Ahobalam - Lakshmi Narasimha Aalayam
This is a thirtha kshetra of great renown, with a difference. Eccentric it may appear that this strange temple contains no
archamurti to say the least. This kshetra lies 3 km off river Penna and so it is called Penna Ahobalam, the second word
Ahobalam being the august seat of Navanarasimhas. This Narasimha is also popular as Bagula Narasimhaswamy. This
sacred shrine embodies certain queer features - the principal causes for its eternal fascination and intense adoration.
The temple is built on a hillock of very modest altitude. Though it contains all the essentials of a sacred shrine, the
garbhagriha houses the foot-prints of the Lord only. No icon of any size, nor in any posture is placed. And they are very
broad and long measuring five feet by three. The Lord, it appears, after roaming about the entire Bharat for long on killing
Hiranyakasipu came to this spot and stayed for a while. He placed his feet with such force that they left distinct marks and
are visible clearly with details. They are venerated with unprecedented veneration. Another interesting feature about these
marks is that there is a small deep cut hole under the imprints, and it swallows barrels of water. It seems, its thirst is
inextinguishable and further it is believed that there is a tunnel like passage from here to the river Penneru, but none
ventured to verify the veracity of the statement. Does legend admit any investigation?
Just opposite the garbhagriha, there is a huge mandap used for congregational prayer purposes. It contains all essential
parts like Dwajasthamba, and De epasthamba used for burning Karthika deepa mainly. 'There is a separate sannidhi for
Mother Mahalakshmi and it lies outside the garbhagriha. Many auspicious functions like marriage, samaradhana etc. are
celebrated here realising the sanctity of the place. Rathasaptami, the main annual festival falling in the month of Vaisaka
draws huge crowds and special prayer services are offered with reverence due.
This lies 35 km off Anantapur and at a short distance to Uravakonda, the famous towns of Rayalaseema of Andhra Pradesh
and hence poses no problem for conveyance of any type from either side.