is also reminiscent of the architectural style of the two regions. Gangadhara, a holy bathing tank is also found on the hillock.
An interesting legend surrounding the deity
A very interesting legend attached to the village is that when the Muslim invaders were about to invade and loot the area, a poet named Kurmantha prayed fervently to Lord Narasimha for protection. The Lord granted him his wish by sending a swarm of copper hornets that attacked the army of the invaders forcing them out of the village. Thus, the local population of Simhachalam was saved. The place is well known for the Sri Laxmi Narasimha Swami Temple, the presiding deity of which is Lord Narasimha.
Tourist Places In and Around Simhachalam
Gangadhara and Laxmi Narasimha Swami Temple are the tourist places to be visited once you are in Simhachalam
Best time to visit Simhachalam
Though the region experiences extremely hot summers, pleasant winters provide travelers a nice time to walk around and do sightseeing.
How to reach Simhachalam
One can reach Simhachalam easily by taking roads from major towns and cities of South India, and accessibility makes this town popular with backpackers who travel through Andhra Pradesh.