Though thousands of devotees visit Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple in Simhachalam, more popularly known as Simhadri Appanna temple, the accommodation facilities and other basic pilgrim amenities are woefully short.
The temple, which is second only to Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirumala in the state when it comes to revenue generation, was promised development with regard to pilgrim amenities. But so far, the promises have remained empty words. Works pertaining to development of the hill shrine on the lines of Divyakshetram are still under progress.
As of now, there are only Gajapathi Satram and Nrusimha Sadhan atop the hillock, where the shrine of Lord Narasimha is located. But they can be used only during day time. There are no facilities for overnight stay atop the hill.
Simhachalam is one of the 18 Narasimha Kshetrams in the country. Its lack of development becomes glaring once the doors of the main shrine close at 9 p.m. After this stipulated time, there is no one to address the needs of devotees, who then inevitably get down the hill and search for whatever accommodation they can find.
Also, there is hardly any food available for the pilgrims. There is no devasthanam-run Annadhana Satram and the lone mobile canteen sells food at exorbitant prices.
When it comes to medical aid in case of an emergency, pilgrims are forced to depend on the health centre either at Adivivaram or Gopalapatnam.
The temple also fails to address the issue of security. There is no proper supervision of the available resources and metal detectors placed at the temple are hardly used.
The one thing Simhachalam does not lack is water, with 3.6 lakh litre available as against a daily consumption of 2.65 litre for temple, tonsure centre and other purposes.
Temple executive officer D Bhramarambha said proposals are being readied to provide accommodation for the visiting pilgrims at the foothills and also on the hill top.
As for medical facilities, she said that a 108 emergency vehicle is kept at the foothills and a homeopathy doctor is available at the hill shrine during day time. Further, a deputy civil surgeon of rural health centre at Adivivaram has been requested to run a medical camp at Simhachalam for the benefit of visiting pilgrims, she added.