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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ahobilam Temple

Lower Ahobilam Temple
Garuda wished for a vision of Lord Nrisimha in the form of the Avathara. To fulfill his wish, the Lord settled in the hills around Ahobilam in the midst of dense forests in nine different forms. For this reason this hill came to be known as Garudadri, Garudachalam, and Garudasailam.
Ahobilam is the place where the Lord killed Hiranyakasipu and saved Prahalada. Mahalakshmi took avathar as Senjulakshmi among the Senju, tribal hunters of the hills, and married the Lord.
Sri Ahobila Muth, one of the most important Sri Vaishnava religious institutions in India, was established by Sri Athivan Satakopan at the instructions of Lord Lakshmi Nrisimha of Ahobilam. In fact, the utsava moorthy of the Malola Nrisimha temple, one of the nine shrines of Ahobilam, is the presiding deity of Sri Ahobila Mutham. Sri Malolan accompanies Srimad Azhagiya Singar, the spiritual and titular head of Sri Ahobila Mutham, on his travels.
Thirumangai Azhvaar has sung ten verses about this temple in Periya Thirumozhi.

History of Ahobilam Temple ( Sthala Puranam )
The Himalayas rise high to the Everest in the north while the far south of India shows the deep sea - rather communion of the three oceans. The western region and the eastern region of the Peninsular India, on the other hand, while tapering towards Kanyakumari, exhibit a wide range of mountains known as Western Ghats present wholesome sceneries and adventurous travel both by rail and road, the Eastern Ghats display not only picturesque view but demonstrate divinity as well. The Eastern Ghats are likened to the great serpent Adhisesha basking in the sun with its head (or hood) at Thirumala, its middle at Ahobilam and its tail- end portion at Srisailam - all the three with famous temples on them.
The subject we have before us is Ahobilam. Of course, Thirupathi and Srisailam are also frequented pilgrimage centres. Ahobilam because of this special issue. Not only Mahabharatha; but also ancient puranas like Koorma Purana, Padma Purana and Vishnu Purana mention about Ahobilam and its presiding deity Narasimha. In fact, Brahmanda Purana says that this place was once the palace of Hiranyakasipu who was slain by Sriman Narayana manifesting as Narasimha from a pillar there for the sake of his staunch devotee Prahlada. Vagaries of time brought about the destruction of the then existing structures yielding place to nature's creation of the mountain range that preserved the site of incarnation as "Svayam Vyakta Kshetram" of Lord Narasimha.
According to Stala Purana, there are two popular legends for the derivation of the word 'Ahobilam'. It is stated that the Devas (Gods), while witnessing the terrific aspect (Ugra Kala), the lord took on in order to tear to pieces Hiranyakasipu sung in His praise as 'Ahobala' (Lo: the strength). Hence this place has come to be known as Ahobilam. In support of this, there is a prapatthi sloka about-Ahobilam that reads:-
"Aho Veeryam Aho Souryarn Aho Bahuparakramah
Naarasimham Param Daivam Ahobilam Aho Balam.
The other version is that because of the great cave, the Ahobila, where Garuda worshipped, did penance and realised the lord, the place itself has come to be called Ahobilam. The Ahobilam 'Kaifiyat' gives support to this legend. (The Ahobilam Kaifiyat forming part of Mackenzie collections gives very valuable information regarding the Ahobilam temples. Kaifiyats - the digests from 'Kaviles' or village registers containing information on the political, social, religious and other conditions of the villages in Deccan were prepared by Pandits and Mussadis working under Col. Mackenzie.) The Ahobilam Kaifiyat is in Telugu and available in the State Archives at Hyderabad (vide "Ahobila Narasimhaswamy temple" - Monograph by P. Sitapati, Commissioner of Archives).
As per this record, "On one of the mountains in the Nallamalai hills range, eight amadas from Srisaila Kshetra, Garuda commenced silent penance to obtain a vision of Lord Narasimha who destroyed Hiranyakasipu. The Lord in his grace, after long years of the tapas of Garuda, manifested Himself in the cave of a mountain".
"Ten 'Paruvus' to the north-east of the mountain, where Garuda was doing penance, a vision of His manifestation was then granted to Garuda, who after obtaining a sign of the location of the mountain-cave, gladly traveled thither and saw the embodiment of the Sathsvaroopa,' Mahapurusha, Lord Jwalanarasimha - not easily accessible to common people. Garuda then worshipped the Lord and praised him that 'Ahobilam is Mahabalam' (Ahobilam is a great sustainer with strength). The Lord's Divya Mangala Vigraha was worshipped by him with several sthotras- Garuda then considered himself as blessed after a vision of the Lord. This divine place thereafter obtained the deserving name of Ahobilam".
"The mountain on which Garuda performed tapas became famous as Garudachala. In the days of yore when truth and dharma prevailed, great heat was observable near the mountain- cave of Ahobila; according to legend when green grass was put in the cave, it would catch fire and smoke would be emitted. Several great Rishis lived there for a time; after sometime with the knowledge that great places would become common Janapadas in the Kali age, they left for northern lands, covering up the Narasimha cave with boulders. Traditionally therefore this place is being called the Narasimha Kshetra. There are thus nine Narasimha places, Nava-Narasimhas; Rishi- installed and worshipping areas:
Jwala Ahobila Malola Kroda Karanja Bhargava
Yogananda Kshatravata Pavana Nava Moorthayaha.
The Nine Narasimhasthalas are :- 1. Jwala Narasimha 2. Ahobila Narasimha 3. Malola Narasimha 4. Kroda Narasimha 5. Karanja Narasimha 6. Bhargava Narasimha 7. Yogananda Narasimha 8. Kshatravata Narasimha and 9. Pavana or holy Narasimha.
Before visiting these nine shrines, let us see how we approach the place. Situated in the Nallamalai Hills, Ahobilam is about 24 Kms. from Allagadda Taluk Headquarters, 112 Kms. from Cudappah and 65 Kms. from Nandyal in Andhra Pradesh and can be reached by bus from Hyderabad and also by rail via Kurnool and then by bus from there. Long long ago, the Tamil mystic bard, Thirumangai Azhwar sang that Singavel Kunram (Ahobilam) was accessible to none but Gods.
Due to the efforts of the current 45th Srimad Azhagiyasingar, the access routes to several of the shrines have been greatly simplified such that people of different age groups are now able to visit the places easily. The whole complex is in two parts - one called Eguvu Ahobilam (Upper Ahobilam) with Nava Narasimha shrines and the other called Diguvu Ahobilam (Lower Ahobilam) with a single shrine for Lakshmee Narasimha connected by a road, stretching a distance of about 12.8 Kms. from Lower Ahobilam to Upper Ahobilam.
The Sthalapurana of Ahobilam in Sanskrit gives an account of nine forms of Narasimha, worshipped here. They are: -

The Bhargava Narasimha Swamy is situated at a distance of two kilometres from the Lower Ahobilam, on a hill, near the sacred pond, known as 'Bhargava Theertham', where Bhargava Rama performed his penance. Hence the Lord of the temple is known as Bhargava Narasimha Swamy.

This temple is to the south-east of Lower Ahobilam at a distance of 2 kilometres. The popular legend is that after killing Hiranyakasipu, Lord Narasimha taught Prahlada several yogic postures. Therefore, the Lord in this aspect is called Yogananda Narasimha.

About three kilometres from lower Ahobilam, the image of the deity is installed under a peepal tree, surrounded by thorny bushes. Hence, the Lord is called as Chatravata Narasimha Swamy.

The temple, situated on the Upper Ahobilam, at a distance of eight kilometres from the Lower Ahobilam, is the main temple and the earliest of all the nine temples there. The Lord here appears in his fierce aspect, called Ugra Narasimha, who is the presiding deity of the temple and is known as Ahobila Nrisimha Swamy. It is firmly believed the Lord Narasimha was 'Svayambhu' (self-manifest) here.

The temple of this Lord is one kilometre away from the main temple of Ahobila Nrisimha Swamy on the Upper Ahobilam. The image of the deity has the face of a boar (varaha or kroda) and the Lord is seen along with his Consort, Lakshmi. Hence the Lord of the temple is known as Krodakara (Varaha) Narasimha Swamy here.

This shrine is situated at a distance of one kilometre from the Upper Ahobilam and one furlong from the road leading to Lower Ahobilam. The image of the deity is installed under a tree, called 'Karanja Vruksham'. Hence this Lord is called Karanja Narasimha Swamy.

Nearly two kilometres from the main temple of Upper Ahobilam, is the famous shrine of Malola Narasimha Swamy. The deity here appears in 'soumya' (graceful) form. As Lord Narasimha is seen with his consort, Lakshmi, He is known as Malola Narasimha Swamy. The word 'Malola' means beloved to Lakshmi (Ma=Lakshmi, Lola= beloved). It is said that the 'utsavamoorthi' of the Lord appeared to Srimath Adivan Satakopa Jeeyar, the first Jeeyar of Ahobila Mutt. Right from the founder, i.e., the first Jeeyar of Ahobila Mutt down to the 44th pontiff, Srivan Satakopa Sri Vedanta Desika Yatheendra Mahadesika, the present jeeyar, the utsavamoorthi of Malola Narasirnha Swamy is worshipped and it is taken by them whenever they are on religious tours, visiting the villages every year. Recently, the 45th Jeeyar Srivan Satakopa Sri Narayana Yatheendra Mahadesikan has taken over the worship.

The temple of Jwala Nrisimha Swamy, lies higher up the above temple, on a hill called, 'Achalachaya Meru'. This is about four kilometres from the Upper Ahobilam temple. This place is said to be the actual spot, where the fierce anger of the Lord reached its culmination when he tore Hiranyakasipu.

Nearby the above temple, is the shrine of Pavana Narasimha, on the banks of the river, Pavana and it is about six kilometres from the Upper Ahobilam temple. Hence the Lord of the shrine is known as Pavana Narasimha Swamy.
In addition to the shrines mentioned above, there is a famous shrine dedicated to God Narasimha Swamy in the Lower Ahobilam, which is popularly known as Prahlada Varada Sannidhi. The other objects of this place are 'Ugra Sthambham' and 'Prahlada Mettu'.
At a distance of eight kilometres from the Upper Ahobilam temple, we can see a cleft of the mountain dividing it into two visible parts. It is a long-held view that from the cleft, the Lord appeared in the form of Narasimha and this cleft is known as 'Ugra Sthambham'.
The small shrine, situated in a cave on the hill, is in between Ugra Sthambham and the Upper Ahobilam. It is dedicated to Prahlada Narashimha Swamy. The image of the Prahlada is installed in a small cave.
There are a number of holy 'theerthas' (water ponds) round this place. Of these, Rakthakundam is the most important. It is stated that Lord Narasirnha after killing the demon Hiranyakasipu, washed his hands in this 'theertham' and hence the water is still reddish in appearance. (History of the cult of Narasimha in Andhra Pradesh by Dr. M. Narasimhacharya).

The temple surrounded by three prakaras in the Lower Ahobilam is dedicated to Prahlada Varada i.e., the Lord whose grace bestows on Prahlada. With Vijayanagar style noticeable in the structure, there are a number of mandapas outside the temple. A shrine dedicated to Sri Venkateswara exists to the south west of this Narasimha temple and lends view to the episode that Lord Venkateswara obtained the blessings of Narasimha just before his marriage with Padmavathi. The Mukha Mandapa there, is now used as the Kalyana Mandapa of Narasimha Swamy. With Lakshmeenarasimha as the presiding Deity, the main temple consists of a sanctum, Mukhamandapam and Rangamandapam with numerous pillars intricately carved and carrying rich sculptures. There are also three smaller shrines for Lakshmi, Andal and Azhwars. In the sanctum are also kept the Utsava idols of Prahlada Varada, Pavana Narasimha and the processional idols of Jwala Narasimha endowed with ten hands and with Sreedevi and Bhoodevi on His either side. A small idol of the first Jeeyar, Sri Adivan Satakopa Swami is also kept before them.
What is apparent and observable is Lord Narasimha's posture in three places including the one in a polar of a divine ascetic presenting ascetic order to the first Jeeyar of Ahobila Mutt. Both in the Upper and Lower Ahobilam, it is a common sight on the pillars of Lord Narasimha wooing His consort Chenchulakshmi. The Lord chasing Hiranyakasipu in one pillar and bursting forth from another pillar to tear him are very realistic. Thanks to the 44th Jeeyar's efforts as also that of the Endowments Department of A.P. Government, the complex has been renovated, though a lot is desired to be done. It would not be out of place to mention that good resting places, free or paid boarding arrangements (as is done in Thirupathi), provision of enough drinking water and Devasthanam canteens would go a long way to attract more number of pilgrims. The annual uthsavam (Brahmothsava) performed in February every year is a great attraction that lure both the common folk and the religious Pandits to participate in them. Though under the care of the Ahobila Mutt whose Jeeyars are hereditary trustees, co-operation from the public and the government would help improve Ahobilam further.
There is a tall Jayasthambham erected in the spacious ground outside the temple walls to mark the victory of Krishnadeva Raya. The Kakatheeya Kings especially Prathapa Rudra had also contributed towards additional structures and maintenance of this Ahobilam complex.
Sri Thirumangai Azhwar describes the place as very hard to visit (sendru kandarkku ariya kovil, kavvu naayum kazhugum, deivamallal sella vonna), but due to the efforts of the 45th Azhagiyasingar, this place has transformed into "sendru kaandarku eliya (easy) kovil. Many devotees visit ahobilam frequently and the place is well connected with a guest house and access to trains from Chennai, Bangalore and Bombay. In addition, several tourist operators also frequently arrange religious trips to Ahobilam from major cities.

Legend of Chenchu Lakshmi

After slaying Hiranyakashyapa, Lord Narasimha proceeded to the Nallamala forest in his UgraAvataram (aggressive form). The devas were worried about this form and prayed to Goddess Lakshmi to pacify him. She took form as Chenchu Lakshmi, a tribal girl, in the same forest. On seeing her, Lord Narasimha asked her to marry him. She put him through a lot of tests to calm him down completely before agreeing to marry him.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Mahanandi Temple

                                                                   Mahanandi Temple    

       Mhanandi Temple History :          మహానంది) may be a village settled east of the Nallamala Hills close to Nandyal, Kurnool District, state, India. it\'s a picturesque village encircled by thick forests. inside fifteen kilometre of Mahanandi, there area unit 9 Nandi shrines called Nava Nandis. Mahanandi is one amongst the Nava Nandis. The Mahanandiswara Swamy Temple, an important shrine, is found here. This ancient temple dates back over one,500 years. The inscriptions of tenth century tablets speak of the temple being repaired and remodeled many times.

Mahanandi Temple Photos & Images

Mahanandi (Telugu)These 9 temples area unit Mahanandi, Shivanandi, Vinayakanandi, Somanandi, Prathamanandi, Garudanandi, Suryanandi, Krishnanandi (also referred to as Vishnunandi) and Naganandi.
A festival is command here annually during Feb and March to celebrate maha Shivaratri, the good Night of Shiva.

Mahanandi is regarding 14 km from Nandyal stop. the closest aerodrome is at Hyderabad, that is regarding 215 kilometre from Kurnool, and also the nearest railroad station is at Nandyal.

Mahanandi Temple pools

The temple is legendary for its fresh water pools, called Kalyani or Pushkarni. The design of the pools and temple shows the ability of the Vishwakarma Brahmins.
The main temple is surrounded by 3 pools: 2 small pools at the entrance and one massive pool within the temple itself. This holy tank is 60 sq. feet (5.6 m2) with an outdoor collapsible shelter referred to as a mandapa within the centre. The inlets and retailers of the tank area unit organized in order that the depth of the water is consistently unbroken at 5 feet, so sanctionative pilgrims to wash within the holy waters.
A peculiarity of the water supply is that it's a continuing flow regardless of the amendment of seasons. The water supply originates at the Garbhagruha (inner shrine) just under Swayambhu Linga. One will bit the water close to the Shiva Linga (symbol of Shiva). The devotees offers prayers and bit the Shiva Linga. this can be uncommon, as a result of historically at temples, the most immortal is unbroken off from the bit of the devotees.
The water is known for its crystalline and healing qualities and is ever warm. The outgoing water irrigates a 2000 acres (8.1 km2) of fertile land close the village. the encompassing area unitas are underneath production with rice fields, fruit, vegetable and flower gardens.The temple is acknowledge for the konneru. The water throughout the winter season are going to be very popular and the other way around throughout the summer.

Address  :
Base Station: Nandyal (15 Kms)
State: state - State Map          District: Kurnool - District Map
Nearest City: Kurnool (80 Kms), Hyderabad (288 Kms)    Geographical Position: fifteen.471111, 78.626667 (Lat, Long)
Best Time to Visit: June to February               Peak Season: Maha shivaratri festival time.

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

yaganti temple in rayalaseem

Yaganti temple


This temple was constructed by King Harihara Bukka Rayalu of the Sangama Dynasty of the Vijayanagara Empire in the 15th century. It was built according to Vaishnavaite traditions.
One story of the site's origin is as follows: The sage Agastya wanted to build a temple for Lord Venkateswara on this site. However, the statue that was made could not be installed as the toe nail of the idol got broken. The sage was upset over this and performed a penance for Lord Shiva. When Lord Shiva appeared, he said the place suits Shiva better as it resembles Kailash. Agastya then requested Lord Shiva to give the devotees a Parvathi Goddess as Lord Uma Maheswara in a single stone, which Lord Shiva obliged.

A second story is as follows: Chitteppa, a devotee of Lord Shiva, was worshiping Lord Shiva and Lord Shiva appeared to him as a tiger. Chitteppa understood that it was Lord Shiva in tiger form, and shouted Neganti Shivanu ne kanti (meaning: I saw Shiva I saw), and danced with joy. There is a cave called 
Chitteppa nearby.