his place is one of the eight important Mahakshetrams (sacred places) in India. The eight places where Lord Vishnu manifested himself are (1) Sri Rangam (2) Srimushnam (3) Naimisam (4) Pushkaram (5) Salagamdri (6) Thothadri (7) Narayanasramam (8) Venkatadri. According to sayings, Thotadri is the present Mangalagiri.
There is an interesting legend to show how the mountain came into existence. The mountain itself is in the form of an elephant. Pariyatra, an ancient king, had a son - Hrasva Srungi. He visited all holy and sacred places to regain normal bodily stature and finally visited this holy place of Mangalagiri and stayed for three years performing penance. All the Devathas (Gods) advised him to stay at Mangalagiri and continue to do penance in praise of Lord Vishnu. The father of Hrasva Srungi came with his retinue to bring his son back to his kingdom. But Hrasva Srungi took the shape of an elephant to become the abode of Lord Vishnu who is locally known as Panakala Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy.
The temple of Sri Panakala Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy is situated on the hill. On the right side of the steps (provided to reach the temple), there is a stone inscription by Sri Krishna deva Raya of Vijayanagar, and a little further up, the foot prints of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu can be seen. Midway up the steps, there is a temple of Lord Panakala Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy; there is only the face with the mouth opened wide. A dhwajasthambham was erected in front of the temple in 1955. Behind the temple, there is the temple of Sri Lakshmi; to the west, there is a tunnel which is believed to lead to the Undavalli caves on the banks of the Krishna River.
The stone inscription of the kings of Vijayanagar relate besides to the conquest of Raya over Kondaplli etc., that Siddiraju Thimmarajayya Devara granted a total of 200 kunchams (10 kunchams make one acre) of land in 28 villages of which Mangalagiri was one and gift of 40 kunchams by China Thirumalayya to Ramanujakutam.