By Smitakshi Guha
Located in Srikakulam district in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, Sri Kurmam is a small village known for housing some prominent Hindu temples, making it a significant landmark in Hindu pilgrimages.
Coming to the temples in this place, the fundamental and most popular one is the titular Sri Kurmanatha Temple, devoted to Lord Kurmanatha, who according to Hindu mythology, is believed to be the second avatar of popular deity Lord Vishnu. The temple is also known simply by the name of Sri Kurmam Temple. Right in front of it is the Yoganandha Narasimhan Temple. On the other hand, in Chittoor District in the state of Andhra Pradesh lies another Sri Kurmam Temple, dedicated to Lord Kurmanatha.
Basically the term “kurma” literally means a tortoise and this disguise of Lord Vishnu is termed as the Kurma Avatar. Coming to the architecture of this holy structure, it is known for its beautiful carvings of Lord Vishnu and many other popular Hindu deities. In fact the pivotal image of Lord Kurmam consists of fossils of an actual turtle.
There are Dhwajastambhams placed in the front as well as the back of the temple.
The administrative body of Simhachalam Devasthanam has taken the responsibility of maintenance and development of the temple, and thus, the temple village falls under their supervision.
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