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Pilgrimages of Andhra Pradesh

  1. Tirumala (Swayam Vyakta Kshetra and Thirupathi Divya Desam)
  2. Srisailam (Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga and Srishaila Shakti Peetha)
  3. Godavari Tir Shakti Peetha (Shakti Peetha)
  4. Srikalahasti (Pancha Bhoota Sthalam [Vayu Lingam] and where Kanappa Nayanar worshipped Lord Shiva)
  5. Ahobilam (A famous pilgrimage of Narasimha and Thiru Singavel Kundram Divya Desam)
  6. Simhachalam (A famous pilgrimage of Narasimha)
  7. Mangalagiri (A famous pilgrimage of Narasimha)
  8. Yadagirigutta (A famous pilgrimage of Narasimha)
  9. Basar (A famous pilgrimage of Devi Saraswati)


Swayam Vyakta Kshetra:

Tirumala (Venkatachala):

Sri Venkateswara - Swayam Vyakta Kshetra: Tirumala is one of the 8 Swayam Vyakta Kshetras.
(Swayam Vyakta Kshetras are: Srirangam, Tirumala, Sri Mushnam, Thotadri, Shalagram, Pushkara, Naimisharanya, Badrinath)

- Divya Desam: Tirumala is one of the 108 Divya Desams known as Thirupathi Divya Desam.
(Refer to the list of Divya Desams)

- Venkatachala Mahatmya: The Skanda Purana - Venkatachala Mahatmya describes the story of the marriage of Srinivasa and Padmavathy. Refer to excerpts from Venkatachala Mahatmya.

- Tirumala is located in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.


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An Ancient Pilgrimage of Shiva and Shakti:

Srisailam:

Srisailam - Jyotirlinga: Srisailam has one of the 12 Jyotirlingas known as Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga.
(The Jyotirlingas are: Somnath, Mallikarjuna, Mahakaleshwar, Omkareshwar, Vaidyanath, Bhimashankar, Rameshwaram, Nageshwar, Vishwanath, Tryambakeshwar, Kedarnath and Grishneshwar - Refer to the Jyotirlinga sloka)

- Shakti Peetha: Srisailam has one of the 51 Shakti Peethas known as Srishaila Shakti Peetha.
(Refer to the list of Shakti Peethas - Refer to Shakti Peetha Stotram)

- Srisailam is located in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh.


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Jyotirlinga:

Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga:

Sri Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga, Srisailam, Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh Sri Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga, Srisailam, Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh Puranic Event:
The Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga is situated in the Krauncha mountain. Shiva and Parvati, out of their love for Son Kumara came to the Krauncha mountain to see him. Both of them took the form of Jyoti and stayed in the mountain..
(from Shiva Purana, Koti-Rudra Samhita - Ch 15)


Pilgrimage:
The Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga is identified with Srisailam Mallikarjuna temple in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh in the Nallamalai Hills. Srisailam is located on the banks of river Patalaganga (Krishna).

For more details refer to Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana.



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Shakti Peethas:

1. Devi Mahalakshmi at Srishaila Shakti Peetha:

Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga, Srishailam, Andhra Pradesh Puranic Event:
Devi's Griva (Neck) fell at Srishaila where She is known as Mahalakshmi and the Bhairava is called Sambarananda.
(from Peetha Nirnaya texts)


Pilgrimage:
The Srishaila Shakti Peetha is identified with the Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga temple at Srishailam in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. The Shakti Peetha is located within the temple complex. Srishailam is located on the top of Nallamalai Hills.



2. Devi Vishwesi at Godavari Tir Shakti Peetha:

Puranic Event:
Devi's Ganda (Cheek) fell at Godavari Tir where She is known as Vishwesi and the Bhairava is called Dandapani.
(from Peetha Nirnaya texts)


Pilgrimage:
The Godavari Tir Shakti Peetha is identified with Koti Tirtha on the banks of river Godavari near Rajamundry, East Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh.


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Pancha Bhoota Sthalam:

Srikalahasti:

Srikalahasti Srikalahasti Srikalahasti Temple - Famous pilgrimage of Shiva: Srikalahasti is associated with the legend of Sri, Kala and Hasti who worshipped Lord Shiva and attained salvation. According to this legend, a brahmin's son called Karamba was born as a spider called Sri due to various sins committed by him in life. However due to a merit of gifting a cloth for decorating a Shiva Linga, he was born devoted to Shiva. He regularly took bath in river Swarnamukhi and decorated the vicinity of Shiva Linga with cobweb. One day Lord Shiva to test the depth of his devotion reduced all creations of the spider to ashes. The spider in great dissappointment ended his life by entering into the flame of a lamp. Lord Shiva appeared before him and granted the boon of salvation. The spider merged in the Vayu Linga.

According to anther legend, two brahmins were born as a serpent called Kala and an elephant called Hasti. The serpent used to worship the Vayu Linga every morning with precious stones and the elephant used to worship the Linga at noon time with tender leaves and fragrant flowers. Both removed each other's offerings. One day the serpent hid and saw who was removing his offerings of precious stones. He saw the elephant, and in anger entered inside his trunk, reached his head and bit him with poison. With great pain, the elephant dashed his head on the rock and both died. Lord Shiva appeared before them and granted the boon of salvation. They merged in the Vayu Linga. Refer to the story of Srikalahasti from Srikalahasteeswara Sthalapurana.

- Kanappa Nayanar: Srikalahasti is the place where Kanappa Nayanar worshipped Lord Shiva.

- Pancha Bhoota Sthalam: Srikalahasti is one of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalams, the Srikalahasteeswara temple representing the Vayu Lingam (Air).
(Pancha Bhoota Sthalams are: Kanchipuram Ekambareswara [Prithivi Lingam], Thiruvanaikaval Jambukeswara [Jala Lingam], Thiruvannamalai Arunachaleswara [Agni Lingam], Srikalahasti Srikalahasteeswara [Vayu Lingam], Chidambaram Nataraja [Akasha Lingam])

- Srikalahasti is located in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.


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Divya Desams:

1. Venkatachala (Tirumala) - A Divya Desam: Refer above.



2. Ahobilam - A Divya Desam:

Ahobilam at Sesha Parvata:

Sri Narasimha Ahobilam - Thiru Singavel Kundram Divya Desam: Ahobilam is one of the 108 Divya Desams known as Thiru Singavel Kundram Divya Desam.
(Refer to the list of Divya Desams)

- Sesha Parvata: Ahobilam is located on the Nallamalai mountain ranges on the part known as Sesha Parvata (South of river Krishna to Tirupati). Sesha Parvata is visualized in the form of Adi Sesha whose head is at Tirupati (Venkatadri), whose middle part is at Ahobilam (Vedagiri and Garudagiri) and whose tail is at Srisailam (Sringiri).

- Nava Narasimha: Ahobilam is the main shrine and there are nine other Narasimha shrines close by. They are known as Nava Narasimhas - Prahlada Varada Narasimha, Chatrata Narasimha, Garuda Narasimha, Yoga Narasimha, Ugra Narasimha, Krodha Narasimha, Malola Narasimha, Jwala Narasimha and Lakshmi Narasimha.

- Great Cave: The shrine of Ahobilam, the main shrine is located between the hills Vedadri and Garudadri in a reserved forest. The image of Lord Narasimha is in sitting posture with matted hairs. A rivulet known as Bhavanasi runs close to the temple. Ahobilam means the "Great Cave". It is believed that there is a cave with Swayambhu Narasimha under the main shrine.

- Killing of Hiranyakashipu: The shrine of Jwala Narasimha is the place where it is believed that Lord Vishnu manifested in the ferocious form of Narasimha Avatara and killed demon Hiranyakashipu.

- Ahobilam is located in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh.



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Famous Pilgrimages of Narasimha:

1. Ahobilam - A Divya Desam: Refer above.



2. Simhachalam:

Simhachalam Varaha Narasimha Simhachalam Varaha Narasimha Temple - Famous pilgrimage of Varaha-Narasimha: Simhachalam is located on a hillock 18 km from Vishakhapatnam. According to legend, demon Hiranyakashipu tried to kill Prahlada by throwing him from the top of the mountain into the sea. It is also said that Hiranyakashipu tried to kill Prahlada by placing the hill over him. Lord Vishnu saved His ardent devotee. Hiranyakashipu was later killed by Lord Vishnu in the fierce form of Narasimha. Prahlada requested the Lord to show him both his Varaha and Narasimha avatara forms and abide in the hill. Lord Vishnu abided there as Varaha-Narasimha, the combined forms of Varaha and Narasimha.

- The Lord assumed very fierce forms while killing the demons during both his Varaha and Narasimha incarnations. Therefore the image of Varaha-Narasimha is always covered with sandal paste except for a single day when the original form is revealed to the devotees. The day is the third day of Vaisakha (Akshaya Tritiya) during Apr-May, when the sandal paste is removed in a ritual called Chandana Visarjana.

- Simhachalam is located in the Vishakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh.



3. Mangalagiri:

Mangalagiri Panakala Narasimha Mangalagiri Narasimha Temple - Famous pilgrimage of Narasimha: Mangalagiri is around 13 km from Vijayawada. The Mangalagiri Panakala Narasimha shrine is situated on a reclining elephant-shaped hillock about 260 m above the sea level. In ancient times the hill temple was called by various names like Swetadri, Dharmadri, Totadri and Mangalagiri.

- The rock-cut cave temple is approached by climbing around 400 stone steps. The image of Narasimha has the face sculpted on the hill rock itself with the mouth about 15 cm wide.

- According to legend, Lord Vishnu killed demon Namuchi in this place. The blood flowed as a canal to the foot of the hill which came to be known as "Rakta Kulya". This is identified with a dry canal whose bottom is still reddish.

- According to another legend, prince Hrysya Shringi, son of king Pariyatra performed penance here. He transformed himself into an elephant shaped hill to serve as the abode of Lord Narasimha.

- A special feature of this temple is that panaka or jaggery water is offered to Lord Narasimha and hence the Lord is called Panakala Narasimha. The Lord consumes half the quantity of the offered panakala with a gurgling sound and returns the other half as prasada.

- Mangalagiri is located in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh.



4. Yadagirigutta:

Yadagirigutta Lakshmi Narasimha Yadagirigutta Narasimha Temple - Famous pilgrimage of Narasimha: Yagagirigutta is located in Bhongir taluk around 48 km from Secunderabad. According to legend, during Treta Yuga, Yadava the son of sage Rishyasringa (son of Vibhandaka) performed penance in this place worshipping Lord Narasimha. Lord Narasimha was pleased and manifested here in five aspects - Jwala Narasimha, Yoga Narasimha, Gandabheranda Narasimha, Lakshmi Narasimha and Ugra Narasimha.

- The cave temple is located on Yadagiri Hills at a height of around 300 feet and has rock formed images of Narasimha. The temple entrance at the foothills is called Vaikuntha Dwara. The entrance of the cave is considered Ugra Narasimha with his mouth open. Jwala Narasimha and Yoga Narasimha are rock formations within the cave. The Gangabheranda Narasimha is a formless manifestation indicated by a continuously burning lamp near the Hanuman shrine. Lakshmi Narasimha has a silver vigraha with goddess Lakshmi sitting beside Lord Narasimha.

- There is a sacred pushkarini (pond) on the hillock which is said to cure incurable diseases by bathing in it and worshipping the Lord continuously for forty days.

- Yadagirigutta is located in the Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh.


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Famous Pilgrimages of Devi Saraswati:

Basar:

Basar Gyana Saraswati Temple Basar Gyana Saraswati Temple - Famous pilgrimage of Devi Saraswati: In Basar Devi Saraswati abides as Gyana Saraswati. The temple is situated on the bank of river Godavari. According to legend, Maharshi Vyasa stayed in this serene atmosphere of the ancient Dandaka forest after the Kurukshetra war. Since the Maharshi spent his time in prayers, the place came to be known as "Vasara" which later on became "Basara". Many children start their learning ceremony here known as Akshara Abhyasam. Special celebrations are held in this temple during Vasanth Panchami and Sharadiya Navaratri.

- Basar is located in the Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh.



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Pilgrimages by States:

North India: Jammu and Kashmir - Himachal Pradesh - Uttarakhand - Punjab - Haryana - Rajasthan - Uttar Pradesh

West India: Gujarat - Maharashtra

Central India: Madhya Pradesh

East India: Assam - Meghalaya - Tripura - Jharkhand - Odisha - West Bengal

South India: Karnataka - Andhra Pradesh - Kerala - Tamil Nadu



Bharatavarsha - The Land of Gods and Sages:

1. Stotras by Deity:
Initial: Ganesha - Hanuman - Gurudeva - Gayatri
Tridevas: Brahma - (Vishnu - Narasimha - Rama - Krishna) - Shiva
Tridevis: Saraswati - (Lakshmi - Tulasi - Bhoomi) - Parvati
Others: Murugan - Surya - Ganga - Yamuna - Narmada - Others
Final: Vedas - Brahman

2. Pilgrimages by Deity:
Initial: Ganesha
Tridevas: Brahma - (Vishnu - Narasimha - Rama - Krishna) - Shiva
Tridevis: Saraswati - Lakshmi - (Parvati - Shakambari)
Others: Murugan - Ganga

3. Saints: Ramakrishna - Vivekananda - Ramana - Saints

4. Sadhana: Sadhana - Penances - Others

5. Sacred Geography: Forests - Mountains - Rivers - Lakes

6. Puranas: Puranic Events

7. Religious Life: Stotras - Puja - Pilgrimages - Festivals - Ashramas - Samskaras - Traditions

8. Other Aspects: Sanskrit - Arts - Music - Dance - Medicine - Architecture - Astronomy

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Om, May there be Peace in Heaven,
May there be Peace in the Sky,
May there be Peace in the Earth,
May there be Peace in the Water,
May there be Peace in the Plants,
May there be Peace in the Trees,
May there be Peace in the Gods in the various Worlds,
May there be Peace in Brahman,
May there be Peace in All,
May there be Peace Indeed within Peace,
Giving Me the Peace which Grows within Me,
Om, Peace, Peace, Peace.

(Shanti Mantra of Upanishad)

Preserve Nature,
And Nature will preserve Us,
Simplify Life,
And make the Nature thrive,
Plant Trees,
And make our planet Green.

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Last updated on Feb-2017

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