The Lakshmi Narasimha Temple is situated in temple town named Antarvedi of Sakhinetipalle Mandal, located in the East Godavari district of the Andhra Pradesh state in India. The temple is situated at the place where the Bay of Bengal and Vashista Godavari, a tributary of the Godavari River, meet. It was built in the 15th and 16th centuries.
About the temple
For sometime after commencement of Kaliyuga, Antervedi was a Jungle where Kesavadas, a cow-herd used to graze his cows daily. A reddish brown cow of the herd goes lonely in the jungle and used to shed her milk on the hill behind a bush. On her returning home, Kesavadas was not given milk by the cow. One day he followed that cow and was astonished to see the scene that was daily happening. He was too much worried and feared about this. He could not get sleep that night. At last when he could, somehow merge him in to sleep. Lord Narahari appeared on him in dream and said to him to build a temple for him there. The next morning Kesavadas told this to the villagers. A Brahmin scholar of the village, who had a sound knowledge if the Sastras, could guess the God appeared to Kesavadas in dream to be Loard-Narasimha who was once erected and worshipped by the Sage Vasistha. The villagers made a survey of the ant-hill area, where the cow daily used to shed her milk, and dug the area after offering coconuts to the Lord. They found a stoney culptured from of the Lord Narasimha. They build a temple there and that place became one of the most popular shrines in the later ages. The daily rituals and annual-fair have been conducted since then. The village where Kesavadas lived in named after him as “Kesavadasupalem.” After sometimes the temple was ruined. The Sri Narendra Lakshmi Narasimha Rao, wealthy generous gentleman of the area took initiative in re-erecting the temple. He donated some money and his men to Bhadrachalam to purchase timber for the construction of the temple. His men went to Bhadrachalam, selected the logs and marked them with the Lord’s name paying the money. But there was no content in the Godavari being low because of failure of monsoon. They appealed to Narasimha Rao about situation that gentleman did tapas in devotion of the Lord” as the sea-shore with out food continuously for three days, but the lord didn’t two shower his grace. So he got angry and standing in Seawater said that the Lord was a destitute lion who could not come and see logs of wood even arranged for the construction of his temple. The same night there was heavy rain which brought all the logs of wood that we marked with the lord’s name to the Ganta-ghat of Antarvedhi. The Sri Narasimha Rao ordered that all the wood could reach Gantaghat in a single leap. Later on,the temple was re-erected by the notable initiative of Sri Narasimha Rao with the villager’s cooperation. Again all the rituals were celebrated as usual.
After sometime, the temple was again ruined then some devotees were in plans of re-constructing the temple. One night Lord Narahari appeared to devotees of the Lord who had two sons Ranganatha and Krishnamma residing at Bendamurulanka. The villagers, on hearing the devotees’ dream, approached a Sri Adinarayana and sought his financial contribution. Adinarayana denied helping them as he was in a desperate need because of his missing seven of his ships. Then his son Ranganatha said to him that somebody appeared to him in dream and asked him to construct a temple a tower and canopy for him. So that they would be blessed with every joy and wealth. Adinarayana was thrilled to hear his son words and prayed the Lord that he would definitely construct a temple, a tower and a canopy spending the whole money present in his seven ships, if they would be back to shore without any damages, by the grace of the Lord on third day all the seven ships returned to the shore without any loss. Adinarayana was pleased to hear the news and executed his oath. He ordered his sailors to get the required stone equipment for the construction of the temple, the tower and the canopy. On an auspicious day the foundation stone was laid on a first step for the reconstructions of the temple in 1823. The reconstruction work that initiated by Adinarayana, was completed by the combined effort of his sons Ranganatha and Krishnamma. This is historically evident from a stone inscription in the temple even today.
Sometime later once a fisherman was fishing his net in the Raktakulya River. He found a marble Saligrama instead of finished. He carelessly threw it back into the water and again spread his net. He found the same stone as many times as he was fishing at different spots of the river he found the same stone coming again to him. Being afraid of this incident, he angrily dashed it to the ground then there was a strange continuous blood flow from the stone with surprise and fear, he prayed to the Lord and fell senseless there. The Lord appered to him in dream and said that he only appeared in the waters of Raktakulya river as Kurmavatara in marble and asked him to take him to the temple and install him at the Abode of Lord Narasimha telling the priests as his words to celebrate the “Nityabhisheka” formalities to him along with Lord Narasimha there. The fisher did so this story from Kurma incarnation of the Lord can be seen available even today at Antarvedi Devasthanam.
There are five important spots of this Holy shrine:
1) The Sea.
2) The Sager Sangam
3) The Vasishta River
4) The Raktakulya River
5) The Chakrateertham
Legend and stories
In Kritayuga, Sage Sounaka and his colleagues gathered in Naimisaranya to conduct Satrayaga in the their Leisure time, they used to learn about distinguished and significant shrines from the suta, a quaranic narrator. One day, they asked him to tell about the greatness and significance of Antarvedi Shrine and of Lord Lakshmi Narasimha. Suta was Pleased to tell the story which was once told by Lord Brahma to Sage Narada. Once Narada asked Lord Brahma to tell about the historical back ground of the Antarvedi, Lord Brahma spoke as follows. Sage Vasista after mingling the Goutam Branch of the river Godavari into the Sea established his ashram Lord Brahma, to get freed from the sins committed against Lord Sankara, performed Rudrayaga and installed Lord Neela Kantheswara there. As that Place was made a stage or ‘Vedik’.to perform the Yaga, it was named as “ANTARVEDI” It is the place beside the vasisthta river.
After some time, Raktavilochana, the son of Hiranyaksha, did tremendous penance for ten thousand years on the banks of the Vasishta River, to please Lord Siva and to get his Grace Lord Sanjara was very much pleased with his penance and appeared before him. He promised to bless him with whatever he would desire. Raktavilochana asked him that the number of sand particles drenched by the blood drops failing from his body on to the ground at war, would produce equal number of Rakshasas as strong and vigorous as him self after and they would assist him at was and become one with him after Killing all the enemies. Lord Sankara was astonished at the demon’s uncommon desire, but as per the promise, being impressed of his penance had concerned to his desire, then the rakshasas pride knew no bounds. He started harassing Brahmins, the Gods, the saints and the cows and obstructed yagas and Vedic-recitals.
Sage Viswamitra found opportunity to take revenge against Sage Vasishta and provoke Raktavilochana to kill Vasisthta’s Wife, wept a lot for the death of her son and prayed to Vasisthta who was then at Brahmaloka. The Sage by his divine vision, colud come to know of what all happened at his hermitage. He returned to his ashram and prayed for Lord Narasimha’s grace.
"Prahlada varadam Vishnum Nrusimham Paradivatam, Saranam Sarvalokaanaamaapannaarti Nivaaranam."
Then to save his devotees, Lord Narasimha along with Goddess Lakshmi, Charioted on Garuda Vahana and appeared before Vasisthta. Vasisthta after singing his glory, appealed about the arrogance of the demon and his cruelty in killing his sons. He then prayed to the Lord to descend at his ashram, after killing the demon, so that he would worship him always. Lord Narahari blows the “panchajanya” inviting the demon to the war. Raktavilochana heard the thundering noise of the panchajanyaand like a cyclone enveloped the lord and engulfed him to fight with him. He shot all type of weapons at the Lord.Lord Narahari could attack and smash those with his only weapons the ‘Sudarsana’ the chakrayudh wounded the sensitive parts of the demon’s body. As a result of which blood-shed took place. the soil particles drenched by the blood droops falling on to the ground from his body, produced equal number of demons as strong and vigorous as Raktavilochana. Demons having been thus generated began hurting Garuda who attacked them in such away that they could not with stand him. The demon-King saw this and threw his weapon one after another at Garuda which could not do any things against him, as Lord Narahari destroyed them on the way with Sudarsana Chakrayudha.
In addition to that he created ‘Maya Sakthi’ to manage stopping the fall of blood drops from Rakta Vilochana’s body to the ground. At last, after a thought fight with the demon, Lord narahari Killed by cutting his hand with Chakrayudha, With the same Sudharsanacharka,he killed the demons also. Then the blood stopped by Maya Sakthi from falling ground, was released by her as a reddish river, Knows as the “Raktakulya”. This river can’t be passed over even Bhetala and devils. Maya Sakthi rode a Horse, and so is called as “Aswarudhamba” or “Gurralakka” The place where the Lord after Killing the demons washed his Chakrayudha, become popular as “Chakrateertham” A dip at the place washed away all the sins. When the Lord wiped of the troubling demon, Vasishta expressed his desire of establishing his Holiness at his hermitage. The Lord was pleased to fulfill his desire.
Sage Vasishta on an auspicious day, in the Presence of all Gods and angles with all Vedic formalities, erected Lord Narahari at Antaravedi all of them said their prayers to the Lord and sang His glory. Then the lord told them about the significant greatness of the shrine in future. He described Antarvedi in many ways as the easiest means for achieving the ultimate Mukti.
Later on, Suta, at the request of the sages, explained in detail about the sacred and splendid power of the Lord of Antarvedi,the effects of doing any harm to it and the remedy for it .He told them the story of santhana as an illustration. Once Santhana by mistake lost his divinity and was cursed as unworthy to ascend the divine chariot. Sage Narada advised him to follow Indra’s son regain divinity. Indra’s son used to take away all flower from a garden cultured by “Ruchi” at Antarvedi. Ruchi was much worried about this Lord Narahari appeared in his dream and advised him to keep the flowery remnants of worship of the temple around the garden. He did so on the next day. As usual, indra’s son descended on to the earth in his chariot and passed over the flowery remnants. But when he returned to his chariot, he could not find them there, as he lost his divinity by passing over the flowery remnants. Then his driver told him the cause for it. He at his matter’s request, before returning to the Heaven; also advised him to perform Mahasatrayage for twelve years and to eat the food left over after being tasted by the Brahmins. Indra’s son did so The Brahmins learned from him about the purpose of doing so and blessed him. Then he regained his divinity and returned to the Heaven ascending his chariot. Santhana was advised by Narada to follow indra’s son also did soat, Antarvedi and regained divinity.
Every year on the day before Bhishma Ekadashi i.e. Dashami, which is observed Magha Shukla Ekadashi (Eleventh Day) in Magha Masam (February) Lord Sri Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Kalyanotsavam (divine wedding of Lord Sri Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy and Goddess Lakshmi Devi) is celebrated with much enthusiasm. On the Bhishma Ekadashi, the Rath Yatra is celebrated. Devotees in huge number attend to watch the Celestial Wedding and take holy dip at the sangamam (Saptha Sagara Sangamam).During the month of November, throngs of devotees come to the temple premises to witness the Deity of Narasimha Swamy without any of the ornaments, garb, or chandanam (sandal paste) that normally adorn the Lord's Form. In the month of Phalguna (January), the Lord's chariot procession is held. Dole pournami celebrations are also held, when the Lord is worshipped with panchamrita abhishekam. Sri Venkateswara Swamy kalyanam, (Jyeshta Sudha Ekadasi)., Sri Narasimha Jayanthi (Vysakha Sudha Chaturdasi) are the other festivals celebrated here.
For tourists as well as pilgrims one can hire ferries (boats) which are available to visit the small island that is on the other side of the river and also to the point where the river and the ocean actually meet. On off seasons, one avail the ferry service for a nominal fee whereas in the peak seasons the fee rises alarmingly. The cost varies depends on the number of people. If limited a number of people are willing to visit the island, a nominal amount of INR 350 will be charged. If a more number of people are available, INR 50 will be charged for each person.
2 Aasthothara Namarchana with Gotranamamulu
3 Kesa khandana
4 Vahana Pooja
7 Sasvatha Pooja
8 Video Charges
12 Sasvatha Kalyanam
13 Mokkubadi Kalyanam
14 Sudharshana Homam
It is said that there will be no re-birth on taking a dip at these places and on offering charities there. performing ceremonial formalities to the ancestors at this holy-shrine is equivalent to those done at Gaya and Ganges. One who passes away at this place will be blessed from with multitudes from distant place, will be blessed from with multitudes from distant place like Varanasi, visit this place, especially to participate in Lord Narasimha’s Chariot procession in the month of Phalguna (January) and dolepournami celebration in the month of Phalguna (March).Then the Lord is worshipped with panchamrita abhishekam.This Shrine blesses the pilgrims with Mukti,and so it is also called the Mukti Kshetra.Antarvedi is also named after the Lord as” Narasimhakshetra”
Antarvedi has the Sea in the East and the South the Godavari in the West and the Raktakulya river the North. It covers a distance of about four square miles. It is in the Razole Tq., of the East Godavari District. Special Conveyance facilities are arranged for the convenience of the pilgrims coming from distance place attend the annual Meal there. At the time of the Meal, Antarvedi Seems to be Kaliyuga Vaikuntha The Meal runs for about nine days. It is one hundred and eight shrines of Lord Narasimha. Antarvedi is said to be the second Varanasi by the grace of the Lord , the resident of the shrine have a fear of the floods or of the drought. A mere wish to visit this holy place, will bless the devotees with desired results. Thus the great glory of the shrine is boundless.
Antarvedi is 130 Kms from Kakinada and 100 kms from Rajahmundry. One can reach Antarvedi either by train or by road. For those who travel by train one can either board or get down at either Rajahmundry or Narsapur. There are number of buses available from Kakinada and Rajahmundry also. Or one can board a bus at Hyderabad to Razole, whereon they can go to Malkipuram and thereto Antarvedi. Antarvedi can also be reached by boat from Narsapur, which is 112-km south of Rajahmundry.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Freedom from diseases
- Relief from adverse effects from bad planetary aspects
- Relief from bondage
Achutham Keyshavam Rama Narayanam Krishna Damodaram Vasudevam Harim Shridharam Madhavam Gopika Vallabham Janaki Nayakam Ramachandram Bhajey
Meaning -Oh Lord who cannot be perished, who also has names like Keshava, Rama, Damodara, Narayana, Sridhara, Madhava, Krishna, Ramachandra the beloved of Janaki, let me say your name regularly.
Vasudeva Sutham Devam Kamsa Chanoora Mardhanam Devaki Paramanandham Krishnam Vande Jagathgurum
Meaning -I bow to you O Krishna, the ultimate guru, Devaki and Vasudeva's son, and the destroyer of Kamsa and Chanur.
Adharam Madhuram Vadanam Madhuram Nayanam Madhuram Hasitam Madhuram Hridayam Madhuram Gamanam Madhuram Mathuraa Dhipate Rakhilam Madhuram
Meaning -Meaning - Sweet are Your lips, sweet is Your face, sweet are Your eyes, sweet is Your smile, sweet is Your heart, sweet is Your gait, O Lord of Mathura, everything about You is sweet.
Alokya Mathur Mukha Madarena Sthanyam Pibantham Saraseeruhaksham Sachinmayam Devam Anantha Roopam Balam Mukundam Manasa Smarami
Meaning -I think of this Balamukundan as the one who looks lovingly at his mother's face while taking milk from her, who has eyes similar to the red lotus, who is the embodiment of truth and intelligence and other forms.