Location - Ahobilam, located in Andhra Pradesh, is one of the main holy places for Lord Narasimha. This place is located about 140 km from the Kurnool district of AP. This pilgrimage place is located among the hills in the eastern ghats.
Ahobilam Temple and Dwajastambam
The staircase leading to the temple
Legend:- According to some Puranas, Ahobilam is the location where Lord Narasimha blessed Bhakta Prahlada and killed the demon Hiranyakashipu. The tall mountain (see pictures below) is considered to be the pillar in Hiranyakashipu royal palace from where Lord Narsimha emerged. This temple is a part of the Nava Narsimha Kshetram as 9 different forms of the lord are worshiped here.
Pillar from which Lord Vishnu emerged to kill Hiranyakashyapa long view
Prahlada was the son of the demon king Hiranyakashipu. His unwavering faith in God, especially lord Vishnu, enraged his father. One day Hiranyakashipu decided to kill his son. Prahlada prayed to Shree Vishnu and upon hearing his devotees words, lord Vishnu manifested himself as Narasimha (half man half lion) form. He emerged from a palace pillar and killed Hiranyakashipu.
Pillars inside temples
Speciality: The temple itself is dedicated to Ahobila Narasimha who is seen here in a sitting position.
This temple is a part of the 108 Divya Desams.
Here the lord is seen with his consort Lakhmi also called Senjulakshmi.
The Puranas evoke 9 forms of Narasimha. All the manifestations have a shrine at this temple -Jwala Nrisimha, Malola Nrisimha, Kroda Nrisimha, Karanja Nrisimha, Bhargava Nrisimha, Yaogananda Nrisimha, Kshatravata Nrisimha, Pavana Nrisimha
The actual Vimana is a cave structure. Hence, some of the temples have to be accessed by a rocky terrain.
Pilgrims crossing rocky terrain
The temple is braodly divided into a Lower and Upper Ahobilam. The lower Ahobilam houses shrines for Yogananda, Chathravata and Bhargava Narasimha swami. The rest are in the upper Ahobilam.
Ahobilam Temple close view
Idols inside a cave
Festivals: Brahmothsavam is a major celebration in the month of February and March.
Lower Ahobilam: 6 AM - 2:30 PM and 5 PM - 8 PM
Other Temples: 6 AM - 1 PM and 3 PM - 5:30 PM
How to Reach:-
By Road:- Buses run regularly from cities like Nandyal, Kurnool and Hyderabad
By Air:- Hyderabad is the closest airport
By Train:- Nandyal (Bangalore-Vizag route) and Cuddappa (Mumbai-Chennai route) are the closest railway stations. From Cuddappa you have to travel to Allagadda and then take a bus to the pilgrimage spot.
Below are some more images of the temple.