DRAKSHARAMAM

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» South India
» Andhra Pradesh
Location : 26-km From Kakinada And 48-km From Rajahmundry, East Godavari District
Presiding Deity : Lord Shiva
Also Known As : Dakshina Kashi
Architecture : Chalukya And Chola Styles

Draksharamam is in the village of Ramachandrapuram in East Godavari District. It is at a distance of about 26-km from Kakinada and 48-km from Rajahmundry. This place is also called, as "Dakshina Kashi" (Southern Banaras). It is considered highly sacred, next only to Benaras, the holiest of Shiva temples in the country.

Alampur Temple, Andhra PradeshThe temple at this place is one of the very ancient shrines of India and is known to history from the time of Satavahanas and it is one of the most important 'Shaiva Aramas'. Inscriptional evidences in the temple indicate the antiquity of the shrine dating as early as the 11th century, when the Chola king Rajaraja was reigning at Rajahmundry.

The Legends
Local legend goes like this, a king by the name of Kaksha Prajapati, father-in-law of Lord Shiva performed a great 'Yagna' (a holy puja) with the motive of insulting his son-in-law. All were invited to this puja except his own son-in-law. Parvati attended the Yagna, though uninvited, and was ill-treated. Unable to withstand the insult, she subjected herself to self-immolation. Thus this place is known as "Daksha Vatika" and later as "Dakshramam" or "Draksharamam".

According to another legend seven sages 'Kashyapa', 'Atri', 'Gauthama Bharadwaja', 'Vishwamitra', 'Jadmadagni' and 'Vasihshta' - called "Saptamaharishis" in order to end their penance divided the 'Akhanda' (unbranched) Godavari River into seven different streams at Draskharama. Three streams Bharadhwaja, Vishwamitra and Jamadagni known as "Antarvahinies", were believed to have gone under ground. The devotees consider a seven-river pond called "Saptha Godavari Kundam" near the temple, sacred. Devotees take dip in this holy pond.

There are a number of 'Sasanas' (rock edicts) engraved on the walls of the temple. The temple art is a blend of sculptural traditions of Chalukya and Chola styles. Famous Telugu poet 'Srinatha' (4th century) is said to have written a 'Prabhanda Kavya' "Bhimakhanda" about this sacred place.

Inspired From The Sun
The construction of the temple is said to have originated with the Sun. The 'Linga' here is one of the five bits worn by Taksha round his neck. The Bhimesvara Lingam, which is a 'Sphatika' (White) Lingam, is also one of the three Lingams in 'Trilinga Desa'. The Shiva Linga, in this is 5m high and stands sixth in the line of 'Jyotir Linga'. Half of the Lingam is white while the other half is black. Many devotees are attracted to this place because of grand appearance and unique height of the Linga.

Draksharamam is also sacred to the Muslims. The mosque and the tomb of Syed Shah Bhaji Aulia are greatly revered by them.

FESTIVAL

Thousands of pilgrims attend the 'Bhimesvaraswami Kalyanam', which is celebrated for five days during January-February.

HOW TO GET THERE

Rail: The nearest railway station is in Kakinada at a distance of 26-km. Even though Kakinada is the nearest railway station Rajahmundry is the preferred railway station, which is 40-km on Chennai -Calcutta section, and is well connected with all parts of the state.

Road: One can easily reach Draksharamam by bus from Kakinada and Rajahmundry.

WHERE TO STAY

Choultries are available at Drakshramam Accommodation is also available in the hotels at Kakinada and Rajahmundry.



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