Mangalagiri is one of South India’s oldest Vaishnavite temples. The goddess in this holy place is Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy. 11 Storied lofty Gali Gopuram is a major attraction for pilgrims and visitors alike. It was built during the period 1807-1809 by the then Zamindar Sri Raja Vasireddy Venkatadri Naidu and 200 years of its construction have been completed. While people look forward to celebrating its bi-centenary of construction, it has been learned through the press that Andhra Pradesh’s government has made a decision to demolish it and replace it with a new Gopuram that is not being digested by devotees and the public.
The background to government decision is–an old gal gopuram built-in Srikalahasti during the Vijayanagara Kingdom period has fallen, causing heartening sentiments between devotees and the public. The government then sent a Technical Committee of Experts to inspect Mangalagiri to report on its power. The Technical Committee of Experts has released its guidelines to propose measures to protect the same. To the public’s surprise, instead of taking remedial action suggested by the panel, the government took a tough decision to demolish Mangalagiri Gali Gopuram and build a new one in its place with an estimated cost of Rs.10.5 crore.
Several volunteer organizations and the public are agitating against the decision of the government. An expert committee that inspected the Gali Gopuram has given its opinion on behalf of the public that the Gopuram is not in immediate danger. They suggested that ground improvement methods can protect the Gali Gopuram with an approximate cost of Rs.1 crore.
History of Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple
Mangalagiri has been ruled by great kings since 225 B.C. Andhra Satavahanas in 225 B.C. ruled. Till A.D. 225. With the capital of Dhanya Katakam. From A.D. 225. Ikshwakus ruled until 300 A.D. Pallavas began to rule after 300 A.D. Ananda Gotrajas ruled as the capital after that with Kanteru. From 420 A.D. Vishnu Kundeenas ruled. Till 620 A.D. Madhava Verma-2, ruled by Vijayawada as the capital in the century of Vishnu kundeenas. Chanakya’s ruled after 630 A.D.
Kakateeyas ruled Mangalagiri after the Palnati war in 1180 A.D. Delhi sultans defeated Kakateeyas in 1323, and they were governed by Mangalagiri. Reddi kings ruled as the capital in 1353 with Kondaveedu. Kondaveedu kingdom was abolished in 1424, and Mangalagiri was taken to Orissa under the rule of Gajapathi kings.
Sri Krishnadeva Raya defeated Gajapathi kings in 1515, Andhra Bhoja, and he started to rule. Mangalagiri is one of the 200 cities in the kingdom of Vijayanagara. Vijayanagar kingdom was defeated in the Tallikota war in 1565, and Golkonda Kuthub Shahi started to rule. Golkonda’s sultan divided kondaveedu into 14 sections, one of which was Mangalagiri. At that time, there were 33 villages in Mangalagiri. It was under French rule from 1750-1758 and under Nijams rule from 1758-1788.
Nijam Alikhan gave Guntur to the British people on 18-9-1788, Hyderabad naval. They made this place’s Jamindar Raja Vasireddi Venkatadri Naidu. For the temple, he built Gali Gopuram (big tower). Between 1788 to 1794, the East India company’s Circuit Committee governed Mangalagiri. Circuit committee was abolished in 1794, and the district of Guntur was established with 14 Mandals. In 1859, in the district of Krishna, Guntur district was merged and split on 1-10-1904. Mangalagiri has since been part of the district of Guntur.
Daily Poojas in Panakala Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple Timings
Morning 07-00 Opening the doors
07-00 to 07-30 Morning Archana
07-30 to 01-00 Special Archana for the devotees and offering Panakam
03-00 Closing the doors