Penchalakona Mountain in Nellore Dt., Madras is the highest point in the eastern ghat with in that district. Latitude 14” 18” N, Longitude 70”28” Elevation above sea level 45”3000ft.Page 849. Vol. VII of the Imperial Gazette of India by WW Hunter CIE, Director general of statistics to Govt. Of India Yr. 1881.Gonupalli is situated at a distance of 15 miles from Rapur. The total population of the village is made up of several sub-communities of caste Hindus, Scheduled Castes (368) and Scheduled Tribes (247). The Chief means of livelihood of the people is agriculture, Agricultural labour and other traditional occupations. The Temple Penusila Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy is situated at the foot of Hill to the Picturesque Penchalakona Valley. The history of the Temple is buried in a hoary post and its “STHALAPURANA’ indicates that it was a famed place as “THAPOVAN OF KANVAMAHARSHI” who performed penance. The river KANDALERU as it is now called, originates from the water falls of the mountain ranges on the WEST and the SOUTH, had another name KANVA YERU. The river flows through Rapur Taluk and empties itself in the Bay of Bengal, Near Krishnapatnam.
The only construction that seems to have been at tempted about 670 years ago was the Garbhalayam (SANCTUM SANCTORUM) which had gradually been left neglected. And today it is in a state of virtual collapse. The image of the Lord is a self manifested one (SWAYAMBHU). Two stones inter twisted to from a Lion’s Head at the Top. Hence the Lord is called “PENUSILA LAKSHMI NARASIMHA SWAMY” In Telugu “PENU” means twist and “SILA” is stone. After killing Hiranya Kasipa as NARASIMHA, Lord Vishnu married Chenchu Lakshmi in BHAIRAGIKONA, A PLACE AT A SHORT DISTANCE FROM Penusilakonda and killed the RAKSHASAS who were torturing “RISHIS”. The Lord, Vishnu used to visit the lake every Saturday and as evidence a Silver Umbrella rose from the Lake. The DEITY is a very powerful are renowned as the saviour of chaste women.
Everyday Gollaboyadu used to go to the Kona to graze his cattle regularly from Gonupalli. One day Boyadu saw an oldman who told him that Penusila Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy established himself in Kona. He asked boyadu to go straight to the village head and inform of this miracle. He asked boyadu to instruct the villagers as well. But as inclination pinched him, he turned back to see the old man. To his astonishment the old man transformed himself into a rock.
After some time the village head dreamt of the situation and accepted that the miracle was true. Then, the village head proceeded to built a temple and appointed Archakas (PRIESTS) to perform Pooja to the Deity regularly. Sri Penusila Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy as Penchala Swamy festival is celebrated every year from Vysakha Suddha Dwadasi to Bahula Padyami to five days. Devotees fulfill their vows and offer hair to the Deity. It is an ancient festival confined to the District and the neighboring Districts like Cuddapah.
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