Mangalagiri is situated about 12km south of Vijayawada. There is a major Lord Narasimha temple here. The Deity is called Pana xe “Narasimha” Narasimha (Panakala Narasimha), because he is believed to drink half the quantity of pana, or cold drink, offered by worshipers. It is said that when the Lord is offered sugar syrup, he does not take more than half. The temple is built around a self-manifest mouth of Lord Narasimha. Over the mouth, completing the face of the Lord, is a brass mask with an angry expression. A chakra and club are also self-manifested in the stone.
The temple is on a hill and is approached by ascending 600 steps. This temple has the highest gopuram in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Inside this temple there is a conch shell presented by the late king of Tanjor, and this shell, according to the locals, was used by Lord Krishna.
The temple priest takes a pot of sweet jaggery water and pours half of the drink with a conchshell into the Lord’s mouth. The jaggery water is made of liquefied gur-water (sugar), camphor, black pepper, and cardamom. Half of whatever quantity of jaggery water that is prepared is offered to the Lord and the rest is returned to the offerer as mahaprasad. While the water is being poured into the mouth of the Lord, you hear a gurgling sound as someone might make while drinking. Even though there is so much sugar water offered here, there is not a single ant on the hill.
It is said that Lord Narasimha rested here after killing Hiranyakasipu, and Lakshmi Devi then gave him a drink to quench his thirst. At the bottom of the hill there is an ancient Lakshmi Narasimha temple. Mangalagiri is mentioned as a holy place in the Skanda and Brahma-vaivarta Puranas.
Sri Chaitanya came here in 1512. There is an imprint of his feet and a verse dedicated to him in the temple. During the month of March, a large festival takes place in this temple.