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. Part 1 of this travelogue can be read from: Pancha Narasimha Kshetrams Travelogue – Part 1
Our next stop is Vedadri. We take our offerings and ascend a flight of steps to reach Yoga Narasimha temple. It is drizzling and we walk carefully. Lot of monkeys around. Main deity is Yogananda Narasimha.He has a swordwith Him. This sword puts an end to diseases both physical and otherwise. The priest places Narasimha’s sword on our head and on both shoulders, washes it and puts it back . This perumal is worshipped before operations and is called a surgeon. Narasimha Pratishta was by Rishyashringa. There is a sannidhi for Lakshmi Narasimha, Chenchu Lakshmi and Rajya Lakshmi.
Our next destination is Mattapalli.
On the way to Mattapalli. We stopped to buy vegetables at Huzoor Nagar. There are two vendors selling vegetables on carts. We use Hindi and bit of Telugu to buy vegetables. We also buy some fruits and travel about 5kms to reach Mukkur swami’s guest house. We are welcomed by Smt. Vaidehi and Sri Badri who show us our rooms. Hema and Ramani get room 31 and we get 32.
Sri Mukkoor Lakshmi Narasimhacharaiyar has done many swathi yagnas in this kethram. He has opened a goshala here. Swami smiles His benign smile from the photo. For a moment adiyen feels sad that we have lost someone who would have built a bridge to SriVaikuntam if he had a longer life. But swami achieved more than a centenarian in his short life proving beyond doubt that we live in deeds not in years. My reverie is interrupted by the friendly voice of Smt Vaidehi who made us comfortable with her spontaneity and straight manner. She asked us to come for lunch and we had a sumptuous hot meal of rice, sambar, keerai kootu, bitter-gourd karamadhu, sathamadhu, and buttermilk and the bitter gourd chutney was tasty. RO system has been fixed to provide safe drinking water. Smt Vaidehi guided us and chalked out our programme: Visit Matapalli temple, attend evening sathumurai at Yagya vatika on that day. Next morning take bath at Krishna and do 32 pradaksinams. Get back to Yagya vatika attend Vishvaroopam, sathumurai, have prasadam. leave for Vadapalli and Kethavaram with packed lunch.
We did accordingly, after resting we were given coffee/tea. The madapalli kainkaryam was done by Sri Prakash assisted by SriVatsan swami the young aradhakar. After visiting temple and having darshan of Matapalli Narasimhadeva and Rajyalakshmi thayar and Andal we attended the evening aradhana at the yagya vatika. The vatika houses the deities worshipped by Swami.
At the entrance we see the image of Swami which captures His benefic smile and is life-like. Swami’s toe is folded and as we sit around Him we feel that Mahaans never die, they just vanish from our sight. The Mattapalli Mangalashtakam and Puthraprapthiashtakam are recited followed by sathumurai. Prasdam is panakam, black gram sundal. Sakkaraipongal and vangi bhath. We are provided a dinner of rice, sathumadhu lady finger karamadhu and buttermilk .
We go to sleep after Mukkur’s azhagan is put to sleep with Smt Vaidehi’s laali-Jo-jo acknowledged by Sri yagna murthi’s swinging. We get warm milk as prasadam.
11th July. We get up by 5.30 and head for a dip in The Krishna. With wet clothes we do 32 pradakshina with the bhakthas who keep count with aare pathras or turmeric.(Aare patras are special to Matapalli and perumal is worshipped them. We keep them in our godrej at home.) We go to the guest house change to dry clothes do japam, sandhya, drink coffee and do Go-puja to the cow and calf waiting for the temple to open. After Vishvarupam and sathumurai we get theertham and prasadam comprosing of piping hot pongal and kesari.
We set for our next stop Vadapalli.With us is another family of six devotees in another car. We reach the bank of the river to go by a boat to Dachepalli which would save us 40kms but the boat was under repair and it was raining intermittentlt.
Some of the pictures from Vedadri and Matapalli Temple:
Travelogue by: Vyjayanthi and Sundararajan, To be continued in next part…
Sthala Puranam about Mattapalli Narasimha Temple
- This is one of the Panchanarasimhar kshetram in Andra (Vedadri, Vadapalli, Mattapalli, Mangalagiri, Ketavaram)
- Sri Mukkoor Lakshmi Narasimhacharaiyar has done many swathi yagnas in this kethram. He has opened a goshala here.
- This Mahakshetram is situated on the banks of river Krinaveni & is 140km from vijayawada.
- Thayar thirunamam Rajya Lakshmi Thayar; Moolavar is Shree Yoganandha Lakshmi Narasihmar. VimAnam: BrahmaanandhaNilaya Vimanam.
- Theertham: Krishnaveni Theertham.
- Rishi aradhana Kshetram. Sri Bharadwaja Maharishi worshiped in this place.
Presiding Deities: Sri Yogananda Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy, Sri Raajyalakshmi Thaayar and Sri Chenchu Lakshmi Thaayar
Sthala Puranam (Temple in the legends ) :
The Maha Kshetram is in the midst of a dense and lovely forest, which instills awe and inspiration in the minds of the visiting pilgrims. In one of the caves adjoining the pilgrim town, the image of the Lord has been radiating glory from times immemorial. Legend had it that Sri Bharadwaaja Maharshi worshipped this deity everyday accompanied by several other sages. In those unknown times, only sages and gods could worship the self revealed images of Narasimha in the cave. Later the sages who had the welfare of this world at their heart, decided to throw open this holy place to the common man. An auspicious time for it came in Kali Yuga.The deity was revealed in a dream to the devotee Sri Anumala Machireddi, the ruler of Thangeda which is 3 km off Mattapalli on the opposite bank of the Krishna river. The Lord wished Machireddi to reveal his image for the good of the mankind during Kali Yuga. The ruler accompanied by his pandits, searched all the caves on the banks of river Krishna, as ordained by the Lord, but could not trace the location of the deity. Sad and depressed, he fell asleep in the forest. Again the Lord appeared in his dream and ordained him to search further, in a designated area near an “Aare” tree hidden behind the foliage in a cave. Waking up, the ruler found the cave and the image of the Lord in a seated posture, with the wellspread hood of Sesha over his head, fully adorned with Shankha Chakra Gadha and as if the Lord was being worshipped regularly, with flowers, sacred leaves, fruits etc. Overjoyed, the ruler revealed the Maha Kshetram to the general public and constructed a Mukhaalaya.
The name and fame of Machireddi has lived down to this day and we still see his benevolence and benefaction inscribed in the golden kalasams in the Siva temple of Srisailam,and others like Kasi Visheswara, Lord Gopala in Thangeda etc.However the fort of Thangeda is now in ruins.
An incident in history :
Chennuri Sri Narasimha Rao, Chairman of the temple committee, said that one ” Chennuri Giramma”, belonging to his great-grand-forefathers was an ardent devotee of Sri Mattapalli Narasimha. She lived during the period of the Mughal emperor Aurangazeb. When Mughal forces were to attack the temple, she prayed to the Lord to dispell the danger. Then the Lord created countless bees which attacked and drove the Mughal soldiers away. Their attempt to capture this temple proved a futile exercise. However there is no historic recorded information to support this.
Description of the Garbhagriha ( sanctum sanctorum ) :
To the left of the manifested Lord, there is a black, stone image of Lakshmi which is 1.5 feet in height, in a sitting posture on a lotus. She holds lotus flowers in her upper hands. Her lower right hand is in Abhaya posture and the left hand is in Suchi posture. Below the Lakshmi image, there is another image of Lakshmi, which is carved on a rock. As Lakshmi is not visible to the visitors, the image of Rajya Lakshmi is installed for the ‘darsan’ of the devotees. It was consecrated in 1975. She holds chakra in her upper right hand and Sankha in her left hand. She holds lotus buds in her lower hands. She is in sitting posture. She is 1.25 feet in height. She wears a makuta on Her head.
Before the presiding deity, at a lower level, the utsava idols of the Lord are installed. There are also copper images of Sudarsana, Nammazhwar and another Azhwar.
To the right side of the sanctum, leading to the north door, there are eleven black stone images of the Azhwars, seven of which face the west and the remaining four face east. There is a trench on the left side of the Lord at some distance in the cave, which it is believed to lead to the river Krishna through an underground passage.
Description of the temple :
There is an entrance to the temple which faces the south. There is a fleet of steps leading down to the river Krishna just outside the main temple but within the compound.
Vaikhaanasa Aagama is followed here. The priest is a Sri Vaisnava who is a heriditory priest. There is a Vedic pandit who recites Vedas and other mantras at appropriate occasions. The daily programme of the temple is as follows:
- 05.00 Suprabhatam
- 0600 Viswaroopam and Abhishekham after removing kavachams
- 0700 1000 Darsanam
- 1000 Sahasranama Archana
- 1130 Balabhogam and Viniyogam
- 1200 Dvarabandhanam
- 1600 Reopening of Temple doors and Archana
- 1700 1900 Darsanam
- 1900 Naivedyam and Viniyogam
- 1930 Kavaatabandhanam
Special Events :
On every friday, ther is a seva of Andal at 6pm with the procession by devotees. Adhyayana utsavas precede the annual festival of the Lord for 3 days from Chaithra Sudhdha Dasami to Dvadasi. The annual festival is celebrated from Chaithra Sudhdha Trayodasi to Bahula Tadiya.
The following festivals are celebrated in the temple viz., Ugadi, Sri Raama Navami, Sri Nrusimha Jayanthi, Sri Krishna Jayanthi, Vijaya Dasami, Vaikuntha Ekadasi, Dhanurmasa Aaradhanam and Sankaranthi.
On the occasion of the Brahmotsavas, Mukkoti Ekadasi and Nrusimha Jayanthi, about 5000 devotees from local and other areas congregate. During these days, one-act-plays, dramas, dances, harikatha, bhajan and songs afford entertainment to the devotees. The special feature of this temple is giving free food to all the pilgrims on these days.
Importance of this Kshetram :
There is a popular verse which goes thus :-
“Ekameva Kshetram, Mattapalli Kshetram,Na Anyat Kshetram, Mattapalli Tulyam,Ekameva Tatvam, Mattapalli Naatham,na Anyat Tatvam, Palli Simha Tulyam“
There is a belief that incurable diseases will be cured and the evil spirits will be driven out and all desires will be fulfilled by the Lord if one stays in Mattapalli for 11 days and 11 nights and performs 32 pradakshinams thrice a day with wet clothes having bathed in the Krishna river each time.