Sri Panaka Narasimha, Mangalagiri17 June 2021
A rare shrine which combines spirituality and geology. Lord Narasimha at this temple is worshipped in the form of a small rock with an opening – 15 centimetres wide – that’s considered His divine mouth. It is said that this hillock has existed as a volcano previously. To cool down His fury after destroying the Asura King Hiranyakashipu and saving the life or His Bhakta Prahalada, the Lord is said to have remained here during all the 4 Yugas.
Lord Narasimha consumed Amrutha in the Krita Yuga, Ghee in Treta Yuga, Milk in the Dwapara Yuga and now consumes “Panaka” in the Kali Yuga. Panaka is a prasada made out of jaggery and water and is one of the most preferred offering to Lord Narasimha across all His temples on Earth. Interestingly, though the temple premises is always strewn with Panaka, there are no insects or ants seem anywhere here.
Devotees offer Panaka to the Lord which is then poured inside the divine mouth of the Lord by the priest. One can hear a sound such as meaning the Lord is swallowing it. After a few seconds, exactly half of what was offered to Him returns outside as His prasada. This is no less a miracle and none has been able to prove why and how this works. Devotees consume what is secured from the Lord as His blessings.
Before alighting the Hill, there is another shrine of Lord Sri Lakshmi Narasimha in the foothill where the Lord is seen adorning 108 Saligrama idols on His divine neck. The temple deity is said to have been visited by Lord Sri Rama along with Lord Anjaneya in the Treta Yuga and by Dharmaputra during Dwapara Yuga.
The temple is located 10kms from Vijayawada town and is on the way to Guntur. The temple is among the 8 Swayam Vyakta Kshetras, others being Srirangam, Srimushnam, Thotadri, Tirupati, Pushkaram, Naimisarinyam and Salagramam.