Ahobilam, the Temple of Lord Narasimha, an Avatar of Vishnu, is located in Andhra Pradesh.
Nine Murthis of Ahobilam
Ahobilam is located in Karnool district of Andhra Pradesh in the hills of the eastern ghats, about 400 KM northwest of Chennai.
The temple consists of nine shrines to Lord Nrisimha located around a 5 KM circle. In addition to the nine shrines, there is a temple for Prahaladavarada Varadhan in the foothills of the mountain. Due to security reasons and the difficulty in performing daily worship, many of the utsava vigrahasof the nine shrines are kept in this temple.
Garuda wished for a vision of Lord Nrisimha in the form of the Avathara. To fulfill his wish, the Lord settled in the hills around Ahobilam in the midst of dense forests in nine different forms. For this reason this hill came to be known as Garudadri, Garudachalam, and Garudasailam.
Ahobilam is the place where the Lord killed Hiranyakasipu and saved Prahalada. Mahalakshmi took avathar as Senjulakshmi among the Senju, tribal hunters of the hills, and married the Lord.
Sri Ahobila Muth, one of the most important Sri Vaishnava religious institutions in India, was established by Sri Athivan Satakopan at the instructions of Lord Lakshmi Nrisimha of Ahobilam. In fact, the utsava moorthy of the Malola Nrisimha temple, one of the nine shrines of Ahobilam, is the presiding deity of Sri Ahobila Mutham. Sri Malolan accompanies Srimad Azhagiya Singar, the spiritual and titular head of Sri Ahobila Mutham, on his travels.
Thirumangai Azhvaar has sung ten verses about this temple in Periya Thirumozhi.
It can be reached from Nandyl,Cuddappah or Kurnool Andhra Pradesh.
There is no railway link direct to Ahobilam.
One can reach by reaching any of the places mentioned here or through Dhone from where one reach Ahobilam through Baganpalle and Koilkuntla.
How To reach Ahobilam.
By Train from Chennai to Ahobilam
Bombay mail leaves Chennai at about 9:55 p.m. and reaches Kadappa at about 3:15 a.m. You can take Bombay mail going to Chennai for the return journey. Chennai bound Bombay mail arrives Kadappa at 10:25 p.m. and leaves at 10:30. It reaches Chennai at about 5:40 a.m. Reservations may be made for round trip from Chennai to Kadappa and back. Quota for Kadappa is available in Bombay mail.
From Kadappa, Ahobilam is about 100 KM. If you can afford it you can hire a taxi for the day to go to Ahobilam and return. The approximate cost would be Rs. 1000 for the round trip. If you are a group you can hire a van for a day. In either of these two cases, you will be able to finish all the Dharshan and return to Kadappa at night in time to catch Bombay mail back to Chennai.
If you are in a position to hire a taxi, you can take a bus to Ahobilam. There may be direct bus to Ahobilam, but frequency may be limited. In stead, take a bus to Allagadda, and then from Allagadda you can take another bus to Ahobilam. If you have to travel bus you may have difficulty covering all the temples in one day.
By bus from Chennai to Ahobilam
There is an overnight bus from Madras to Nandiyal leaving at about 8:00 p.m. Nandiyal is a big town past Allagadda. Buy your ticket to Allagadda. The bus will reach Allagadda at about 6 a.m. Get down at Allagadda. From Allagadda, Ahobilam is about 30 KM. Town busses ply between Allagadda and Ahobilam every 45 minutes. The last bus leaves Ahobilam to Allagadda at 9:45 p.m. You may also hire a taxi from Allagadda. The same bus returns to Chennai. It leaves Allagadda at about 7:00 a.m. Check locally for exact time. By car from Chennai to Ahobilam
The drive from Chennai is through Renigunta, Kadappa, and Allagadda. It will take about 9 to 10 hours of hard driving. Avoid night driving if you can.
Traveling to Ahobilam from Hyderabad
The distance between Hyderabad and Ahobilam is about 380 KM. By train, take Thungabadra Express from Hyderabad (Kacheguda) to Kurnool. This train leaves Hyderabad (Kacheguda) at 7:00 p.m. and reaches Kurnool 10:30 p.m. From Karnool, Ahobilam is about 150 KM. You may hire a taxi or take a bus for this part of the journey. The approximate cost would be Rs. 1400 for the round trip. The return train arrives Kurnool at 1:15 a.m. and reaches Hyderabad at 5:20 a.m.
You may also take a bus from Hyderabad to Allagadda. From Allagadda, Ahobilam is about 30 KM. Town busses ply between Allagadda and Ahobilam every 45 minutes. The last bus leaves Ahobilam to Allagadda at 9:45 p.m. You may also hire a taxi from Allagadda.
Traveling to Ahobilam from Bangalore
From Bangalore, Ahobilam is about 350 K.m. The train timing is not very convenient from Bangalore. Prasant Express leaves Bangalore at 2:00 p.m. and reaches Nandiyal at about 11:50 p.m. From Nandiyal, Ahobilam is about 60 KM via Allagadda. The return train to Bangalore leaves Nandiyal at about 11:10 p.m. and reaches Bangalore at 10 a.m.
By road, the travel is via Madanapalli, Cuddapah, and Allagadda. The drive is about 7:30 hours.
Facilities for Stay at Ahobilam.
Sri Ahobila Mutt maintains a Guest House called Malola Guest House. There are a total of 14 rooms, 4 single rooms, 6 double rooms, and 4 triple rooms. Of these, two double rooms and two triple rooms are air conditioned. In addition, there are 10 dormitory type rooms.
Normally reservations are not undertaken by the Ahobila Mutt authorities.
But one can always try.
Mr. Badri Narayanan
A privately run canteen is located adjacent to Malola Guest House. Vegetarian food is sold at this canteen.
In addition, Sri Ahobila Matam has established a trust called Annamacharya Nitya Annadanam Trust. The goal of this trust is to provide free food to devotees of Sri Lakshmi Nrisimha. Free prasadam is offered three time a day. Dadiyannam (Curd rice) is offered morning and evening. At noon time Tadiyaradhanam (full course meals) is offered.
The monthly expense for this exceeds Rs. 20,000. Contributions to the trust is welcome. Please contact the Malola Guest House manager at 8519-232045 for detail.