Mangalagiri means the Auspicious Hill. Lakshmi Devi has done tapas on this hill. That’s why it got this name as auspicious hill-Mangalagiri, and shape of the hill looks like an elephant. From all the directions, the hill appears in the elephant shape only.
Mangalagiri is one of the 8 important sacred Mahakshetrams in India. The eight places where Lord Vishnu manifested himself are 1)Sri Rangam 2) Srimushnam 3) Naimisam 4) Pushkaram 5) Salagamadri 6) Thothadri 7) Narayanasramam 8) Venkatadri, and Thotadri is the present Mangalagiri.
There are three Narasimha Swamy temples in Mangalagiri.
- Panakala Narasimha Swamy on the hill.
- Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy at the foot of the temple.
- Gandala Narasimha Swamy at the top of the hill.
Important things to know about this place and Temple:
- Here God is self-existent. In the temple, there will be no statue of the god, but there is only mouth, widely opened to 15 cms.The image of the Lord in the form of Narasimha (man-lion) and that of Lakshmidevi to His left are of stone. The mouth is covered by metal face of the god. Only offering to the lord is panakam(Jaggery water) which is peculiar, the Lord here is called panakala Narasimhaswamy.
- Pradyumna, the son of Lord Krishna, requested his father to celebrate his birthday annually for a sapthaham from Phalguna Suddha Sapthami, Hence Lord Krishna entrusted this work to Dharmarja to perform Sri Panakala Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy Brahmothsavam annually, this festival is celebrated for 11 days currently commencing from phalgunasuddashasti(February-March).
- The garland of the Lord with 108 saligramams is of special significance here. Daksjamavartha Sankam, a special conch believed to be the one that was used by Lord Krishna and resented by the Maharaja of Tanjore is one more possession of significance of the Lord.
- There is also an ancient ratha (temple car) belonging to the temple with ornamental woodcarvings depicting the scenes from the great epics of Bharata, Bhagavata and Ramayana.
- About 200 years back Raja Vasireddy Venkatadri Naidu who ruled from Amaravati as his capital constructed a stupendous gopuram (tower) on the eastern gate of the Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy. It is one of the highest gopurams in South India and only one of its type in this part of India. It is 153ft. in height and 49 feet wide with 11 storeys, and gates facing east and west. This great and imposing tower dwarfs the central shrine.
- Ksheera vruksham (the milk tree) on the Mangalagiri hill is of great attraction particularly the woman.
- On a small hill behind the Panakala Narasimha Swami temple there is a small shrine of Lord Narasimha where He is called as Gandala Narasimha Swami. There is no particular deity inside the temple except a provision to light a lamp.
- In Threthayuga, the second of the four yugas, people who were in heaven as a result of their good deeds in the world were most unwilling to return to this world (when once the fruits of good deeds are exhausted, the soul has to come back to the world). They prayed Indra, the Lord of heaven to save them from the impending fate. Indra advised them to spend their time in the world at Mangalagiri to attain heaven again. In Krithayuga, the first of the four yugas when the sinners were few, Yamadharmaraja, the Lord of hell advised them to wash off their sins by doing penance at Mangalagiri. Mangalagiri is in existence from the beginning of the Universe with the names Anjanadri in Krithayuga, Thotadri in Threthayuga, Mangaladri and Mukthyadri in Dwaparayuga and Mangalagiri in Kaliyugam affording salvation to sinners also
How to reach:
Mangalagiri is located on National Highway No.5 that connects Kolkata and Chennai. It is situated on the Guntur-Vijayawada road, 13 km to the south-east of Vijayawada and 21 km to the north-east of Guntur City. One can reach Mangalagiri trough on road by a bus either from Vijayawada or Guntur or Tenali.
For detailed legend of this place,
Temple and Seva Timings: (Subject to change based on the dates)
Srirama Navami, Hanumajayanthi, Narasimhajayanthi and Vaikuntha Ekadasi are celebrated here on a large scale and temple timings during regular days are as follow but are subject to change.
|Panakala Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple Timings|
|7:00:00 AM||Opening the doors|
|7:00 AM to 7:30 AM||Morning Archana|
|7:30 AM to 01:00 Pm||Special Archana for the devotees and offering Panakam|
|3:00:00 PM||Closing the doors|
|As per legend, in the evenings, Gods, and Sages worship the Lord. So, there is no Archana in the evenings.|
|Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple Timings|
|5:00 AM||Opening the doors|
|5:30 AM||Offering the Theertham|
|6:00 AM||Morning Archana|
|7:30 AM||Ghoshti (Using the theertham offering)|
|07:30 to 11:00 AM||Special Archana for the devotees|
|12:30 PM||Closing the doors|
|4:00 PM||Opening the doors|
|04:00 to 07:00 PM||Special Archana for the devotees|
|7:30 PM||Evening Archana, Harathi, Theertha Ghoshti|
|8:30 PM||Closing the doors|