Nava Narasimha Kshetras


Nrusimha is the fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The incarnation of Nrusimha happened only to kill Hiranyakasipa, the demon king who has no belief on Vishnu and to protect Prahlada, the devotee of Vishnu.  The holy places of Nava Nrusimha spread over in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana States named Ahobilam, Yadagiri Gutta, Malakonda, Simhachalam, Dharmapuri, Vedadri, Antarvedi, Mangalagiri and Penchalakona. The nine holy places of Nrusimha known as Nava Nrusimha Shrines are familiar like Ashta Vinayak Temples (Eight Vinayak Temples), Dwadasa Jyothirlingas (Twelve Jyothirlinga) six familiar Subrahmanya Shrines and Astadasa Sakthi Peethas (Eighteen Sakthi Peeth).                                                          

The Darshan and worship of each Jyothirlinga reduce the negative effects of each Zodiac Sign and enhance the positive effects. Likewise The Darshan and worship of each form of Nrusimha in Ahobilam reduce the negative effects of the 9 Planets. There are Himalayan Mountains in the north, Arabian Sea, Bay  of Bengal and Hindu Ocean in South and Ghats in east and west known as East and Western Ghats up to Kanyakumari in the South. The three divine places Tirumala, Ahobilam and Srisailam spread in Eastern Ghats like Adi Seshu, the bed of Maha Vishnu having head at Tirumala, stomach at Ahobilam and tail at Srisailam.  All the three holy places exist on the mountains and in Andhra Pradesh State. The word ‘aho’ means ‘wonder” and ‘bilam’ means hole or cave.  Ahobilam means wonderful cave. It is believed that the incarnation of Nrusimha happened in Ahobilam.

The matter of Nrusimha mentioned in Padma Purana, Kurma Purana and Vishnu Purana along with Mahabharat.  It was mentioned that in Brahmanda Purana that there was the palace of Hiranyakasipa killed by Srimannaarayan  in the incarnation of Nrusimha to save his devotee Prahlada, that the palaces were ruined havocked and formed as hills and still remains as Vedic holy place of incarnation of Nrusimha. There are two legends on Ahobilam. The gods praised Nrusimha as ‘Ahobala’ to calm down his angry form after killing of Hiranya Kasipa and the divine place named as Ahobilam. Ahobilam came into existence 3000 years ago. The place was occupied by persons of other cult.  The Hindu kings fight with them and handed over the holy place to Hindus. They made chant as follows:

“Aho Veeryam Aho Souryarn Aho Bahuparakramah
Naarasimham Param Daivam Ahobilam Aho Balam”  

Another legend is that Garuda worshipped Nrusimha and made yoga to please the God in a big cave called as Ahobila and named as Ahobilam. Garuda performed Silence Yoga on a Mountain in Nallamala range of 200 km from the holy place Srisailam for the vision of Nrusimha killed Hiranyakasipa for several years. Nrusimha incarnated in a hill cave. Garuda viewed Nrusimha and chant him Satyaswaroop, Mahapurush, Jwala Nrusimha and “Ahobalam Mahabalam”. Garuda believed that Nrusimha pitied on him. Henceforth the holy place got famous to be Ahobilam. The Mountain named as Garudachalam. It is believed that the green grass kept in the cave will burn and burning smell will found in the place.

The holy place Ahobilam located at a distance of 65 km from Nandyala, 243 km from Srisailam & 24 from Allagedda in Nallamala Forest.  Garudha prayed and Nrusimha evaluated in nine different forms namely Jwala Nrusimha, Ahobila Nrusimha, Malola Nrusimha, Krodha Nrusimha, Karanja Nrusimha, Barghava Nrusimha, Yogananda Nrusimha, Kshatravatha Narasimba and Pavana or Holi Nrusimha. Vishnu killed Hiranyakasipa, the Demon King in the incarnation of Ugra Nrusimha to protect Prahlada his devotee and son of Hiranyakasipa and Lakshmi get calm down Ugra Nrusimha in the form of Chenchu Lakshmi. The hills are being called as Garudadri, Garuda Chalam and Garuda Sailam in the name of Garuda. There is Prahlada Varada Varadhan Temple at Lower Ahobilam. The Festival Idols in the Upper Ahobilam temples on the peaks of the hills kept in this temple for security.There are Paravanaashini, Barghava, Indra, Nrusimha and Gaja holy waters Pushkarini in Ahobilam and the Matt was first established by the 45th Srimad Azhagiyasingar.                  

It is difficult to visit Malola, Varaha and Jwala Nrusimha on the peak of the hills by walk and trek. Elders and feebleness have to travel on Dolly. The price for Dolly fixed at 3000 and they claim 4000 to show the other important places in Upper Ahobilam. The holy places Kshtravata, Pavana, Yogananda and Bhargava Nrusimha Shrines along with Prahlada Vardan Temple are in the lower part. The next day pilgrims may proceed to upper Ahobilam visiting Karanja Nrusimha to reach Ahobila Nrusimha for onward journey to upper Ahobila Temples. There were Krodha, Malola, Jwala Nrusimha Kshetra and Ugra Pillar, where Nrusimha killed Hiranyakasipa. Garuda performed penance here and this place called as Garudachala in the name of Garuda. Sages performed penance on the hills and left to North closing the Nrusimha Cave with heavy Rocks. The nine places where the sages performed Yoga and worshipped Nrusimha were came into existence as famous holy places from top to bottom:    

Jwala Ahobila Malola Karanja Bhargava !
Yogananda Khatravata Pavana Navamoorthayah !!               

Earlier, the holy places are covered with heavy forest and not accessible to others except Gods. Subsequently the 45th head of Ahobila Mutt set up the pathways to reach the temples.                           

Hiranyakasipa, the demons king hates Vishnu. Prahlada, his son is a devotee of Vishnu from childhood like his mother Leelavathi. Hiranyakasipa tried to divert the devotion of his son on Vishnu. Lastly he has tried to kill his son by thrashing with Elephants, bite with Snakes, throw away from hill and throw in fire which was not affected Prahlad. Hiranyakasipa asked to show Vishnu and Prahlad replied that Vishnu is everywhere in the Universe. King Hiranyakasipa asked to show Vishnu in a Pillar cracking it with his mace. Vishnu came outside from the stone pillar in incarnation of Ugra Nrusimha and brought Hiranyakasipa to the threshold of the Palace and put him on his thighs. He has formidably augmented the Brest of Hiranyakasipa with his fingernails and killed by pulling his intestines outside to his body. The places from killing of Hiranyakasipa in the form of Ugra Nrusimha to the place attain normal stage were become famous as the Nine sacred places of Nrusimha.

Ahobilam (Nrusimha) Stotram

Lakshmikataksha Sarasiruha Rajahamsam
Pakshindra Shailabhavanam
Gokshirasara Ghanasara Patiravarnam  
Vande Kripaanidhim Ahobala Narasimham
Adyantha Shunyamajam Avyayamaprameyam  
AdityaChandra Shikhilochana Maadi Devam
Abja Mukhabja Madalolupa Mattabhringam
Vande Kripanidhim Ahobala Narasimham
Kotirakoti Ghatithojjvala Kantikantham
Keyurahara Manikundala Mandithangam
Cudagraranjita Sudhakara Purnabimbham  
Vande Kripanidhim Ahobala Narasimham
Varahavamana Nrusimha Subhagyameesham
Kreedavilolahrudayam Vibhudendravandyam

Hamsatmakam Paramahamsa Manoviharam
Vande Kripanidhim Ahobala Narasimham
Janana Hetu Padaaravindam  
Brndarakalaya Vinodana Mujjvalangam
Mandaara Pushpa Tulasi Racitanghripadmam
Vande Kripanidhim Ahobala Narasimham
krishna Tulasidala Dhamaramyam
Dhatri Remabhiramanam Mahaneeya roopam
Mantradhiraja Madha
danava Manabhangam
Vande Kripanidhim Ahobala Narasimham

The Nine holy places of Nrusimha have individual importance to each place as per local Legend. In all the holy places of Nrusimha, each form of Nrusimha is the head of the respective planets Sun, Moon, Marks, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Satron, Nephyoon and Pluto. Pilgrims invoke the 9 forms of Nrusimha to reduce the negative and enhance the positive effects of the 9 Planets. Legend says that the worship of each form of Nrusimha will release from the hurdles of the concerned planet and their future life will be bright with the blessings of Nrusimha.  

Pilgrims have to wear traditional cloths to enter into the temples. The holy places are under the maintenance of the Ahobil Mutt. Priests are available in all the temples to perform Archana to the deities. Pilgrims may request to perform Archana to the respective deity. Pilgrims are advised to purchase and carry necessary worship material before they start in the Lower Ahobilam. 

Three days night stay required one day to visit temples in Lower Ahobilam, one day to visit the temples in Upper Ahobilam and one dayrest to recover from body pains. Old age and unhealthy people have to engage Dolly to visit Malola Nrusimha, Varaha Nrusimha and Jwala Narasimha of Upper Ahobilam. The Dolly charges will be around Rs.4000/-. There are hotels of APTDC and private. There are also Satrams of Arya Vysya and Padmasali in the Lower Ahobilam.  There is Brahmin Satram in the entrance of Upper Ahobilam. Pilgrims are advised to visit these holy places in the following manner. The four holy places in Lower Ahobilam may visit in the first day. Next day Pilgrims have to start in the early morning from Ahobilam to reach Upper Ahobilam at a distance of 8 km. Pilgrims are advised to engage Litter and guide to the old and unhealthy persons.