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Temple 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. There is only one temple in the world dedicated to the Kurma Avatar of Lord Vishnu and it is the famous Sri Kurmanatha temple at Srikurman 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 scared stones coming out of the ground.

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 Swetha Puskarani, a scared lake noted for its curative properties.

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

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