Navagrahas attained their power of being the planets, by worshipping at AHOBILAM It is a major pilgrimage site and is one of the 108 Vaishnava Divyadesams. According to legend, this is where Lord Narasimha blessed Prahlada and killed the demon Hiranyakaship. There are nine temples around the Nallamala Forest range. A few temples can be reached through trekking. Some temples are inside the cave. Some temples are very difficult to trek. The Nallamala hills are personified as Adisesha with his head at Tirumala, middle at Ahobilam and the tail at Srisailam. According to legends it is believed that when the Devas saw the manifestation of Lord Vishnu as half-lion and half-man, they shouted “Ahobala”, meaning great strength as well as “Ahobila” meaning great cave, where the sanctum is situated. Hence, this place could be called either “Ahobalam” or “Ahobilam”. Belief is that the navagrahas attained their power of being the planets, by worshiping these deities of Narashimha.
People having malefic effect of any planet could get some reprieve by worshiping Narasimha. Sri Ahobilam Mahatmyam, The Lord Narasimha is a vara prasaddhi, one who bestows blessings readily. The exact legend has it that the Almighty took a form of a creature with the body of man and head of a lion, with super human strength. God’s motive was to kill the demon and save his devotee. The pillar, from which the God appeared, is marked by its base stone and can be accessed after an almost vertical climb up the hill. It is believed that the entire mountain split up into two, due to the impact of the pillar getting shattered by God and His rising from it, The pillar’s base is thus, on the edge of the cliff. In between the two hills, is a deep gorge, like a cleft. There are only a few families residing in Ahobilam, whose livelihood is to collect honey and bamboos.