Simhachalam means lion hill. The temple is located on a hillock. Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy, the lion-man incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is the presiding deity of the temple. The temple is one of the eighteen "Narasimha Kshetras", the shrines of Lord Narasimha, in India. One of the most exquisitely sculpted shrines of Andhra Pradesh, Simhachalam temple is situated 16 km from Visakhapatnam (Vizag) city among thickly wooded hills on the Simhachalam Konda.
History & Architecture
The deity is in the tribhangi posture, with two hands and the head of a lion on a human torso. An inscription dated 1098 AD of the Chola King Kuloththunga provides a clue as to its antiquity. Another inscription names a queen of the Eastern Ganga of Kalinga (ancient Odisha) (1137–1156), while a third inscription says the eastern Ganga King of Kalinga, Narasimhadeva II (1279–1306), built the central shrine in 1267. More than 252 inscriptions in Oriya and Telugu describe the antecedents of the temple. The beautifully-carved 16-pillared Natya mantapa and the 96-pillared Kalyana mantapa bear testimony to the architectural brilliance of the temple.
The deity is usually covered with sandalwood paste year round and can be seen without sandalwood ("nijaroopa darshan" – holy appearance in true form) for only 12 hours per year. On Akshaya Tritiya Day, the deity is re-covered with sandalwood paste. The festival of 'Chandana yatra' or 'Chandanotsavam' falls every year in Vaisakha (May).
Simhachalam Temple Images
Bird view of Simhachalam temple
Lord Varaha wonderful stone carving
Achitectural masterpiece - fine details carved on stone
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Festivals / Events
Chandanotsavam or Nijaroopa Darshanam
The main deity inside the temple sanctorum gives 'Nijaroopa Darshan' (Original Appearance) for only 12 hours in a year on Akshaya Trutiya tidhi, the rest of the time deity is covered with sandalwood paste. The darshan described as Chandana yatra or Chandanotsavam falls every in vaisaka masa (April or May).
Starts on Chaitra Shudha Ekadasi (March or April) and celebrated for 5 days till Pournami.
This festival (Birth day of the lord) is celebrated on Vaisakha Chaturdasi (April or May).
Daily Seva & Darshan Timings
Suprabhata Seva - 4.00am
Darshanam Timings - 7.00am to 8.30pm
Breaks - 11.30am to 12.30pm; 2.30pm to 3.00pm; 7.00pm to 7.30pm
Ekantha seva - 9.00pm
Best Season & Time to Visit
What to Eat:
Yummy Jack fruits !! Nowhere else can be found the special jack fruits grown here. Don't miss the tasty jack fruits sold at the temple.