AHOBILAM TEMPLE (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – Art & Culture)

News-CRUX-10     4th April 2024        

Context: Recently, the Forest Department and Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Devasthanam (SLNSD) at Ahobilam have implemented visitor restrictions due to the shrine's location within the Nallamala forest, housing nine distinct temples.

Ahobilam Temple

  • About: It is located in the Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh and is counted among the 108 Vaishnava Divyadesams.
  • Temples of Ahobilam: The region is famous for two temples situated in Lower Ahobilam and Upper Ahobilam.
  • Mythological Significance: According to local legend, Ahobilam is where Lord Narasimha, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, blessed Prahlada and slayed Hiranyakashipu.
  • Ahobilam Narasimha Temple: This temple is the primary and oldest among the nine temples in Ahobilam.

Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR)

  • About: It is the largest tiger reserve in India.
  • Declared: Tiger reserve in 1983, NSTR covers 3,727.82 sq km, encompassing core and buffer areas.
  • Role of Ahobilam National Tiger Conservation Authority: NTCA, formed under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, oversees rare flora and fauna, particularly around the Pavana Narasimha temple area, which is habitat to red sanders, leopards, deer, and five tigers.
  • Vegetation: Tropical dry deciduous forests
  • Restrictions: They are imposed due to the intense heatwave to ensure the safety of wild animals, including a ban on plastic usage, with designated deposition points at the Cheethal base camp.
  • Prohibition: Overnight stays are prohibited to mitigate man-animal conflict, especially with nocturnal animal movements. 

oThe department explicitly prohibits the practice of animal sacrifice at the shrine, acknowledging its potential impact on wildlife.