The place Mangalagiri means “the auspicious hills”. It is of great significance as it is one of the 8 important sacred places or Mahakshetrams in India where Lord Vishnu manifested himself. Originally this place was known as Thotadri where Devi Lakshmi did her tapasya. There are three Narasimha Swamy temples in Mangalagiri -the Panakala Narasimha Swamy on the hill, the Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy at the foot of the temple and the Gandala Narasimha Swamy at the top of the hill. During the Vijayanagara Kingdom, this place was also known as Mangala Nilayam. The Mangalagiri Temple is a sacred place where a devout person can find peace and bliss.
History of Mangalagiri Temple
A very intriguing story revolves around how the hill or mountain came into existence. The hill looks like an elephant in shape. Hrasva Srungi who was the son of the king Pariyatra, visited all holy places for the purpose of regaining normal bodily stature. He finally came to Mangalagiri and stayed there for three years to fulfil his penance. His father came to take him back home but he to serve Lord Vishnu for eternity took the shape of an elephant and remained at the place. It is said that all the Devas asked him to stay at the place so that he can attain Moksha and salvation in his life.
Significance of Mangalagiri Temple
- The steps to the Mangalagiri Temple were constructed by Sri Channapragada Balaramadasu in 1890.
- On the right side of the steps to reach the Mangalagiri Temple, there lies a stone inscription by Sri Krishnadeva Raya of Vijayanagar and further up, one can see the foot prints of Mahaprabhu Chaitanya.
- A temple of Lord Panakala Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy can be found at midway of the steps where there is only the face with the mouth widely opened.
- Behind the Mangalagiri Temple there is the abode of Sri Lakshmi, to the west of which there is a tunnel that is believed to lead you to the great Vundavalli caves on the banks of the Krishna.
- Panakala Narasimha Swamy is the God Who Drinks Panakam.
- The god is self-existent here. No staues but only the wide opened mouth can be seen.
- The God takes jaggery water as an offering served by a conch. When the Jaggery water is actually poured into the mouth of the Lord, a gargling sound is heard as if the Lord is actually drinking it. The sound becomes shriller and shriller when the Lord is drinking.
Timings of Mangalagiri Temple
- Mangalagiri Temple opens at 7 am in the morning for Darshan and closes at 8:30 pm.
- The morning Archana takes place from 7:00 a.m to 7:30 a.m.
- 7:30 a.m to 1:00 p.m. special offerings especially the Panakam and a grand seva darshan takes place.
- At 1:00 p.m the Mahanirvedana takes place.
- At 3:00 p.m the temple doors are closed.
- Since it is believed that during evenings Gods and Devathas worship the Lord so there are no sevas or archanas from the part of the devotees.
Festivals celebrated at Mangalagiri Temple
- The Panakala Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Brahmothsavam is the grand annual festival. It is believed that the celebration was istarted by Dharmaraja at the behest of Lord Krishna. This festival is celebrated for 11 days during the months of February-March.
- Srirama Navami, Hanumajayanthi, Narasimhajayanthi, Vaikunta Ekadasi, and Mahasivarathri are other festivals celebrated on a large scale. On Mahasivarathri, the Lord goes on a procession on a small chariot.
- The Phalguna Suddha Purnima that happens on Chaturdasi, commences the marriage of Santha Narasimha Swamy, and Sridevi and Bhoodevi.
How to reach Mangalagiri Temple
- By air: the nearest airport Vijayawada is connected by Hyderabad and Vishakapatnam.
- By rail: Vijayawada is connected with all major cities in India so the rail route is frequently availed.
- By road: Vijaywada is well connected with Madras, Nellore, Vizag etc.
Hotels nearby Mangalagiri Temple
- Fortune Murali Park Hotel- this hotel is situated along the banks of the Krishna River and overlooks the Indrakiladri Hills. Fortune Murali Park Hotel is three kilometers from the Vijayawada Railway Station and 20km from the airport.
- The Gateway Hotel, M.G.Road is another grand place to check in. It has an welcoming atmosphere with luxurious decorum.
Places to visit near Mangalagiri Temple
- Kanaka Durga Temple is a siginificant temple in Vijayawada. High up on the Indrakiladri Hill, the temple is boosted by devotees. On Friday evenings, when the goddess is dressed in silken finery, and she is at her glittering best, the place remains always crowded.
- At Amararama Temple, Lord Shiva is worshipped as Amaralingeswara Swamy or Amareswara Swamy, along with his consort Bala Chamundika. This Temple along with the Draksharama Temple in Draksharamam, Ksheerarama Temple in Palakol, Somarama Temple in Bhimavaram and the Kumararama Temple in Samalkota, forms the holy Pancharama Kshetram.
- The Undavalli Caves are a great architecture of cave complex. A cluster of 64 caves of black rock make the place truly magnificient. They hold lovely figurines made of monolithic black granite rock. The most notable is the stunning image of a reclining Vishnu.