The shrine which is dedicated to Lord Narasimha or Vishnu in the aspect of a lion is built on the top of a hill which is about 800 feet above sea level. The presiding deity here is Varaha Lakshminarasimha, combining the iconographic features of Varaha and Narasimha. The image resembles a Shivalingam covered with sandalwood paste. Legend has it that the Ugra form of Narasimha as he killed the demon Hiranyakashipu was so fierce that the image is kept covered by sandalwood paste throughout the year. It is only once a year, during the Chandana Visarjana in May that the sandalwood paste is removed. This day is considered to be especially sacred, and people visit the shrine to have Darshan of the Lord on this day.
Lord Siva assumed the shape of bird or Sarabha and pacified Lord Narasimha. The consecration of this image of the Lord in this form is said to destroy enemies, secure success in battles, cure all ailments and procure every good. One of the pillars in the Mukhamantapa of the temple is named Kappam Stambham or the pillar of tribute. This attracts a large number of pilgrims, since the popular belief is that the pillar has the power of curing barrenness among women and cattle disease.
Noteworthy features of the temple: This temple boasts of a beautiful stone chariot drawn by horses. The Kalyana Mandapa within the temple has 16 pillars with bas reliefs depicting the incarnations of Vishnu. Narasimha, the man lion incarnation of Vishnu, is seen in several depictions throughout the temple.
Hiranyakasipu was a Rakshasa king. He was in fact one of Vishnu's Dwarapalakas or gate keepers in Vaikuntha, Jaya and Vijaya. They had to take birth in the mortal world thrice because of a curse given by Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanathana and Sanathkumara, who were not allowed to take darshan of Mahavishnu by them. The other palaka was born as his brother Hiranyaaksha. Hiranyakasipu wanted to become immortal and hence performed austerities (tapasya) to propitiate Lord Brahma. However, Lord Brahma said that was not possible. So Hiranyakasipu asked Lord Brahma to grant him a boon so that he would not be killed by any animal or man, neither in the morning nor in the night, by any weapons, neither in the sky nor on the earth.
Hiranyakasipu wanted the entire world to worship him. But, Prahalada, his son, was a devotee of Lord Narayana and always expressed his bhakti towards Him. Inspite of warning him several times, Hiranyakasipu could not alter Prahlada's devotion. This made Hiranyakasipu angry and he made numerous attempts to get Prahlada killed. One of them was to throw him off the top of a mountain. However, Vishnu rescued him by moving the mountain and made a small path for Prahaladha. It is said that in the place where the Lord stood to protect Prahaladha is the place where the temple is built.
One can reach Simhachalam from almost any where in Vizag. If you get down at the Waltair Railway Station, you can visit Simhachalam by Bus ( 6A ) or hire a Cab.
Busses numbered 6A and 40 start from the Dwaraka Bus Station ( APSRTC Complex ).
If starting from Gajuwaka, you can get Bus numbered 55. And if you want to start from Maddilipalem, get the bus numbered 540.
If you like to have a more comfortable journey, hiring a cab is always a good idea.