A trip to Ahobilam – Day 1

Ahobilam located at Karnool district in Andhra Pradesh, is a Pilgrim cum Trekking cum Jeeping cum Spiritually enlightening place. Lord Narsimha, one of the ten avatars of lord Vishnu is said to have incarnated here. He was a lion headed man and emerged out of a pillar in a palace as per mythology. He saved baktha Prahaladha, a small boy from his devilish father, King Iranyakashipu.

Before going to Ahobilam I knew only these informations. I was all excited about going trekking. Some said its 8 kms uphill, while others said 20 kms trek. During the COVID phase I am always at home and not walking even a km a day. For me this trekking was a good challenge! Also, I had to walk barefoot as it’s a Pilgrim site. I liked that challenge too. I wanted to go on this trip to know how much I can physically push myself to do things that I have never done before.

I practiced 4 to 6 kms walking everyday for 1 to 1.5 hours for 10 days to prepare for the trekking ordeal. I also stopped eating meat during that 10 days to get focus during the trek, because I heard its stone falling zone and anything can happen anytime. I had to detox myself mentally and physically before starting on the trip to be focused. My practices helped a lot, and the trip was smooth.

Finally, I trekked 12 kms altogether barefoot uphill walking through the pebbles in Bhavanasini river, climbing the rounded boulders and making my way through the sharp stones from the slated rocks to reach the fleet of steps that had some 50 bends with 10 steps each (500 steps) just to see one God uphill. I liked myself for doing this trek. Total steps climbed should be some 2000 in the 12 km trekking path.

There are nine Narasimha temples representing the nine planets:

Pavana Narasimha           Mercury (Buddha)

Bhargava Narasimha        Sun (Surya)

Karanja Narsimha             Moon (Chandra)

Ugra Narasimha                 Jupiter (Guru)

Jwala Narasimha                Mars (Sevvai)

Malola Narasimha             Venus (Sukra)

Yoganantha Narasimha    Saturn (Sani)

Varaha Narasimha             Rahu

Chatravata Narasimha       Ketu

There is a main temple called Ahobila Narasimha temple in lower Ahobilam, then there is prahaladha school near Malola Narasimha temple. The entire rock looks like a debilitated palace of Iranyakashipu, mainly because its slated rocks. There is the Ugra sthamba, the pillar rock from which lord Narasimha is said to have emerged. The Ugra sthamba is the highest point in the trek that everybody aims to go. But the last two kms is very tough with steep slated rocks that we need to use both hands and legs to climb. Rope climbing skill is required and if we have “fear of heights” then better not to try going there as it’s a very narrow rock at the top.

The trip was for two days. First day we went on a jeep trip to Pavana and Bhargava Narasimha temples. It was like an off-road trip with slush and boulders all the way. Only Jeeps can make their way through these tough roads. They charge Rs.250 per head.

It was all greenery and fun. The clay water splashed on our Jeep windows. One of our jeep wheels got struck in the slush. It’s a very narrow road and if one Jeep stops all the following vehicles pile up. We spent time photographing the greens and butterfly while the tyres where fixed. We travelled almost 20 kms in Jeep to see Pavana Narasimha. The Pavana Narasimha temple is worshipped by the tribes of that hill. They bring cock and goat for slaughter here. Many people were cooking Biryani with the slaughtered meat in temporary brick burners with wood. The Temple is in front of a beautiful hill. It feels very divine, clean, and simple inside the temple. Narasimha is with his consort Lakshmi in this temple.

We had darshan and started to Bhargava Narasimha temple. This is in a tiger reserve forest. We crossed two check posts to reach a hill. On the hill we had to trek for 15 mins and then climb some 150 steps to reach the temple. The place is full of monkeys and if we keep any bag, they come and snatch thinking food is inside. The temple has a lotus pond on the way. Its nice view from top of the hill temple. It was said sometimes tigers cross in groups on this pathway.

Before lunch we finished seeing these two temples and reached our accommodation at lower Ahobilam. We ate tasty meals with payasam. Afternoon we went to Yoganantha and Chatravata Narasimha temples which was in mainland by bus. Near Yoganantha Narasimha temple there is a nine Narasimha temple and a Meditation hall. I loved the meditation hall. It had a saint’s statue at center and very peaceful. I meditated there and looked back at the sunset. It was beautiful. There were white cows all around the place. Our day one trip ended perfectly.

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