Ahobilam Nava Narasimhar Temples

                                                        Photo courtesy: Sri Ahobila Mutt

About the temples and Specialties

Ahobilam is among the 108 divyadesams of Sri Vaishnavas and is the incarnation place of Lord Narasimhar. Lord Narasimha emerged from a pillar here to protect Prahalada and kill the asura Hiranyakashapu. The hills are called Garudadri and are in the shape of Garuda with centre body portion and two wings. The Ahobila Mutt was set up here and the utsava moorthy of Sri Malola Narasimhar is the presiding deity of the mutt.

When Lord Srinivasa married Padmavathi thayar, the neivedyam was offered to Ahobilam's Lord Narasimhar. It is said that the palan a person gets by staying one day in Ahobilam is equal to staying 1000 yugams in Kasi, 100 yugams in Gaya and 20 yugams in Prayag. 

The devotees are said to be freed from Navagraha doshams by worshipping at these temples as each of the nine Narasimhars dominate each of the Navagrahas

Jwala Narasimha            --  Angaraka
Ahobila Narasimha         --  Guru
Malola Narasimha          --  Sukra
Krodha Narasimha         --  Rahu 
Karanja Narasimha        -- Chandra
Bhargava Narasimha      --  Surya 
Yogananda Narasimha   --  Shani
Kshatravata Narasimha  --  Kethu
Paavan Narasimha         --  Budhan

Jwala Narasimha temple

This is said to be the place where Lord Narasimha tore Hiranyakashapu. Jwala Narasimhar is seen here with eight hands, 2 holding shanku and chakram, another 2 holding hiranyakashapu's body, another 2 tearing asuran's body and another 2 arms holding asurans intestines as garland.

There are two more moorthys here- one showing the Lord chasing the asuran and another as emerging from the pillar.

Just outside the temple is the Raktha kundam where the Lord washed his hands after killing the asuran.

Malola Narasimha temple

Ma refers to Lakshmi and Lolan refers to beloved - so Malolan means Lakshmi's beloved. Malola Narasimhar is the special worship deity of the Ahobila Mutt Jeers.

Krodakara/Varaha Narasimha temple

The Lord is seen holding Bhoomidevi in his teeth as in Varaha avatharam of Lord Vishnu. Also we can see Lord Narasimha with Lakshmi devi in his lap besides Varaha swamy.

Ahobila Narasimha temple

This is the main temple among the Nava Narasimhars and the Lord is said to be Svayambu moorthy. The Lord is seen here killing Hiranyakashapu.

There is a seperate sannadhi for thayar here.

Karanja Narasimha temple

The Lord gives darshan under the Karanja tree and hence is called so. Hanuman wished to see Sri Rama in Ahobilam. However the Lord appeared as Narasimhar. Hanuman requested the Lord to give darshan as Ramar and so Narasimhar appears with Bow and arrow in the hands and adiseshan above the head. There is a seperate sannadhi for Anjaneya in the temple.

Chatravarta Narasimha temple

The Lord here is seen smiling and enjoying the music played by the two gandarvas- Aaha and Ooho to cool the Lord after Hiranya samharam. The Lord is seen putting thalam with his left lower hand.

Yogananda Narasimha temple

After Hiranya samharam, Lord Narasimha is believed to have taught Prahalada several yogic postures and hence the Lord is called so.

Bhargava Narasimha temple

Parasuramar or Bhargava Ramar is said to have done penance here to have darshan of Lord Narasimha in the form of Hiranya samharam. So, the Lord is seen in that form with two hands holding shanku chakram and another two hands tearing Hiranyakashapu and is called Bhargava Narasimhar. The pushkarni nearby is called Akshaya theertham.

Pavana Narasimha temple

The temple is situated on the banks of the river Pavana in the middle of the forest. The Lord gives darshan here with a seven headed adiseshan on the head and Senju lakshmi thayar in the lap. Mahalakshmi thayar is said to have taken avatharam as Chenju lakshmi thayar in the local Chenju tribal community and so the tribal community considers Lord Narasimha as their son-in-law. They offer sacrifices to the Lord at regular intervals and more on Saturdays.

Senjulakshmi Guhai/Cave

There is a small cave close to the Pavana Narasimha temple and houses the idols of Senjulakshmi thayar, Shiva and Anjaneya. It is believed that if a person comes out of the small exit from the cave by crawling there, the person would be free from rebirth.

Prahalada Varadan temple - Lower Ahobilam

The temple is at the foothills of the mountain range. The presiding deity is Prahalada Varadan and there is a seperate thayar sannadhi. Also there are sannadhis for Kalyana Srinivasar, Andal, Ramanujar and Ramar. Most of the utsavar moorthy of the Nava Narasimhar temples are in this temple. There are three prakarams in the temple.

Ugra Sthambam

The pillar is visible while going to Jwala Narasimha temple and is about 2 kms from there on a rough path. It is believed that Sri Narasimhar emerged from this pillar and is difficult to reach.

Prahalada mettu

There is a small shrine here inside a cave and this is place where Prahalada studied. Also it is this place where Prahalada was pushed by the asura and Lord Narasimha caught him. It is a scenic place and close to Malola Narasimhar temple on the hill.

How to reach

Cuddapah and Kurnool are the nearest railheads and is accessible from most of the important cities. Autos are available from Kadapah station to the bus stand - Rs 7 per head and from there lot of buses are available to Allagadda. Ahobilam is around 23 kms from Allagadda. You can either wait for bus or take an auto from there - Rs. 200. Allagadda is also accessible by road from Nandyal.

For visiting temples from there -

Autos are available from Lower Ahobilam to Upper Ahobilam - Rs.100 one way and share autos are also available.

From Upper Ahobilam, one has to trek to Jwala, Malola, Varaha, Prahalada padi and Ugra sthambam on one side and Pavana temple on another. Dolis are available for old people.

Ahobila and Karanjya temples are on the way to Upper Ahobilam and accessible by road.

Chatravarta is 3 kms from Lower Ahobilam and it is accessible by road

Yogananda and Bhargava temples are also accessible by road

Pavana temple can be reached by taking a jeep from Lower Ahobilam - Rs. 1600 and 8-10 people can share the jeep. Alternatively one can even trek to Pavana temple from Upper Ahobilam. Senjulakshmi cave is just 5-10 mins trek from Pavana temple

Suggested routes

Route 1:

 Upper Ahobilam ---> Varaha/Kroda ---> Jwala through river route ---> Ugra sthambam (most difficult), ---> Jwala ---> Malola ---> Prahalada Mettu ----> Malola ---> Ahobila ---> Karanja on the way.

Take rest and visit Chatravada, Yogananda, Bhargava and Prahalada Varadhan in the evening.

Next day visit Pavana and Senju lakshmi cave by hiring a jeep (3 hrs travel time to and fro) or take the steps and trekking route from Upper Ahobilam whichever is convenient.

Route 2 :

 Start from Upper Ahobilam ---> Varaha/Kroda ---> Malola --->Prahalada Mettu ---> Malola ---> Jwala ---> Ugra sthambam ---> Jwala ---> Ahobila --- > Karanja

Take rest and visit Chatravada, Yogananda, Bhargava and Prahalada Varadhan in the evening.

Next day visit Pavana and Senju lakshmi cave by hiring a jeep (3 hrs travel time to and fro) or take the steps and trekking route from Upper Ahobilam whichever is convenient

Points to note :

** The time taken from the trekking part covering the first set of temples is around 4 hrs. The second set takes around 2 hours and the third part takes 3 hrs -- All from Lower Ahobilam base.

** The first suggested route is easier as it takes you to the top most part first and then visiting others while getting down.

** There are no proper steps and it is a rough terrian -so go prepared for it..Wearing shoes would help a lot.

** Carry water with you ..there are no shops on the trekking path.

** Start as early as possible in the morning for the trek as you will get more tired in the hot sun and use caps.

** Going in a group will make your experience enjoyable...


Anu said...

when we visited Ahobilam some years back, we were unaware of all these temples.. that was before i started blogging and started living on the net :) since then, i have read so much about them that i want to go again! and when i do , these details will really be useful! love the way u have given alternate routes too1

Sanctified Spaces said...

What an exotic temple tour.I enjoyed the audio rendition of this tour too.Surely your blessed to have undertaken this trip.I can only dream,and of course visit this space to have a glimpse.Lovely post.

chitra said...

I have heard but haven't visited yet. There is a lot to see . I also become happy with virtual tours as visiting all temples is not easy.

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