This travelogue is about Pancha Narashima Kshetrams in Andhra Pradesh. Its highly significant to visit these five Narasimha temples. The Pancha Narashima Kshetram are : Vadapalli, Mattapalli, Kethavaram, Vedadri and Mangalagiri.
- Mattapalli Sri Lakshmi Narashima Swamy, The temple is situated on the banks of River Krishna at Mattapalli in Huzurnagar Talaq of Nalgonda District, Andhra Pradesh. The place is about 225 kms from Hyderabad, and 25 Kms from Huzurnagar.
- Vedadri Yogananda Lakshmi Narashima Swamy temple: The temple is on the bank of Krishna River and it’s located in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh. It’s about 10 kms from chillakallu on the national highway from Vijayawada to Hyderabad
- Vadapalli This is the first pancha Narashima kshetram: This place is 20 kms from Miryalaguda station which is on Hyderabad to Chennai via Nalgonda.
- Mangalagiri Panakala Narashimar. The place is about 20kms from Vijayawada.
- Kethavaram Sri Narasimha Temple, Kedavaram is located in Guntur district
Four of us – Hema and Ramani, Vyjayanthi and Sundararajan arrived at Vijayavada station from Tirupathi at about 2.00AM on Wednesday 10th July 2013. We had contacted Sri Mukkur Niruhari Nivas Mattapalli, booked two AC rooms ( Rs 500 per day) at Matapalli and they arranged to send a car to pick us up from Vijayawada. We contacted the driver Kishore and met him near the clock tower outside the station. We asked him to take us to a place where we could bathe and get ready to go to Mangalagiri our first destination. We had to pay Rs.500/- for the room. We took bath, got ready and after our morning prayers Sandhyavandanam- japam , left the place by 5.30 AM. The driver knew Hindi and took us for coffee before our yatra started.
Our first stop was Lakshmi Nrisimha Temple. We saw a huge gopuram, imposing and majestic and very different in structure from the usual gopurams. It is 153 ft high 49 feet wide with 11 storeys. The temple houses Laksmi Nrisimha swami, Rajyalakshmi thayar, Sri Rama parivara and a vahana mandapa housing golden Garuda vahana, silver Hanuman vahana etc. We make our offerings (Before starting a yatra we buy diamond sugar candy, cashew nuts, almonds and raisins and mix them well.). As we make our way out the canopy of the temple chariot catches our attention.
From here we drive uphill to reach the famous Panaka Narasimha temple. We buy tickets for kalkandu panakam offering (Rs 70) and are puzzled to receive a small packet of kalkandu. Only after entering the cave we realize that this candy is not for the panakam but for offering. We are mesmerized by Sri Nrisimha with His mouth wide open. Where is the rest of Him we wonder as the priest pours panakam down His throat till we hear a swallowing gurgle at which point the priest stops the pouring. The effect was electrifying. We wanted to see this phenomenon again. Thankfully only one family had offered so we got to witness this Marvel again. Totally overwhelmed by our Bhaktha jana priya Narasimha ,The Simply Great God, we make our way out and drink the wonderful panaka prasada spiced with black pepper powder and climb up a few steps to see a huge image of Hanuman.
We climb further up to Thayar sannidhi. There is a beautiful golden door with Lakshmi images. We wait for sometime reciting Tiruppavai when we notice a cave further up. Inside we find Narasimha, Nammazhwar and Ramanuja.
From this point we could see the Lakshmi Narasimha temple Gopuram and the area around, while waiting we see the priest coming. He knocks at Thayar’s door goes behind the screen lights the lamp while we wait for the screen to open. We are blessed with the sight of Rajyalakshmi on the wall. Jaganmatha was so tiny and cute and captivating. Ashotthara archana was performed with kumkum. We offered Turmeric powder and kalkandu mix. We got four glass bangles as prasadam along with kumkum and happily made our way down.
Some of the pictures from Mangalagiri Temple:
Travelogue by: Vyjayanthi and Sundararajan
Our next Narasimha was Vedadri -Yogananda Lakshmi Narashima Swamy temple, to be continued in part 2 of this travelogue…