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Kurma Avatar Temples In India - Temples Dedicated to the Kurma Incarnation of Lord Vishnu

Kurma means Tortoise in Sanskrit and is the second of the 10 ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Here is a look at the important temples dedicated to Kurma Avatar of Vishnu. There are only very few temples in India that are exclusively dedicated to Kurma Avatar.

Sri Kurmanadha Temple at Srikurmam in Andhra Pradesh

The most famous temple in the world dedicated to the Kurma Avatar of Lord Vishnu is the famous Sri Kurmanadha temple at Srikurmam in Andhra Pradesh. The idol of Kurma worshipped in temple represents the head and body of a tortoise. The idol consists of two feet long two sacred stones coming out of the ground.

Temples Dedicated to the Kurma Incarnation of Lord Vishnu

The Kurma incarnation of Lord Vishnu is associated with the myth of the churning of the cosmic ocean (Samudra Manthan). The temple is believed to have been built before 2nd century AD and it is believed that the temple was revived by Sri Ramanuja Acharya. The temple underwent huge renovation in the 11th century and is noted for its sculptures and architecture. The temple is mentioned in numerous Puranas like Padma Purana, Brahmanda Purana.

Apart from being the only temple dedicated to the Kurma incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the deity installed in the temple has its back to the entrance. It is said that the Lord Kurma turned around to give darshan to one of his ardent devotee, a gypsy who was a low caste.

Another highlight of the temple is the Shwetha Pushkarani, a scared lake noted for its curative properties.

Sri Kurmanadha temple is located about 18 km southeast of Srikakulam Town in Andhra Pradesh.

Kurma Varadaraja Swamy Temple in Andhra Pradesh


Kurma Varadaraja Swamy Temple is located about 10 kms from Palamaner and 52 kms from Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh.

This is a small temple but with a long history of withstanding invaders. It is said that entire temple was covered by villagers to save it from the onslaught of invaders. 

Lord Vishnu is worshipped here in Kurma avatar along with Bhudevi.

Gavi Ranganatha Swamy Temple in Karnataka

Gavi Ranganatha Swamy Temple is located about 28 km from Hosadurga town in Chitradurga district. Lord Vishnu manifests himself here in the kurmavatara (tortoise) form inside a cave. Gavi translates to cave in Kannada.

The murti of Kurma Avatar is of divine origin and it appeared on its own. Bhagavan Vishnu in the form of a giant tortoise is on the floor, at the centre of the cave. The murti has all the features of a tortoise. Silver eyes have been fixed on the eye sockets. Lord Vishnu’s signature naama is placed on the forehead, and a silver conch and chakra are kept on the left and the right.



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