The pilgrimage place of Ahobilam Temple or Nava Narasimha Temple offers one of the most electrifying trekking experience for adventure travelers. Ahobilam is nestled amid the majestic Eastern Ghats and enveloped by thick greens of Nallamala forest. The River Bhavansini flowing through large and beautiful waterfalls provides the best of mother nature to the tourists. This place looks stunning when visited during the post-monsoon period, as I did.
Since there are not many hotels in Ahobilam, I recommend staying in Nandyal, which is the closest city to Ahobilam. Hotel options in Nandyal are plentiful, depending on your budget, as it offers something for everyone.
Ahobilam means beautiful caves. Nine beautiful temples devoted to 9 different avatars of Lord Narasimha Swamy divides Ahobilam in two parts. Each temple has its own uniqueness and beauty. Some of these temples are located in caves and hence the name Ahobilam. Lower Ahobilam houses two temples and Upper Ahobilam houses four. Two temples are inside the dense forest, and one in the middle. The entire structure of Ahobilam is an amalgam of work by various dynasties spread over 5 centuries. I would suggest hiring a knowledgable guid for safe and passable experience
We first visited Yogananda and Chatravata Narasimha temple at Lower Ahobilam. Since there was heavy rainfall over the the past few weeks before our visit, we could not reach Pavana and Bhargava temple. They are deep inside the forest and the entrance for Jeeps near the Pavana and Bhargava temple were closed due to landslides and water logging. The vintage temple of Chatravata Narasimha Swamy was huge but authentic. Chatravata Narasimha Swamy is the tallest and the most handsome among all the 9 deities of Nava Narasimha.
After Lower Ahobilam, we began our adventurous trek in Upper Ahobilam. Nature welcomed us with beautiful hues, the fading red tint of huge boulders and gushing Ahobilam waterfalls. One cannot resist making frequent stops to take pictures of this colorful natural canvas because of lush green landscapes. We had satvik but delicious lunch at Brahmana Nitya Annadana Satram.
Our next step was Yeguva Ahobila Narasimha Swamy Temple. It is the earliest and the main temple among all the 9 Narasimha Swamy temples. The sanctum of the temple is inside a cave. The sculpture inside the temple beautifully depicts the scenario after Lord Narasimha had killed the demon Hiranyakashyapu.
Jwala Narasimha Swamy Temple
Jwala Narasimha Swamy temple trek was so rip-roaring as we had to cross the river Bhavansini many times. High water current kept pushing us forward. We felt the adrenaline while navigating the rugged narrow paths, steep hills, and uneven sharp rocks wadding downstream. But, when you look around, the scenery is mesmerizing, breathtaking and worth every challenge nature presents you across.
Eventually we reached the final and most thrilling 450 steps to the Jwala Narasimha Swamy temple. We witnessed an exquisite view of the giant Ahobilam Waterfalls and Ugra Stambh. The roaring sound of Ahobilam Waterfalls kept the flow of excitement and energy as we were inching closer. Eventually, we reached the top. Now, we had to navigate the most ravishing passage to reach the temple. The 5-minute walk was through the passage was exhilarating as well memorable since, the entire passage was engulfed by Ahobilam Waterfall. We were completely drenched but also thrilled.
This temple has the idol of Lord Narasimha having 8 arms depicting the scene of killing Hiranyakashyapu. Our guide took us behind the temple amid the melodious sound of Ahobilam Waterfall. This was the sight to immerse yourself with mother nature due to its beautiful surrounding.
We discovered a lot with a lot left to explore in this this trip. Now, we need extra motivation to revisit the remaining adventurous trek to two Narasimha Swamy temples located deep inside the dense Ahobilam forest.
Things to know about Ahobilam
- Ahobilam is located at 15.14834217405412, 78.67259492298692 inside the Nallamala Forest in the Eastern Ghats.
- Please read my detailed travel story Ahobilam: A Fusion of Adventure and Spirituality. It narrates our experience with Ahobilam and the adventurous trek to Jwala Narasimha Swamy temple.
- Ahobilam is an offbeat destination, especially the trek to Jwala Narasimha Swamy Temple and to Ugra Stambh. However, the jeep drive to Pavana and Bhargava temples would be something not everyone is aware of.
Ahobilam has nine shrines dedicated to Lord Narasimha, the lion-headed avatar of Vishnu.
Kondapuram Railway Station is the nearest railway station that is situated at a distance of about 13.6 km.
The distance from Ahobilam to Chennai is 400 kilometers. The journey to Ahobilam passes through Renigunta, Kadappa, Chagalamarri and Allagadda.
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