Ahobilam is a holy place located in Allagadda mandal of Kurnool district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is located 70 km from Nandyal and 150 km from Kurnool, the district headquarters. It was built on the footprint of Lord Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy measuring 5 feet 3 inches. Timings are 8.00 am to 11.00 pm & 5.30 pm to 8.30 pm. The Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple is a popular location for marriage ceremonies
After witnessing this wonderful pastime, the demigods praised the Lord Narasimha as ‘ahobala’ meaning ‘the great strength’. One more meaning of ahobilam is ‘wonderful cave’, a cave in which Garuda meditated and achieved the blessings of the Lord. In order to have the darshan of Lord Narasimha.
The Ahobilam is a famous temple in South India. It is situated on the Nallamalai ranges near Nandyal Railway Station of Andhra Pradesh state. The Nallamalai ranges south of river Krishna, down to Tirupati and are called as `Sesha Parvatha`. Sesha is the name of the king of serpents. The hood of the sesha is at Tirupati, the tail at Srisailam and the middle is situated at Ahobilam. Nallamalais at the tail are called Sringiri, at the middle are called Vedagiri and Garudagiri referred to as at the hood.
The shrine of the Ahobilam temple is situated on the top of the first range and is referred to as Upper Ahobilam and down below is called as Lower Ahobilam. A huge temple surrounded by a number of buildings can be seen at the Upper Ahobilam. The main shrine or the “sacro sanctum” at Upper Ahobilam was carved out of a big egg like rock with mandapams. There is a tank here, which supplies water to the residents of the Upper Ahobliam temple. It is mainly for growing flowers for the shrine.
There is a Lower Ahobilam in the below with a big temple and enclosures, It was built according to the South Indian style. Thousands of pilgrims can also stay here in the temple. The priests of both Upper and Lower Ahobilam stay there even today.
Nine temples are dedicated to ‘Lord Narasimha’ (one of the ten incarnations of ‘Lord Vishnu’) and also situated at Ahobilam. These group of temples are named as ‘Nava Narasimha Kshetram Temples’ and also counted as one among the ‘108 Divya Desam Temples’ dedicated to Lord Vishnu. All these Nava Narasimha Kshetram Temples are in the deep and dense forest and divided by two fields as ‘Upper Ahobilam’ and ‘Lower Ahobilam’. Each region contains four temples and the other one is on the way to ‘Upper Ahobilam’ from ‘Lower Ahobilam’.
Nava Narasimha Kshetram Temples located at Upper Ahobilam are:
1. Upper Ahobilam Temple
2. Varaha Narasimha Temple
3. Jwala Narasimha Temple
4. Malola Narasimha Temple
Nava Narasimha Kshetram Temples located at Lower Ahobilam are:
1. Yoganandha Narasimha Temple
2. Chatravata Narasimha Temple
3. Paavana Narasimha Temple
4. Bhargava Narasimha Temple
And in-between the Upper Ahobilam and Lower Ahobilam, found the Karanja Narasimha Temple.
This is the main temple and earliest among all the nine temples. This temple is situated on the Upper Ahobilam at a distance of 8km from Lower Ahobilam. The deity of this temple is believed to be ‘svayambu’ (self-formed) and worshipped as ‘Lord Ahobila Narasimha Swamy’ and also called as ‘Ugra Narasimha’ because He appears here in His fierce aspect. And it is said that Ahobilam is the place where Lord Vishnu killed the demon Hiranyakashipa, appearing from the stone pillar. You can still see the Ugra Sthambam there.
Varaha Narasimha Temple
This temple is 1km away from the UpperAhobilam Narasimha Swamy Temple and ‘Krodhakara Narasimha’ is the main deity of this temple, has the face of a boar and also known as ‘Varaha Narasimha Swamy’. He presides with His consort ‘Goddess Lakshmi’ to bless the devotees. And it is said that the Simhachalam Temple was built on the exact place where Lord Vishnu appeared to save Prince Prahlada.
Jwala Narasimha Temple
This temple lies higher to Krodha Narasimha Temple on the hill ‘Achalachaya Meru’. This place is believed to be the actual spot where the fierce anger of the Lord Narashimha reached its culmination when he tore Hiranyakasipu’s stomach with his nails.. This temple is 4km away from the Upper Ahobilam Temple.
Malola Narasimha Temple
This famous ‘Malola Narasimha Swamy Temple’ is located 2km away from the main temple, Upper Ahobilam Temple. Here also Lord Narasimha presides with His consort ‘Goddess Lakshmi’ and appears in ‘soumya’ form . The word Malola means beloved to ‘Goddess Lakshmi.
Karanja Narasimha Temple
This temple is located on the way to ‘Upper Ahobilam’ from ‘Lower Ahobilam’. The image of the deity in this temple is installed under a tree called as ‘Karanja Vruksham’. Hence He is known as ‘Karanja Narasimha Swamy’.
Yoganandha Narasimha Temple
This temple is situated 2km away from the ‘Lower Ahobilam’ A legend reveals that after killing ‘Hiranyakasibhu’ ‘Lord Narasimha’ taught ‘Prahalatha’ about several yogic postures. Hence ‘Lord Narasimha’ presides here in this aspect is called ‘Yoganandha Narasimha’.
Chatravata Narasimha Temple
This temple is located 3km away from the Lower Ahobilam. The image of the deity in this temple is installed under a peepal tree and surrounded by thorny bushes. Hence Lord Narasimha is called by ‘Chatravatha Narasimha Swamy’.
Paavana Narasimha Temple
This temple is situated about 6km from the Upper Ahobilam on the banks of the river ‘Paavana’. Hence the Lord of this temple is named by ‘Paavana Narasimha Swamy’.
The famous ‘Prahalatha Varathan Sannithi’ is located near this temple In Lower Ahobilam.
Bhargava Narasimha Temple
This temple is situated 2km away from the Lower Ahobilam on the hill. There is a sacred pond called ‘Bhargava Theertham’ and is located near to this temple where ‘Bhargava Rama’ did His penance. Hence the Lord of this temple is called by ‘Bhargava Narasimha Swamy’.
Ahobilam – Lord Nrsimhadeva
(Must see this video to have full Dharshan of these beautiful temples of Ahobilam)