Simhachalam is a Hindu pilgrim destination famous for Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha temple dedicated to twin incarnations of Lord Vishnu known as Narasimha (the man-lion) and Varaham. The town got the name from this temple placed atop if a hill. The place is rich in natural settings and the hillock offers many eye catching natural scenic locations and offer lush green scenery.
It has Sri Varahalakshmi Narasimha Swamy as the presiding deity. Simhachalam temple is known as the second richest temple (after Tirupati) earning a revenue of Rs. 520 million. The statue of the deity gives "nijaroopa darshan" (holy appearance in true form) for only 12 hours in a year i.e on Akshaya Tritiya day, the rest of the time the statue is covered with sandalwood paste. The darshan described as chandana yatra or chandanotsavam falls every year in Vaisakha masa (May).
The deity at Simhachalam, the lion-man incarnation of Lord Mahavishnu is usually covered with sandalwood paste. The original shape of the deity in the tribhanga posture has two hands with the head of a lion on a human torso.An inscription dated as far back as 1098 AD of the Chola king Kuloththunga provides some clue as to its antiquity. Another inscription shows a queen of the Velavadu chief Ganga (1137-56 AD) covering the image with gold while a third inscription says the eastern Ganga King Narasimha built the central shrine in 1267 A.D. With more than 252 inscriptions describing the antecedents of the temple, it is a historically important monument.
Sri Krishna Deva Raya after defeating Prataparudra Gajapathi visited the shrine twice in 1516 AD and 1519 AD and offered numerous villages for maintenance of bhogam (worship) along with valuable jewellery of which an emerald necklace is still in the temple. For the last two centuries the family of the Raja of Vizianagaram have been the temple's trustees.
Air: The nearest airport to Simhachalam is located at Visakhapatnam of about 16 km away. Pre-paid taxi services are available from Visakhpatnam airport to Simhachalam at a cost of Rs 300.
Rail: The nearest railway station is at Visakahapatnam, which is a major railway junction connected to all cities in India through rail.
Road: State Road Transport Corporation buses connect Simhachalam with other cities in the state. Simhachalam is easily accessible from Visakhpatnam. Visakhpatnam is connected by luxury buses from Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore.