History of the TempleIn Treta yugam, there lived a sage named Yadarishi. He was the son of great sage Rishyasrunga and Santa Devi. It is said that he did penance inside a cave on this hill between Bhongir and Raigiri with the blessings of Lord Anjaneya to please Lord Narasimha. Seeing his great devotion, Lord Narasimha appeared in front of him in five different forms as Jwala, Ugra, Gandabherunda, Yogananda and Lakshminarasimha. They later turned themselves into finely sculpted forms and worshipped now as Pancha Narasimha Kshetram. The Puranas and traditional accounts related to this shrine are widely popular among the devotees. There is also a mention about the origin of the temple in Skanda Purana.
According to one more legend, it is said that Lord Vishnu, mesmerized by Yadarishi’s penance, sent Sri Anjaneya to take Rishi to the holy spot. It is at this spot; Lord Narasimha appeared in front of him in the form of Lakshmi narasimha. The spot can be still seen at the foot of Yadagiri hillock, which is just 500 metres from the temple. Sage Yadarishi worshipped Lord for many years on this hillock. After the sage attained moksha, number of tribals came here to worship the Lord. But not being very learned, these devotees began to indulge in improper worship. As a result, Sri Lakshmi narasimha moved into the hills. The tribal devotees searched their Lord for many years but couldn’t find him.
Many years later, Lord appeared in the dream of a devoted lady of the tribe and directed him to the cave and revealed himself to all showing his five majestic avatars. The puja vidhanam (Puja procedure) was set by Late Sri Vangeepuram Narasimha charyulu who served as Sthanacharya of this temple. Lord Narasimha is also called as “Vaidya Narasimha” among his devotees as he cures many chronic diseases and makes one immune to the influence of bad planets, witchcraft and black magic. A mandala (40 day) pradakshina is performed by many devotees to please the Lord to get cured of chronic diseases.
Construction of the TempleAs soon as you enter the Simhadwaram of the Temple, you will see Hanuman temple on the right side. There is a horizontal rock gap of about 10 inches width and 60 square feet in area exactly below the Hanuman image. This horizontal narrow cave is believed to be the spot where the Lord manifested himself as “Gandhabherunda”, one of the Swarupas of Lord Narasimha. A big hall is there towards the left side, where the devotees generally sit. The front pillar of the temple is a constructed sculpture whereas the rear pillars exhibits the actual shrine of the God, the ‘Garbha Gudi’, a natural cave of about 30 feet length and 12 feet width cut into a hill. At the top of the Sikharam of Sanctum Sanctorum of this temple, is the golden Sudarshana Chakra (about 3 ft x 3 ft) of Lord Vishnu. The weapon is a symbol by which this temple is identified from as far as 5 km. The cave is formed under a huge rock and passage is of just 5 feet in height. Thus, the very natural formation of the cave itself makes one bow involuntarily to the Lord. Special Pujas are performed at Peetha, which is on the left side of the passage. There are also the actual images of the Lord at the end of the cave. One can see the two rocks forming a vertical cup of about one foot between them. On one of the rock, we can see the image in the shape of a serpent head. This is said to be the one more Swarupa of Lord Narasimha known as “Jwala Narasimha”.
It is also said that the divine serpent still moves about the image. On the opposite rock, there is another image of a figure seated in intense meditation and this is believed to be the image of Yogananda Narasimha, the third Swarupa of Lord Narasimha.
The idols of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Narasimha are made in silver and kept at the original ‘Vigraha’ for worship. The superstructure of the temple has its base on the huge rock which forms the cave.
Best Time to VisitOctober to March
The annual Brahmothsavam is celebrated in the month of February or March every year. Thousands of pilgrims flock here during this 11 days long festival.