Next, I headed for the ancient Simhachalam Temple in Visakhapatnam, which is dedicated to Lord Varaha and it is completely made of stone. The temple is located in the hill top and I was quite excited to get the view from the hill. The temple is believed to be nearly thousand years old and there are many historical connections. The name of the temple was derived from the term ‘Simha’, which meant lion and ‘Adri’, which meant hill. Since it is located over the hills, its name has connection to its location. The deity is Lord Vishnu in ‘Narasimha avatar’ and the temple has its place amongst the eighteen “Narasimha Kshetras". The deity is normally covered with sandal wood paste for nearly 12 hours every year and this is done on the Akshaya Tritiya. I learnt that there is a big festival organized in the area on account of the occasion. The exact date of the occasion is in Vaishakha, which falls in May.
The place was quite exciting and I could catch some beautiful views from the top. I could easily feel why it was amongst the top tourist attractions. There were lots of tourists who had come to visit the place and experience its splendid beauty. During the Akshaya Tritiya, many stalls will be installed and many locals as well as followers from different parts of Andhra Pradesh visit the temple. It is believed that the temple was constructed a way back during the Chola dynasty when they ruled the place. The holy shrine was built in the year 1267 and there were more than 253 inscriptions that were made in Telugu as well as Oriya, which described the history of the temple.
The ruler of Odisha, Gajapati Prataparudra visited the Simhachalam Temple Visakhapatnam in the years 1516 and 1519 and donated a large quantity of jewelry and other items to Lord Vishnu. There were various other histories associated with the temple. For the last three centuries, the Pusapati Gajapathi, the royal family of Vizianagram, has been offering donations in large amounts and is one of the trustees of the temple. It was really an amazing experience in the temple and from there I travelled the Visakhapatnam port, which is one of the busiest ports in the country.