This is a very ancient sacred place (pilgrim centre). Lord Narasimha manifested Himself here as a huge of rock in “Yoga mudra” (in an entwined contemplative posture) and hence it acquired the name of “Penusila” (huge rock) and in course of time became famous as “Penchalakona”. Legend has it that after slaying the demon Hiranya Kasipa, Lord Narsimha bathed in Penchalakona and withdrew that “Avatara”(incarnation) of Narasimha, shedding His anger and ferocity. The Lord here goes by the name of Somasila Narasimhaswamy and has become one of the Nava Narasimhas (nine manifestations).
In the prehistoric days Lord Sri Vishnu killed Hiranyakasipa and he was moving around in the Forest, Goddess Sreedevi came in the disguise of ‘Chenchu’ tribe lady to calm down the anger of Lord Vishnu. She calms him down and hugs him (‘Penu chesukonuta’),so this temple(‘kshetra’) was named ‘Penusila’.Later on, as the days passed by the name changed to ‘Penchalakona’.This temple has lot of fame and is reputed as the ninth kshetra of Lord Vishnu.
The Temple of Sri Penusila Lakshmi Narasimaha Swamy is situated at the foot of Hill of the picturesque Penchalakona Valley. The history of the Temple is buried in a hoary past and its “STHALAPURANA” indicates that it was a famed place as “TAPOVAN” of KANVAMAHARSHI who performed penance. The river KANDLERU as it is now called, originates from the water falls of the mountain ranges on the WEST and the South, had another name KANVAYERU. The river flows through Rapur Taluk and empties itself in the Bay of Bengal, Near Krishnapatnam.
The only construction that seems to have been at tempted about 670 years ago was the Garbhalayam (SANCTUM SANCTORUM) which had gradually been left neglected. And today it is in a state of virtual collapse. The image of the lord is a self manifested one. ( SWAYAMBHU) Two stones inter twisted to from a lion’s Head at the top. Hence the Lord is called “PENUSILA LAKSHMI NARASIMAHA SWAMY” I Telugu “PENU” means twist and “SILA” is stone. After killing Hiranya Kasipa as NARASIMAHA, Lord Vishnu married Chenchu Lakshmi in BHAIRAVAKONA, a place at a short distance from Pensusilakona and killed the RAKSHASAS who were torturing “RISHIS” . The Lord, Vishnu used to visit the lake every Saturday and as an evidence a Silver Umbrella rose from the Lake. The DEITY is very powerful are renowned as the saviour of chaste women.
Everyday gollabayadu used to go to the Kona to graze his cattle regularly from Gonupalli. One day boyadu saw an old man who told him that Penusila Lakshmi Narasimah Swamy established Himself in Kona. He asked boyadu to straight to the village head an inform of this miracle. He turned back to see the old man. To his astonishment the old man transformed himself into a rock.
Water fallsThe water fall coming from the hill where the Lord lies, flows down in the northward direction. In ancient days a devote, Maharishi(Saint) by name ‘Kanva’ dwelled by this river and used this for his basic needs .This is what people here believe. So, this lake is named after him as ‘Kanvayeru’. As the days passed by the name was changed to ‘Kandaleru’. Government in 1982 constructed a dam In a low level region near by this lake. They named this dam as ‘Kandaleru dam’. Because of this dam the agriculture of many surrounding lands was fruitful and this dam gave Livelihood to many natives.
Directions to penchala kona
- People from Andhra Pradesh Kadapa and surrounding areas can come to PenchalaKona by passing the places Rajampeta – Rapuru on the way. There is a bus facility from Rapuru to Penchalakona every half an hour. Distance around 30 Kilometers.
- People coming from Andhra Pradesh Vijayawada and Vizag should take the train route till Nellore. From Nellore, for every hour there will be a bus to Penchulakona. The distance is around 75 Kilometers.
- People coming from Andhra Pradesh Tirupati and surroundings can reach here via VenkataGiri and Rapuru. Distance from Tirupati is 115 Kilometers.
- People from Tamil Nadu Chennai and other southern parts can come till Guduru on train. From there they can come here by bus via Rapuru. Distance from Guduru is 65 Kilometers.