Chandanotsavam or Nijarupa Darsanam is an important ritual celebrated in Simhachalam Temple on Akshaya Trutiya day. In 2018, Chandanotsavam date is April 18.
During the ritual of Chandanotsavam, Lord Sri Narasimhaswamy appears with his actual shape which is called Nijaroopam.
On normal days Simhachalam Narasimha swamy appears with four layers of chandanam (sandalwood paste). The annual celebrations would begin with ‘Suprabhatam’ to the Lord, Visvaksena puja, and removal of the old sandal covering of the Lord by the priests.
According to Temple authorities “All political and administrative VIPs, VVIPs, protocol category visitors and mega donors must submit letters to the devasthanam before 6 pm on April 14. Application received after the deadline will not be considered. This year, all protocol category visitors will be allowed for laghu darsan in two phases—between 5 am to 6 am and from 4 pm to 5 pm”.
Darshanam for General public
For general public darsan, the gates will be opened from 4 am on April 18 and they will be closed by 7 pm. Devotees in the queue will be allowed for darsan up to 12 midnight, after which the temple will be closed.
The hereditary trustee of the temple and his family members would be the first to have darshan of the Lord at around 3.30 a.m. followed by offering ‘pattu vastrams’ to the Lord. Sahasra ghattabhishekham (offering sacred bath to the Lord with thousand kalasha) and other pujas would be offered to the Lord after those who were in the queues complete having darshan late in the night.
A fresh coat of sandalwood (Chandanam pootha) would be applied to the deity and special pujas would be performed after that and Suprabhata darshanam would begin around 8 am on 18 April 2018.
the second layer is applied on Vaishakha Pournami, the third is on Jyeshta Pournami, and the last and final layer is applied on Ashada Pournami day. Chandanotsavam attracts lakhs of devotees from all over India.