Simhachalam temple, also known as Simhadri temple, is located In Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu’s Man-Lion incarnation, Narasimha. The temple is an excellent example of Kalinga architectural style. As per the ancient rules, pilgrims must visit Kalabhairava temple before visiting Simhachalam Temple because Kalabhairava is suppose to be the main guard of Simhachalam and one should not meet Narasimha without his permission.
As per the ancient stories, Prahlad had made this temple first as he was a huge devotee of Lord Vishnu. He made the two incarnations of Lord Vishnu, Varaha and Narsimha, alive at one place for others devotees. Later that temple was ruined due to negligence. But again King Pururava and Urvashi rebuilt the temple. The divine voice had asked Urvashi that the idol should be covered with sandalwood paste for the whole year except the 3rd day of Hindu month, Vaishakh, which we name as Akshay Tritiya. That rule is strictly being followed today also. This is said to be the Nijaroopa Darshan of Lord.
As per the mythology, King Pururava didn’t find the feet of Lord but the divine voice asked them to let it be because it will definitely seen at correct time. It is said that at the specific day of Nijaroopa darsham one can see the whole Lord with their feet too because that is the only day when he is not covered with Sandal paste.
Simhachalam Temple Timings
There is no specific time of year to visit. Pilgrims can visit there any time as per their own wish. The temple is open for pilgrims all along the year. On normal days, temple is open for visits and prayers from 7 am to 4 pm in morning hours and 6 pm to 9 pm in evening hours. But during “Chandana Yatra” or say “Chandanotsavam” temple will open for whole day from morning 4 to 7 in the evening. After & pm entry will be stopped. Only people who are already in the line will proceed for darshanam.
There is a huge rush during Akshay Tritiya because of the “Chandanostavam” is being celebrated devotees from all around the country pay their visit to the temple. The Nijaroopa darshan is available for 12 hours on Akshay Tritiya day. On this day the temple is heavily crowded with local, outer and VVIP devotees.
Before darshan, temple doors are closed for one hour for all the arrangements. Sandal paste is being cleared by the priests of the temple. And the idol is covered with a simple white cloth called “dhoti”. One can even take the benefit of seeing the feet of the Lord too. But due to heavy crowd, all cannot be able to view the full idol. For that people have to take special tickets.
In the month of June or July when Hindu month “Ashada” has its full moon day, the deity is been taken for procession around the holy hills. This event is called “Giripradakshinam”. In this, the deity is been taken for procession by the priests along with other devotees to take a walk around Simhachalam and Kailashgiri hills which covers approx 40 kilo meter distance and takes more than 8 hours.
The temple is easy reachable with any means of transport. It is quite a peaceful and green place where devotees can pay visit to their Lord and get the benefit of taking his blessings.
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