Our sojourn around North Telangana landed us in the quaint town of Dharmapuri after Nirmal and Adilabad. Named after king Dharma Varma, who ruled this place, it is at its core a temple town. It is one of the nine Narasimha Kshetrams and is called Teertharamaraju owing to the propensity of the temples.
We reached around 8 pm and found accommodation at the Haritha hotel. As the sun rays filtered through the curtains the next morning, we were pleasantly surprised to see the river Godavari right from our window.
People come to the river bank from far to take a holy dip before going to the Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple. Interestingly, the river flows from north to south direction, hence the name Dakshina Vahini. After spending some time on the banks watching the activity, we started for our temple visit.
Replete with history
Among the temples here, the Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple is the most significant and ancient. Believed to have existed well before 850-928 BC, it was destroyed by the Bahamani Sultans between 1422 and 1436 and converted into a mosque. In 1448 AD, the temple was reconstructed.
The presiding deity is Lord Narasimha who is seen seated in a pad asana depicting the yogic posture with palms on his knees, the posture is considered very rare due to which devotees throng the temple to catch a glimpse of the God. Early morning prayers were in progress as we took a look around; the courtyard of the temple is quite spacious and has many smaller temples to accommodate the various gods in the Hindu pantheon like Shani, Anjaneya Swamy etc. Idols of Lord Yama, Lord Krishna, Lord Hanuman and the six-feet tall statue of Lord Brahma are in the temple as well. Beautiful carvings adorn the temple which is studied by students of art and architecture. There is a strong belief here that one who worships Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy will be relieved of mental, physical problems and loan debts and get to lead wealthier and healthier life. One can also avoid going to Yamapuri by praying here.
Later, we went to the Brahma Pushkarini Koneru which is close to the temple. The rising sun against the water made for a pretty picture. The koneru was remarkably clean and a few people were taking bath.
Dharmapuri is also home to one of the largest settlement of Vedic Brahmins in Telangana and a Sanskrit college. Even today, families in the town practice Vedic hymns and own old Talapatra scriptures. There is a rare temple of God Dattatreya (son of Lord Brahma) here which is worth a visit.
How to reach: Dharmapuri is located at a distance of 60kms from Karimnagar and 280 kms from Hyderabad. There are regular buses from Karimnagar and other major cities. You can also travel by your own car or taxi.
– The temple is open from 5 am to 8 pm except for an afternoon break from 2 to 4 pm.
– Best time to visit is from September to March.
– If you want to witness the temple at its best, you can plan your visit during the annual Brahmotsavam Jatra which begins from Phalgun Shudda Ekadashi and continues for ten days in March.
Nearby places: Koteshwara Swamy Devasthanam and Kondagattu Sri Anjaneya Swamy Temple