Ahobilam – Barefoot trek on slated rocks (Day 2)

I got up at 4 AM in the morning without an alarm. I liked the Peace at the place and slept a deep six- hour sleep. We stayed in a marriage hall with lodges combined accommodation with simple facilities like geyser and Air conditioner. The rooms are spacious and good for one night stay. If you are travelling to Ahobilam you need to preplan for food and accommodation as it is not a commercial place. In lower Ahobilam basic meals and tiffin are available. In Upper Ahobilam there are free-food centers but no restaurants to my knowledge. We travelled as a group of sixty members in bus and a cook accompanied us. I ate tasty lip-smacking meal with Kesari and Payasam sweets. Getting good food and hot tea in the morning was easy for us.  Early in the morning at 5.30 AM as I got ready, the Ahobila Narasimha temple at lower Ahobilam was inviting me with colour lights and chants. The sunrise was so beautiful. I visited the temple with a group of ladies. Some special day in the temple that Sunday. Pooja was performed for Cow and we were given milk to drink. Early morning temple visit is always a blessing.

After breakfast we started to upper Ahobilam. We started trekking barefoot to Ugra Narasimha temple gasping at the mesmerizing beauty of the gorges of Nallamalai hills. It was simply awesome from there on. We prayed to Ugra Narasimha, located inside a narrow cake. He is god for Jupiter ruled and most ancient temple at this place.  We came out of this temple at foot hill and picked our walking sticks made of bamboo. The trekking path is slippering and steep. We need three legs to walk, stick is essential. We got the stick for Rs.3 on rent, which is to be returned when we come back after trek.

We started walking through the banyan trees. Lush green forest of Nallamalai hills welcomed us. The Bhavanasini river came down pouring with many waterfalls on the way. It is safe to bath with many boulders and stones obstructing river speed. We saw many people taking bath with kids. We walked through the boulders and slippery stones. It was fun walking barefoot through the chill waters. After we crossed the waters, on a small cliff Varaha Narasimha temple was visible. We worshipped and walked some distance to see Jwala Narasimha. The path opened to a fleet of steps. We climbed and climbed the steep path and crossed 500 odd steps in 50 bends. The forest view was so encouraging. If we are tired, we would sit and admire the picturesque view around us. The monkeys walked along with us all the way. After walking through the slated stones and admiring at the palace like natural structure of the gorge looking like a debilitated palace for one and a half hours, we saw the temple view.

We reached the Jwala Narasimha temple, but not before the Bhavanasini river welcomed us. The Bhavanasini waterfall bathes us before we reach the temple on the way. Its pure mineral water, very tasty and quenches our thirst and tiredness as we reach the hilltop. This temple is just few meters down the highest point of the peak. The Ugra sthamba is at 2 kms walking distance from this temple. Jwala Narasimha is for the Mars ruled. Here Iranyakshipu was killed according to Hindu mythology.

We worshipped and walked down the way to see Malola Narasimha. We walked and walked a 6 km path through the Nallamalai forest. It was so beautiful with caves and beautiful view of the eastern ghats with lush green forest. In many places the path was so narrow and steep slope to one side of the way. It was calm like only my breath could be heard. Serene, beautiful, and soul touching walk. I looked like a tiny ant in that big forest full of lakhs of trees. Realised how small we are in this big world where so many lives breath every second. My phone camera lens could not capture those view. So captured everything with my eyes and memories.   

After the long walk, through steps and slated rocks we reached Malola Narasimha temple. It’s the Venus place, rather the god of Love. I liked the name “Malola” and the cute way of Lord Narasimha embracing Prahaladha along with Mahalakshmi, his consort. The Prahaladha school is at 1 km walk behind this temple.

From there we descended to the starting point of our trek walking for another 1.5 hours. The Karanja Narasimha temple is located at this starting point where vehicles stop. The temple is beautifully painted in cream colour looking like moonlight.

The rock has many stone falling zones. We must walk carefully and depending on the river course the way uphill is diverted by the authorities. It’s a safe place with no wild animals. Tiger reserve forest is nearby. Reaching Ugra sthamba is a passion for many due to tough terrains atop. Its scenic view from top, but nothing else to see except some flags and Narasimha Foot engraved in stone. I feel like visiting the place once again for the love of lord Narasimha is felt so well in the aura. A mighty ferocious god with great loving heart!

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