The Shelter of Caves, Part 13


BY: SUN STAFF - 9.5 2017

Lord Jharani Nrsimhadeva

A study of famous caves in ancient Bharat.

Narasimha Zarana Cave Temple

In the middle of south central India, where the northeastern corner of Karnataka meets Andhra Pradesh, is the village of Bidar, Karnataka. Here there is an ancient Narasimhadeva Cave temple known as the Zarana Cave. The Zarana (or Jharana) cave is the abode of Lord Jharani Nrsimhadeva.

Lord Jharani Nrsimhadeva 

Also referred to as the Narasimha Jhira temple, the presiding Deity here is an amazing swayambu roopam (self-manifested) form of the Lord. Lord Narasimha appeared here on the cave wall, at the end of the waterway that tunnels back into the sheltered cave.

Waterway leading to Narasimha Zarana Cave Temple

Lord Jharani Nrsimhadeva is associated with the Lord's pastimes after the death of Hiranyakasipu. In this case, He is known as Jharani Nrsimha for having slayed another demon named Jalasura, after dispatching with Hiranyakasipu.

Jalasura was a staunch devotee of Lord Shiva. After he was killed by Lord Narasimhadeva, the asura turned into water and began flowing from Lord's feet. Here at

Narasimha Zarana Cave, water perpetually flows from the Lord's lotus feet, filling the cave and tunnel. This divine stream of water is known to have been flowing continuously for hundreds of years at this place.

Narasimha Zarana Cave Temple - Bidar, Karnataka

In order to reach the Deity of Jharani Nrsimhadeva, devotees must descend a long gently declining series of steps, then wade a length of 300 feet to the cave, waist- to chest-deep in water about 4 feet deep. Pilgrims are joined by the cave's other inhabitants -- a colony of bats who are often darting overhead.

To accommodate the many devotees who come to get darshan of Lord Jharani, local sevyats have installed lighting and ventilation along the cave tunnel. Regular worship is offered to the Lord.

Pujaris delivering arotik trays

Inside the cave there is also a Shiva-lingam, which Jalasura was worshipping when the Lord killed him.

The shrine area is very small, and accommodates only about eight people taking darshan at the same time. Outside the cave temple is a fountain, in which devotees can take bath before entering the cave.