People in Guntur were quite friendly and loved talking about their city to visitors. I figured that in one of our evening walks the previous day. My friend shook me from my thoughts reminding me of our next must-see place in our itinerary. We had to visit Mangalagiri Temple, which is located 25 km away from the Guntur City. There were many buses connecting Guntur and Mangalagiri and so we decided to catch an early bus to the temple.
There are three temples in Mangalagiri and they are Panakala Narasimha Swamy Temple, Gandala Narasimha Swamy Temple, and Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple. When the first and second temples are on the hill, the third is on the foot of the hill. We checked the temple timings and found them to be open until 12.30 pm. We chose to visit them in the morning for there were no ‘archana’ in the evenings.
When we reached the foothill, it was almost 9.30 am. My friend collected some details about the place. It is said Mangalagiri is one among the prominent eight temples in India, where Lord Vishnu manifested himself. We followed the devotees climbing the steps to Sri Panakala Laksmi Narasimha Swamy Temple. While climbing, we were to offer prayers to the footprints of Maha Prabhu Chaitanya.
Inside the temple, we stood at the sanctorum and offered prayers. Walking behind the temple, we stopped at Sri Lakshmi Temple to offer our prayers. Near this temple, there were steps leading to unduvalli Caves.
We also stopped at Gandala Narasimha Swamy Temple and lighted a lamp, where there was no deity. After the prayers, we climbed down to offer our prayers at the Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple at the foothill. The temple is known to have the highest tower or gopuram in India with a height of 153 feet and width 49 feet. The tower has eleven stories and its gates face the east and west directions.
The architecture on the gopuram is quite inspiring and shows the craftsmanship of the builder. There is also a tank on the opposite, which is said to be built to straighten the tower. The temple conducts festivals such as Brahmotsavam every year. It was getting hot and we had to travel to our last destination Sri Lakshmi Chennakesava Swamy Temple.