Bhadrachalam is situated on the banks of
Godavari River, is 161 kilometres from
Rajahmundry and 201-km from
Vijayawada. It is considered to
be one of the greatest holy shrines in South India as Lord Rama lived here
for some time.
The legend associated with this place is that a saint called "Bhadra", son of 'Meru', did penance here to have a 'darshan' of Lord Sri Rama and Sri Rama appeared before him and the name of 'Bhadrachalam' or 'Bhadradri' is derived from his name.
The locales of Bhadrachalam were identified well with the `Aranyavasa'- the 14-year exile of Lord Rama. The area around Bhadrachalam has a number of signs, which the devotees take in evidence to support the belief that Lord Rama had sojourned here with his consort, Sita and brother, 'Lakshmana'.
According To The Inscriptions
Many of the detailed descriptions in 'Valmiki' Ramayana tally with the existing state of things here. A lady called "Pokala Dammakka" got a dream in which Sri Rama informed her about the existence of idols on Bhadragiri hills. To her surprise she found the idols and put up a modest structure. This was the origin of the present temple.
Later on in 17th century a great devotee of Rama, Kancherla Gopanna alias Ramadas renovated this temple. Instead of remitting the revenue collected by him he spent six lakhs for renovating the temple and was arrested. One can still see the cell where he was confined in the Golconda fort.
At this juncture Sri Rama himself appeared in Tanashah's dream produced a receipt, which denoted payment of the amount back to the king in the shape of gold coins known as 'Ramanada' in 'Rama Tenki'. The next morning the Sultan personally came to the cell where Ramdas was imprisoned and released him. He also restored him to his position of Tahsildar.
Tana Shah also announced grants to the temple, which continued under Nizam's Government. Some of the jewels like 'Kalikiturai', 'Pachala Pathakam', 'Chintaku Pathakam', presented to Lord Rama and Sita by Ramadas are still preserved in the temple and they can be seen even now.
The main entrance of the temple is crowned by a tall and impressive 'Gopuram', which leads into the inner 'Prakara' of the temple. The idol of Lord Sri Rama and adjacent to this stands the 'Ustava Vigraham' of the Lord with Goddess Sita and Lakshmana on either side are housed in the main Shrine. The deity in this temple is peculiar and unlike the idols found elsewhere in the country, the idol of Lord Sri Rama here has four hands and is also known as "Chaturbhuja Rama".
It is said that 'Sudarshana Chakra' that is seen with the Lord was found by Sri 'Ramadas' in the river Godavari - the sculptures there on the 'Vimana' of the temple are of exquisite splendour. There is a separate 'Mandir' constructed to treasure the volumes of 'Ramkoti' written by the devotees.
An Interesting Feature
One of the interesting feature of this place is the 'Kalyana Mandapam' where the celestial wedding is performed is a real specimen of architectural workmanship. It was constructed in 1964 at a cost of Rs.24 lakhs. The fine sculpture in the Mandapam is attributed to 'Ganapati Sthapati' who was brought specially for the purpose from Madras State.
Ushnagundam: To the southwest of
Badrachalam, there is a spot known as Ushnagundam (the hot pool) right in
the bed of the Godavari. The spot is surrounded on all sides by the cool
flowing current of the river when the sand is removed, hot water springs
out. Devotees bathe with this water during 'Srirama Navami' and 'Vaikunta
Parnasala: Parnasala is situated on the left bank of the Godavari at a distance of 35-km from Bhadrachalam. It is believed that towards the end of his exile in Dandakaranyam, Srirama stayed here in Parnsala with Sita and Lakshmana.
Sri Ramanavami festival is celebrated here during March-April and it draws large number of devotees.
Rail: The nearest railway station
is at Kothagudem, which is around 40-kms from here.
Road: APSRTC operates buses from Bhadrachalam to other important towns/cities in Andhra Pradesh. Regular buses are available from Kothagudem, Khammam, Tenali, Warangal, Hyderabad and Tirupati .
A.P. Tourism's Parnashala
Panchavati Guest houses
Dharmashalas of Endowment Department