The book Ahobilam- The Sacred Abode of the Nava Narasimha is a visual splendour that covers every facet of the Nava Narasimha Kshetra from History, Epigraphical references Sthalapurana to the majestic Gopurams, Mandapams, Konerus, as well as rituals and festivals. The book is the result of extensive research presented with a professional approach, enhanced with vibrant photographs and composed with an aesthetic appearance.
The book is a visual feast imparting information about Vishnu's unique incarnation as Narasimha at Ahobilam. This book embarks the reader on a journey to the religious centre of the group of temples at Ahobilam, and to Ahobila Narasimhaswamy who is compassionate and loving to his devotees.
The book is the outcome of the blessings of Sri Ahobila Narasirnhaswamy And His Holiness Srivan Satakopa Sri Ranganatha Yatheendra Maha Desikan.
Ahobilam is an ancient and holy site, the Puranas mentions that the entire Nallamalai hills from Kurnool to Chittoor District are a personification of Lord Adisesha himself, whose middle is Ahobilam and whose head is Tirupati. The famous Vaishnava saints, the Alwars have sung about this sacred place. Tirumangai Alwar has sung the glory of this Lord in his famous stotra Tiruvaimozhi. As the nine shrines are situated within a radius of five krosas or 10 miles, this tirtham is known as Panchakrosa Tirtham.
Situated at a distance of 68 Km from Nandyal, 28 Km from Allagadda, and 160 Km from Kurnool in a serene atmosphere on the banks of the sacred River Bhavanashini, transforms one to a heavenly atmosphere. The temple with its exquisite gopura, mandapams against the backdrop of nature's play of colors invites the devotees to surrender to the feet of the Lord.
Ahobilam is one of the 108 Vaishnava Divya Desams, also known as Ahobalam, Singavel Kundram, Vedachalam, Garudachalam, Veera Kshetram, Nava Narasimha Kshetram. The whole complex is composed of two parts, the Upper Ahobilam (Eguva Ahobilam) which contains the shrines dedicated to Nava Narasimha, and the Lower Ahobilam (Diguva Ahobilam) with the shrine of Lakshmi Narasimha.
The temple goes back in its history to ancient days. Inscriptions reveal that the great Vikramaditya of the Western Chalukyan Kings of Kalyan (1076-1106 A.D.) worshipped the God of this temple. King Krishnadevaraya had also visited this shrine on his return from the conquest of Kalinga and made offerings to the deity of a diamond necklace, wristlet, a gold plate, and thousand pieces of gold. In the fourteenth century, a fine Kalyana mandapam was built by the Reddies of Kondavidu. It is supported by sixty-four pillars, each of which is beautifully carved into several miniature pillars.
Vasantikaparinayam, a drama written in Sanskrit and Prakrit ascribed to the 7th Jeeyar Sathakopa Yatindra Mahadesika, presents the myth of Narasimha and Cenchita within Sanskrit literature and also reflects a reconciliation of both the realms.
Ahobilam is a great centre of religious and spiritual activities, the seat of the famous Ahobila Math. The Ahobila Math follows the Sri Vaishnava Sampradaya of Visishtadvaita of Ramanujacharya.
Festivals are conducted throughout the year. The Paaruveta utsava is unique to the place. During this festival the Lord visits every village to personally invite the devotees for his kalyanam. The Paaruveta festival is celebrated around 33 villages for 45 days with sheer enthusiasm and devotion.
The temple as a whole is a gallery of mesmerizing Art. The glory of the Vijayanagara school of art witnessed here is a joy and feast to the eyes of the beholder. The place is unique as the sacred precinct exhibits nine distinct iconographical forms of Lord Narasimha.
The book began with the blessings of the Sri Narasimhaswamy. I express my heartfelt thanks to people who were instrumental from its inception. I offer my gratitude and special thanks to Lakshminarayanan J who took immense interest in publishing this book. Mr. Kidambi Sethu Raman of Ahobilam deserves special mention who was the inspiration, a man of immense knowledge of shastras, history, epigraphy, and anthropology. Mr. Gajjelakonda Lenin Babu, the enthusiastic researcher who was instrumental from the inception of this book, took a keen interest in the sculptural aspects. I owe my gratitude to my husband TMV Gowda, My daughter Dwani Gowda and my son Akshara Gowda for their constant support.
I offer my respect and gratitude to the Ahobila Math for their immense support and encouragement. I owe and dedicate the book to the Ahobila Narasimhaswamy.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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