Pearls Across Penna- Day 2 (part 3) Bhuvanagirigutta Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Attirala

Chitvel to Rajampet – 26 kilometres and time taken 40 minutes

Bhuvanagari Gutta: Taking off from the last blog, after the visit to Chitvel Varadaraja Temple, we drove towards Rajampet. Just eight kilometres outside the town is the hilltop Bhuvanagiri Gutta, where a Lakshmi Narasimha Temple is situated.

It is believed that 300 years ago, a saint observed Lord Narasimha’s footprints under a neem tree, and started worshipping it and eventually a temple was built for devotees from nearby villages of Uttukur and Bhuvanagiripalle. The Lord is in the form of Lakshmi Narasimha and is in a peaceful form, as he is along with his consort.

Our group was given a traditional and warm welcome to the temple and a special puja was performed by the priest.

The temple has an advisory committee that looks after the upkeep of the temple as well as the daily activities. As is with all Vaishnava temples, Saturday is a day for special poojas and for devotees to throng the temple.

A beautiful view from the hilltop

Attirala: A short drive from Bhuvanagiri Gutta brought us to the hamlet of Attirala. With the placid waters of River Cheyyaru flowing through the village and verdant hills, the pace of life seems peaceful and slow. However, there are no dearth of temples in the region and the most notable one is the Sri Parasurama Temple, which dates back to the 7 century A D. As the story goes, it was here that, at the order of his father Sage Jamadagni, Parasurama had to behead his mother and six brothers. However, when Jamadagni gave him a boon, Parasurama asked for the life of all those he had beheaded – which the father had to comply with. Parasurama took a dip kin the River Bahuda (Cheyyaru), to wash his sins away and hence the village came to be known as Hathyarala (which literally means washing the sins of killing), which was later corrupted to Attirala.

A view of the Parasurama Temple
The Thretheswara Swamy Temple

We visited the temple of Sri Thretheswara Swamy who is in the form of a Siva lingam. According to legend, it was in the Thretha yuga that there lived a Rakshasa (demon) called Threthasura, who had increasingly become a menace to society and greatly feared. The sages, including Sage Narada performed yagnas to propitiate Lord Siva. Lord Shiva emerged from the sacred fire in the form of a lingam and then to took his form to kill the demon.

Perambulating outside the Thretheswara temple
The Siva Lingam
Goddess Kamakshi, Attirala

On top of the gopuram of the temple is a lamp post, where a shikhar deepam (lamp) is lit on Maha Shivaratri and full moon n the month of Kartik (Kartik Purnima). It is believe that this light could be seen for 30 kilometres.

After the visit to Attirala, we were then on our way to Tallapaka that has the unique distinction of being the birthplace of the great saint and composer Annamacharya.

Pictures Credit: A S Diwakar (Chennai)

September 2022

You can read the previous articles of the trail here.

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