Submitted by: Shri. Karthikeyan Sankaradass
This was another long awaited trip of mine, I couldn't make it because I was not sure about the route and a proper company for the trip. I have always heard about the difficulties involved in the trip and somehow was too scared to make a trip. Also I wasn't that confident about making this trip. On one of the weekend me and another friend of mine were discussing about visiting Ahobilam. Immediately we prepared our itinerary and booked our tickets.
We started our journey on the 24th of July'10. We took the Chennai Express, got down at Cuddapah Station. From there we took an auto to reach the Bus stand and had our Lunch at Cuddapah itself. It was a rainy day at Cuddapah and we expected the same at Ahobilam. From Cuddapah we got into the bus going to Allagada and the journey was a little long. It took about 2 hours for us to reach Allagada. It was again raining there and we went to an ATM to pickup cash as there are no ATMS available at Ahobilam. We were informed by the locals that the last bus to Ahobilam had already left and we have to hire an auto.
We had no options and went to a roadside shop and were having Tender Coconut. To our Surprise the bus to Ahobilam stopped near the shop. We got into the bus and reached lower ahobilam around 4.30 pm. Before our trip I had called the Manager of the Ahobila Mutt. His name is Badri. Unfortunately the moment we reached Ahobilam, it started raining heaviliy and there crowd was huge. He informed us to wait as there are no rooms available. Within 30 minutes of time he had arranged a room for us with a nominal rent. also arranged for a Guide and a Share Auto. We quickly checked into the room, took bath were ready by 6 pm for the Visit.
In 30 minutes time we covered Chatravada Narasimhar Temple and Yogananda Narasimhar Temple. It had stopped raining by then. Then we came down to visit Bhargava Narasimhar Temple. A surprise ride was waiting for us. There was no proper route to the temple. The entire road was muddy and full of water. It reminded me of my trip to Malaimel Nambi Temple at Thirukurungudi. It was even more thrilling than that trip. There was no one on the way to temple. We saw another family returning back from the temple and they had hired a Jeep. The Share Auto was stopped at a point and we had to walk for about 5 minutes from there to reach the Bhargava Narasimhar Sannathi. We had to climb about 50 steps and there is a Theertham named Bhargava Theertham next to the Steps. Lord Parasurama is said to have done penance here at this Kshetra. Hence he is called Bhargava Narasimhar and the Theertham is called as Bhargava Theertham.
Chatravada Narasimhar is seen in seated posture and is seen laughing and playing Athithala to the dance of two gandharva's. Yogananda Narasimhar is seen in meditating posture with the Yogapattam tied on his legs. On the way back from Bhargava Narasimha temple, the Auto's headlight didn't work. It has again started raining and it was pitch dark. Once the auto got stuck on the road and myself and the guide had to get down to push the auto. Later we saw another auto coming on the way and actually it has come in search of us. Immediately within few seconds the Auto got stuck in a muddy place and the soil was so lose as we could see frogs and other insects in the route. The folks who came in the second auto helped us move out of the place. We reached the Ahobila Mutt and had nice chappathi's. There is a person who brings food to the mutt. The food was delicious and we enjoyed eating it.
Later we went to the Prahalada Varadan Temple at the Lower Ahobilam. It was time for Evening Satrumurai. We had Theertha, Panakam and Satari. Had a Very Good Darshan of Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy and Thaayar at a Seperate Sannathi. We reached our room and had a good sleep. The Guide had instructed us to be ready by 6 am and wanted us to come to mutt. We were ready by 6 am. Our Guide was waiting for us in the mutt. We took a local bus from Lower Ahobilam to upper Ahobilam. We reached Upper Ahobilam by 6.30 am and we started our walk towards Pavana Narasimha Temple. It took us 2 hours to reach the temple. We had to start from Ahobila Narasimha Temple and initially have to Climb a steep steps. Had to climb around 1000 steps and the walk from there was interesting and was less difficult compared to the climb. During the climb we could see the Malola Narasima temple and Kroda Narasimha Temple. After having Darshan of Pavana Narasimha we came back to Ahobila Narasimha Swamy Temple around 10.30 am.
After Darshan, we had our breakfast at Ahobila Narasimha Swamy madapalli. It was tasting like amrutham for us after the hectic journey to Pavana Narasimha Swamy temple. We took rest for a while and by 11:15 am we again started our trek. From Ahobila Narasima temple we can reach Kroda Narasimha Swamy temple in 10 minutes and Malola Narasimha Swamy temple is another 20 minutes walk from there. But our Guide took us to Jwala Narasimha Swamy temple through a beautiful and thrilling route. This trek till the steps to Jwala Narasimha Swamy temple seem to be easy and after one point we have climb steps. We had around 600-700 steps. While climbing the stairs I asked one of the person about the temple. He poined out the middle of the hills which was seen in the opposite side and informed that is the sannathi of Jwala Narasimhar.
I lost my hopes of visiting Jwala Narasimha Swamy. But we saw elderly people making it happen. I gathered some courage and energy and started walking towards the Jwala Narasimha temple. When we get closer to the temple, the route becomes narrower and we had to go beneath the waterfall to reach the temple. This is the place, where the river papanasini raises. I had no hopes of returning back and was so damn scared to comeback.
Our Guide informed us that we don't go to Ugrasthambam as it was raining. We saw one of the priest at Jwala Narasimhar Sannathi for performing Thiruvaradhanam. It was great, those priests at Ahobilam are self less and we should really appreciate the fact that they come here every day for performing Thiruvaradhanam to perumal. We saw arathi and left the Jwala Narasimhar Sannathi. On the way back we saw few people coming back from Ugrasthambam and they informed us that it just takes 45 minutes to go there and it's very easy. I was tired and had no hopes, so I informed my friends that I am not coming, But they wanted to give it a try. So I informed them that I would be waiting down for them Our Guide didn't join us for the Jwala Narasimhar Sannathi. So I went down carefully and was sitting with him. He informed that it would take minimum of 3 hours for them to comedown. It was boring and I was tired and lost patience. To my surprise within 20 minutes the other two came down and they were also scared to go to Ugrasthambam.
From there we went to Malola Narasimhar Sannathi. Had darshan of the perumal and completed visiting 8 Narasimhar and we started walking down to Ahobila Narsimhar's Sannathi. The feeling was great when we reached the Ahobila Narasimhar Sannathi. We had lunch in one of the Mutt there and the food was great and helped us fulfil our hunger. We then started to Karanja Narasimhar Sannthi on the way to the Lower Ahobilam. We reached Lower Ahobilam, took rest for an hour and then started our Journey back to Cuddapah to catch our train back to chennai.
Overall this was an Enthralling experience for us.I couldn't believe myself completing this Yatra within 2 days.. This was only possible because of the blessings of Narasimha Swamy.
Travel Experience of Shri. Karthikeyan Sankaradass.