Do you know that one of the richest and the most visited temples is the Lord Venkateswara temple in Tirupathi, Andhra? Another temple of Andhra Pradesh fact – one of the only two Jyothirling in the south is in Andhra Pradesh. You can go to Dakshin Kashi in Andhra if you are unable to go to Varanasi.
Most of the temples of Andhra are on the Eastern Ghats. According to the mythology, some temples of Andhra Pradesh denote the body of Adiseshan, the king of Nagas on whom Lord Vishnu is often seen resting. Adiseshan is depicted thus –
- Tirupathi with seven peaks reflects the head of the seven-hooded Adiseshan,
- the middle part is Ahobilam and
- Srisailam denotes the tail.
Let me share some more interesting facts about Temples of Andhra Pradesh.
- Tirupathi, Tirumala
Photo by Os Rúpias
Tirupathi is the most famous pilgrimage centre in Andhra. The presiding deity is Lord Venkateshwara or Balaji. Situated 853 feet above the sea level, the temple is located on the Seshachalam range of seven hills. 40 Million people visit this temple every year to seek and attain the blessings of the Lord. While you can go by vehicle all the way to the top, many people take a vow to climb all the seven peaks(3550 steps) so that their wishes are fulfilled by the lord. Tirupathi is accessible by Train, Road and Air.
- The Varahalakshmi Narasimha Swami Simhachalam
This temple is a Vishnavite shrine. The presiding deity is the Varahalakshmi Narasimha Swami. Varaha avatar is the third avatar or incarnation of Lord Vishnu The features of this avatar are a Boar head, human body, lion’s tail. This temple is situated 10 miles from Vishakapatnam, a major city in Andhra. The idol is smeared with sandalwood paste on all the days of the year. This is one of the 32 temples of Andhra Pradesh dedicated to Narasimha Swamy.
- Mallikarjuna Swamy temple SriSailam
Mallikarjunaswamy temple is one of 12 Jyothirlingams dedicated to Shiva. It is located in Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh. The main deities here are Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy and Goddess Brahamarambhika. This temple is also one of the 18 Shaktipeeths that lie across the country. It is said that Goddess Shakti’s Upper lip fell here after Shiva’s Thandavam on death of Sati. Train facility is available uptil Vinukonda (120 kms) from where you can take the road route to Srisailam. The nearest Airport is the Hyderabad airport some 151 kms away.
- Sri Kalahasteswara temple, Kalahasthi
Sri Kalahasteswara temple is Temple where the hunter Kannapa donated both his eyes when he saw the Shiva’s Lingam bleeding. You can combine a reach here from Tirupathi which is just 36 kms away. This temple is also regarded Dakshina Kasi and Rahuketu kshetra.
- Kanaka Durga temple, Vijayawada
Photo by ashwin kumar
There are various temples of Andhra Pradesh dedicated to the Goddess mother Durga. One of these is the Kanaka Durga temple, on Indrakelladi hill, Vijayawada. The idol here is a self-manifested(swayambhu) Kanaka Durga Ammavaru, who slayed mahishasura on the wishes of Indrakeella rishi. Another legend talks of how Lord Shiva bored tunnels in the hills of Indrakelladi for River Krishna to flow. The Mahabharata warrior, Arjuna is said to prayed to Lord Shiva here and is said to have built this temple.
6. Mantralayam, Kurnool
Photo by seeveeaar
Mantralyam is located on the Andhra Karnataka border on the banks of river Tungabhadra. It is the place of Saint Raghavendra’s Jeeva Samadhi ot Raghavendra Brindavanam. Thousands, including the southern superstar Rajanikant, visit this place to pay homage to the 17-century saint and the adjoining Matha.
- Mahanandi, Kurnool
Mahanadi temple is located in the Nallamala hills. This is the birthplace of Nandi, the gate Guardian of Lord Shiva’s Kailash. It is 21 kms away by road from a Nandyal. Nandyal is well connected to other cities of India by rail and road. The temple is built in Badami Chalukya style and is more than 1500 years old.
- Ahobilam, Kurnool
Photo by sowri
Ahobilam is located on the Eastern Ghats in Kurnool district. You must be familiar with the story of how Lord Vishnu, who saved his devotee Bhakta Prahalada by incarnating as a lion-human – Narasimha avatar. This is the place where Bhakta Prahalad was saved from Hirayanyakashipu, the demon. This temple has nine shrines of Lord Narasimhaswamy within 5 kms. There are three holy thirtas or temple tanks here –
- Rakta kudandam
- Rama thirtham
The nearest airport Tirupathi is 229kms away. Trains run as far as Prodatur – 60kms away from where you will have to take the road route to reach Ahobilam.
There are legends, myths and facts that form the basis of our religious beliefs. The most basic thing is faith. This faith is reaffirmed when we visit these temples of Andhra Pradesh.
Featured Photo by Sai Sreekanth