Sri Kurmanatha swamy Temple

The temple is situated in the Gara mandal of the Srikakulam district, which is located at a distance of 130 kilometres (81 mi) from Visakhapatnam. Considered the only Indian temple where the Hindu deity Vishnu is worshipped in the form of a tortoise, Srikurmam is 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) away from Srikakulam town and 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) away from the Suryanarayana temple, Arasavalli.Believed to have been built before the 2nd century AD,the temple is popular among the Tamil diaspora as well because it is a Vaishnavite temple.Initially dedicated to Shiva and referred to as Kurmeswara temple, Ramanuja is said to have converted Srikurmam into a Vaishnavite temple in the 11th century AD.His disciples established Vaishnavism in the temple with the support of Kalinga king Anantavarman Chodaganga, the eastern Ganga king.Srikurmam was regarded as an important centre of Vaishnavism in the medieval period along with Simhachalam and others.It was also regarded as the Gurupitha (sacred place of the master) of the Ganga kings of Utkal.Naraharitirtha, the disciple of Madhvacharya, was instrumental in making Srikurmam the seat of Vishnavite religious activities.He also defended the place from an attack of the Sabaras, a group of savage inhabitants of the Ganjam forests.Srikurmam influenced the kings, officials, and Vaishnavite devotees to change their names in accordance with the religious faith they followed. Due to his close association with the eastern Ganga kings, Naraharitirtha created the office of Bhoga Pariksha (religious head) with the aim of having the successive Madhwa saints supervise religious matters and pray for the welfare of the royal family and kingdom. Naraharitirtha later built a temple dedicated to Yogananda Narasimha in front of Srikurmam.The temple inscriptions mention Narasimha Dasa Pandita and Purushottama Deva as the Bhoga Parikshas.Currently, Srikurmam is under the trusteeship of the Gajapathi Rajus of Vizianagaram.

Srikurmam Rd, Srikurmam, Andhra Pradesh 532404, India

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