Devotees poured into the main temples in Telugu states on the occasion of Vaikunta Ekadasi. Mangalagiri.
This is the time when the sun entered into Sagittarius. Brahma Muhurta period for the gods Devotees…
coming to the north of Vaikuntha as the day of the gods visiting Lord Vishnu….
The north-door darshan of Lord Shiva is queued since early morning. Especially here, devotees are competing for the pilgrimage because they believe that the sins will be destroyed….
The temple Executive officer Mandepudi Panakalu have made all arrangements keeping in mind the crowd of devotees….
The southern state of Andhra Pradesh has innumerable temples dedicated to Lords Shiva and Vishnu and also to other deities. One of the few richest and popular temples is the temple at Thirumala – dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Equally famous is the Badrachalam Sri Ramar temple. Capitol city Magalagiri in Guntur district There is a famous temple in the foot hills dedicated to lord Vishnu. The other well-known temple being Sri Panakala Lakshmi Narasimha swamy Temple on the near-by temple.
The presiding deity in the temple here at the foot hill is called Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy and is believed to have been installed by Yudhishtira, the eldest of the pandavas. Raja Vasireddy Venkatadri Naidu who ruled from Amaravati as his capital 200 years ago (in 1807-1809) built the temple at Mangalagiri. The temple has a tall gopuram (tower) on the eastern side –153ft. tall and 49 feet wide with 11 stories. Thoorpu Gali Gopuram, main tower is replete with beautiful big images of various gods and goddesses from the Hindu Pantheon. These images bear testimony to the workmanship and amazing skills of the craftsmen and artisans of by-gone era. The water tank opposite the tower was built by the ruler to offset the slowly leaning tower as suggested by one Kancheepuram Archi. After digging the tank, it is said, the tower became straight. The first three tiers were built by the Vijayanagara rulers and the rest – 8 tiers were built by Raja Vasireddy Venkatadri Naidu. Utthara Gali Gopuram (Tower on North Side) built by Rangapuram Jamindar Madapati Venkateswararao in 1911 is thrown open on the Vaikunta Ekadasi (Mukkoti) day. The Padamati Gali Gopuram (Tower on West Side) is incomplete. Dhakshina Gali Gopuram (Tower on South Side) was renovated in 1992.
In the main shrine in the sanctum are the stone mages of the Lord Narasimha (man-lion) and his consort of Lakshmi Devi to his left. Lord Vihnu took Narashimha avatar to kill a tyrannical demon king Hiranyakasipu to save Prahlada, his devotee and son of the demon king. Here the lord is wearing a garland consisting of 108 saligramams and has a Dakshanavrutha Sankham, a special conch believed to have been used by Lord Krishna. it was presented by the Maratha ruler of Thanjavur Maharaja Sarfoji, a great ruler and a scholar. It is still being used in this temple during daily rituals. It was Thimmaraju Devaraju, a military chieftain of the Vijayanagar rulers who made additions to the temples such as prakarams – corridor, mandapams, towers, five images of Lord Bhairava, a festival chariot, spaces for annual ceremonies, flower gardens lakes and tanks.Yet another contribution by him was the utsava vigrahas in the temple – idol made of five metals meant for procession. The temple chariot / ratha is beautifully carved with various images from the scenes of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana and is believed to be pretty old.
From the the various stone inscriptions of the kings of Vijayanagara found in this temple, we come to know about the conquest of Rayalu over Kondapalli etc, grants of lands to the temple by Siddhiraju Thimmarajayya Devara and Chinna Thirumalayya(son of Annamacharya) to Ramanujakudam in 1561.