Mangalagiri-Hills
Mangalagiri-Hills

The Mangalagiri

You cant go wrong with a place that already has Auspicious in its name! Surely, you can, but not here in Mangalagiri.

Mangalagiri which Sanskrit means Auspicious Hills, lies in Guntur District of Andra Pradesh. This place is one among the eight places in India lord Vishnu is believed to have manifested himself. This is also the same place where Goddess Lakshmi did Tapasya, giving it the name Mangalagiri.

This hill looks like an Elephant from all direction. There’s an interesting story behind this hill. Pariyatra, an ancient king had a son Hrasva Srungi visited all holy and sacred places to regain normal bodily stature and finally visited this holy place of Mangalagiri and stayed for three years performing penance. All the Devatas (Gods) advised him to stay at Mangalagiri and continue to do penance in praise of Lord Vishnu. The father of Hrasva Srungi came with his retinue to take back his son to his kingdom. But Hrasva Srungi took the shape of an elephant to become the abode of Lord Vishnu who is locally known as Panakala Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy.

There is three temples located on the Managalagiri Hill. One is Panakala Narasimha Swamy, the local name for Lord Vishnu, on the hill. Next is Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy at the foot of the temple followed by Gandala Narasimha Swamy at the top of the hill. On the right side of Panakala Narasimha Swamy the steps provided to reach the temple, there is a stone inscription by Sri Krishnadeva Raya of Vijayanagar and a little further up, the foot prints of Mahaprabhu Chaitanya are to be seen. Midway on the steps, there is a temple of Lord Panakala Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy there is only the face with the mouth widely opened. A dhwajasthambham was erected in front of the temple in 1955. Behind the temple, there is the temple of Sri Lakshmi, to the west of which there is a tunnel which is believed to lead to Vundavalli caves on the banks of the Krishna. The stone inscription of the kings of Vijayanagar relates besides to the conquest of Rayalu over Kondapalli etc., that Siddhiraju Thimmarajayya Devara granted a total of 200 kunchams (10 kunchams make one acre) land in 28 villages of which Mangalagiri was one and gift of 40 kunchams by China Thirumalayya to Ramanujakutam.

So, if you are in Guntur and feel like being devotional, you can always go to Mangalagiri and have some time for yourself away from the rush of the city.