Simhachalam is a place of pilgrimage in Visakhapatnam mandal. It is situated on the Simhachalam range of hills about 16 km. from Visakhapatnam. The word Simhachalam etymologically means the hill of lion. As per the temple’s legend, Vishnu manifested in this form (lion’s head and human body) after saving his devotee Prahlada from a murder attempt by the latter’s father Hiranyakashipu. The temple of Varaha Lakshminarasimha is situated on the hill which is 244 meters above the sea level.

The image of the diety is small and always kept covered with sandal paste. In May every year the sandal paste is removed ceremonially at the festival called chandana yatra which is attracted by thousands of people all over the country especially from surrounding areas of Orissa state.

Simhachalam temple resembles a fortress from outside with three outer courtyards and five gateways. The architecture is a mixture of the styles of the Kalinga Architecture, Chalukyas, Kakatiyas, and the Great Cholas. The temple faces west instead of east, signifying victory. There are two temple tanks: Swami Pushkarini near the temple and Gangadhara at the bottom of the hill. The temple houses a number of sub-shrines and a few mandapams.

The most important festivals celebrated here are 1) The Kalyanam of Varaha Lakshminarasimha (March-April) 2) Chandana Yatra (May) and 3) Visakha Poornima (May) and large number of devotees congregate here during these festivals.




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