Two old busses took all of the group and we drove along the beachside of Visakhapatnam before continuing via a new bypass around Visakh to Simhachalam. Then the busses climbed uphill to the temple compound lying in a little valley near the top. The went further up a stair to a place where we had to leave our shoes and bags – no cellphones and cameras allowed inside the temple – but I took my camera inside the pocket.
Leaving the busses
The stairway up
The outer premises of the templs
A calf before the entrance
There are three entrance lane, one for free, where normally are many people – the “slow way to heaven”, one for 20 rupees, which the group took – where you can go near the innermost of the temple, and one for 100 rupees where you can enter the innermost – the direct way to heaven, as I jokingly said.
You enter through a side-tower into the outer part of the temple, there is a little temple with pillars hold by lion and elephant figures. The central temple is at the site of a very old and sacred place, but seems to be not so very old. Inside taking photos is strictly forbidden and I knew from previous visits that they really don’t like and I didn’t like to be discovered taking a shot…
Raviskankar, an Indian member accompanying the group discussed with the guards and finally the whole group was allowed to enter the holiest of the holy of the temple.
The name Simha means lion, and the temple is dedicated to the avatara of God as the man-lion. I was asked by the group to explain the symbolism, the story expressing the opening of the heart centre by killing the “demon” who had taken over the rulership of the “earth”, or the human body – a story of the soul triumphing over the personality.
The Avatar Narasimha, the man-lion, opens the heart of the demon king Hiranyakashipu – our own heart
Afterwards part of the group took a bus back to the valley, while I joined the ones who descended via a long stairway of about 1000 steps. I love this way along little statues, symbols, holy trees and a small waterfall.
Descending via the beautiful stairway
My favorite Ganesha, overgrown by a tree
In the village at the bottom end of the stairway,on the site where the Guru Pooja celebrations are to begin tomorrow, the preparations were at full swing – incredible how they want to finish all the work till this evening. After having a delicious meal served by the Indian members to us, we went to a nearby lake with a little temple surrounded by lotus flowers. Then we continued to a palm grove where I write these lines.
The lake with the lotus flowers
Under the palms
I’m posting this some minutes before leaving early morning to Simhachalams