One of the most exquisitely sculpted shrines of Andhra Pradesh, Simhachalam temple is situated 16 km from Vizag among thickly wooded hills on the Simhachalam Konda. The beautifully-carved 16-pillared Natya mantapa and
the 96-pillared Kalyana mantapa bear testimony to the architectural brilliance of the temple. This is the abode of Lord Varaha Narasimha Swami The deity at Simhachalam, the lion-man incarnation of Lord Mahavishnu is usually covered with sandalwood paste. The original shape of the deity in the tribhanga posture has two hands with the head of a lion on a human torso. An inscription dated as far back as 1098 AD of the Chola King Kuloththunga provides some clue as to its antiquity. Another inscription shows a Queen of the Eastern Ganga of Kalinga (ancient Orissa) (1137-56 AD) covering the image with gold while a third inscription says the eastern Ganga King of Orissa, Narasimha Deva, built the main/central shrine in 1267 A.D. With more than 252 inscriptions in Oriya and Telugu describing the antecedents of the temple, it is a historically important monument.