It is one of the eighteen “Narasimha Kshetras” i.e. shrines of Lord Narasimha in India. Simhachalam temple is known as the second richest temple in India (after Tirupati) earning a revenue of Rs. 520 million. The statue of the deity gives “nijaroopa darshan” (appearance in true form) for only 12 hours in a year i.e on Akshaya Trutiya day, the rest of the time the statue is covered with Sandalwood paste. The darshan described as ‘Chandana yatra’ or ‘Chandanotsavam’ falls every year in the month of Vaishakh (May).
Legend : Kulottunga Chola I of Tamilnadu, made endowments to this temple, as evidenced from inscriptions dating back to the year 1087. The Vengi Chalukyas of Andhra Pradesh renovated the original shrine in the 11th century. Much of the structure as it stands to day is the result of renovation by Narasimha I, of the Eastern Ganga dynasty, in the second quarter of the 13th century CE. Krishna Deva Raya, the Vijayanagar monarch visited this temple in the year 1516, as seen from inscriptions here. There are as many as 525 inscriptions in this temple.
This temple boasts of a beautiful stone chariot drawn by horses. The Kalyana Mandapa within the temple has 16 pillars with as reliefs depicting the incarnations of Vishnu. Narasimha, the man lion incarnation of Vishnu is seen in several depictions throughout the temple.The artwork here has elements of similarity with that of Konark. Elephants, flowers and plants are portrayed in plenty. The outer walls of the sanctum depict images of a royal personality (said to be King Narasimha) in various postures.