This is a renewed ancient kshetra famous for legends connected with many dignitaries of both celestial and terrestrial
worlds. In the past it established a name for itself as a cradle of Vaishnava culture and classical studies. It produced a long
line of Vaishnava pandits of great name. Further, this was hailed as a Dharmapeetha on account of the righteousness
pervading the entire kshetra. Buddhists called this as Dharmapuri, for the same reason and made it their abode for
propagation of Buddha Dharma. Another version for its name is attributed to a certain virtuous king called Dharmavarma,
and hence Dharmapuri. For whatever reason this was called Dharmapuri, one thing is certain that it was a sacred thritha
kshetra that emancipated numerous types of devotees for over centuries. The presiding deity - Yoganarasimhaswamy is
very powerful and lifted the righteous arid suppressed the wicked. Several Puranas praised this Lord extensively and
literates perpetuated the glory of the Lord through their works immortal. Among them the Narsimha Satakam with its lilting
charm and liquid melody, and above all the catching refrain - "Bhushana Vikasa Sridharmapuranivasa, Dushtasamhara
Narasimha duritadura" has entrenched itself in the hearts of devout persons that they recite many verses, the moment
Dharmapuri reaches their ears. This was known as Dakshina Kasi for housing about forty temples built for Principal deities,
like Narasimha, Brahma, Dattatreya, Sadananda. Venkateswara, Hanuman, besides Ramalingeswar. Brahmanda Purana
eulogises its spiritual splendour elaborately and a local legend preserved in palm leaf grandha has immortalised its sanctity
devoting 150 chapters. Needless to elaborate that it is occupying a covetable place among the famous 32 Narasimha
kshetras that the state of Andhra Pradesh is proudly boasting of. Now let us enter the temple and avail the Darshan of the
Strangely enough there are two temples going by the names of old Narasimha temple and new Narasimha temple enshrining
two icons of Narasimha. Both of them are lying side by side, yet possessing independent component parts. The Presiding
deity is revealing his Soumyarupa and is the most pleasant to look at. It has a legend.
According to the legend, Dharma Varma, the ruling king of this land desiring to learn the Purusharthas in their entirety sought
the help of a learned pandit called Vishnu Sarma. Realising the -sincerity of the King, the pandit advised him to get Vishnu
Sakshatkar to accomplish his aspiration, but he must do it with the compassion of Brahma, the Lord of Creation. The pious
king at once started his penance, propitiating Lord Brahma. Pleased with his austere tapas, Brahma appeared and learning
the object of his penance, prayed to Srimannarayana to emancipate the virtuous king by appearing in his Soumyanupa. He
did. It was then, Brahma ardently prayed to Mahavishnu to redeem him from the curse of Brighu and He be worshipped
along with him there. That Asritaparijata at once uttered 'Thadasthu'. Did he ever with old anything the devotees prayed for?
Hence Brahma is worshipped with great fervour since then. And that sacrosanct place is called Brahma Pushkarini. Later a
befitting shrine for him was built on its bank. This Narasimhaswamy is called Yoganandanarasimha and it is one of the nine
forms of the Lord. The archamurti here is about six feet
high and is seen teaching Prahlad 'Bhaktimarga' with his consort Mahalakshmi by His side. People who desire purely
moksha and moksha alone sans any craving for worldly aspirations worship this Lord soulfully and get lifted as sure as the
Sun rises in the east, says the local exuberantly.
This holy shrine contains very many adorable rare icons installed in fitting mandirs, like Yama, the Lord of Death, Murali
Krishna, Balaram, Hanuman and Vigneswara. The walls and pillars are beautified with sculptural marvels of high order.
In addition, there is Ramalingeswaraalaya in its vicinity and it is said that Sri Rama installed this august linga during his
return journey to Ayodhya after Ravana samhara. Hence sanctity. Another Sivaalaya supposed to have been built by
Goutama Maharshi lies very near to this. So there is no exaggeration to call this as Dhakshina Kasi. There are many kundas
famous for their holy water, like Chakra kundam, Brahma kundam, Vasishta kundam, Yama kundam and Satyavati kundam.
And the last has a fascinating legend and there are monuments exemplifying the truth of the story.
Legend Behind Satyavathii Kundam
That chaste Satyavathi, wife of Dharmangada of pouranic fame carried her husband in the serpent form over her head and
traversed all over Bharat Khand dipping in sacred rivers for redemption of the curse, but to no effect. Here with a single dip
in the Godavari, he got his human form and the place where she emancipated her husband is called Satyavathi kundam. A
temple was built then and it is visited by couples with great spiritual fervour, for, here lies a pillar made of sand and from it
sand was falling perpetually. It has another story. The chastity of the same ideal woman Satyavati was suspected by people.
They wove several concocted stories that made her husband too believe their version. To disprove their here say and to
establish her purity, she made a sand pillar by the potency of her chastity. This astounding phenomenon restored her glory
and so she was adored as a potent divinity thence onwards. Married people who yearn for ideal dampathya worship her in
this temple invariably and others for emancipation.
Of the annual festivals celebrated, Kalyanotsavam falling in Phalguna masa takes precedence over others. Then observed
an exotic tradition that surprises one and all. The Utsavamurti is carried moving backwards to the temple pond. After
reaching, regular worship offered. The reason, the sthalagnas narrate is quite odd but convincing. It appears that once a
young girl desecrated the holiness of the water by bathing here soon after attaining puberty. It is not fit for direct sight.
Hence the priests bearing the Utsava vigrahas move backwards.. Moreover here in the temple pujas and rituals are offered
according to smartha tradition. An interesting deviation and oddity.
The temple embodying such several awe-some traditions, lies 35 km off Jagityala in the Karimnagar district of Andhra
Pradesh, commanding transport facilities from Karimnagar and nearby towns.