The Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy mandiram at Yadagiri Gutta is perhaps among the most popular and widely known temples of Telangana state. As with many temples of the region, its history goes into a timeless antiquity. The proximity and location of the temple puts it easily at the top spot in terms of popularity in the state. This temple is currently under major renovation and expansion and is a large project undertaken by the present (2020) state government of Telangana.
During the Tretayugam, there lived a sage named Yadarishi. He was an earnest devotee of Lord Vishnu and hence, he decided to serve a penance to the great lord. Inside a cave on a hill that was blessed by Anjaneya, Yadarishi began to indulge in his deep and ardent penance for Lord Vishnu. Soon, Lord Vishnu was pleased by Yadarishi’s undying devotion and appeared before him to bless him.
Sri Maha Vishnu gave darshana to Yadarishi in the five forms of Narasimha – Sri Jwalanarasimha, Sri Yogananda, Sri Gandabherunda, Sri Ugra and Sri Lakshminarasimha. Awestruck and overwhelmed by the vision, Yadarishi pleaded with the Lord to bless him with a permanent experience of his presence in these forms. The Lord granted the prayer and established himself in the walls of the caves in the five forms. This kshetram is therefore now celebrated and worshipped to as the ‘Pancha Narasimha Khsetram’. These five forms are the principal deities of the Yadagiri Gutta temple.
There is another version of the purana. After Yadarishi attained moksha, the local tribals learnt of the Lord’s presence and started flocking in to pay their respects. However, since they weren’t a very learned group, they unknowingly started indulging in improper worship, and because of this, the Lord decided to move into the hills. The tribals searched for the lord for many years but to no avail. One night, Lord Narasimha appeared in the dreams of one of his devotees in the tribes and directed her to come to a cave. When she did, the Lord blessed her generously by appearing in five different forms and then manifested himself in the walls of the caves, which is now the Yadagiri Gutta temple.
The deity’s powers have also been known to have helped those under the influence of witchcraft and black magic. A 40 day mandala pradakshina is carried out at the temple by the devotees that need the Lord’s help in curing many diseases.
The Skanda Purana say that a golden Chakra rests atop the temple and it is in fact the golden Sudarshana Chakra of Lord Vishnu himself. This Chakra holds unfathomable mystical power. Many years ago, the Sudarshan Chakra moved in the direction from which the Lord’s devotees were approaching to guide them towards the temple. Legend says that the Chakra, ever since it has been resting at the temple’s apex, has only moved by its own will and no human being will ever possess the power to turn it.
Yadadri is a fast developing temple town. A location of substantial interest is the complex of Surendrapuri. It depicts close to a hundred different models of tirtha kshetras from across the Bharata Varsha.
At less than three kilometers from the Yadadri temple, it is a must see for every pilgrim to Yadadri.
The Hindu report on Yadagiri Gutta
Indian Express reporting on Yadadri
Telangana Tourism site on Surendrapuri
Historian, Scholar, Journalist, Activist –Sri Suravaram Pratap Reddy
The Magnificent Temple Heritage of Sri Bhujangeshwara at Ummatturu