Srikurmam is a famous temple situated at a
distance of about twelve miles to the southeast of
Srikakulam town. The village
Srikurmam derives its name from the temple, which is dedicated to Lord
Vishnu in the Avathara of Srikurmam viz., the Avathara of a tortoise, and
hence the deity is called 'Srikurmanatha. The temple is of very great
sanctity, being the only important temple to Lord Vishnu in the
Kurmavathara in the whole of India.
The popular legend is that the Lord is said to have first appeared here to bless king Swetamahipathi. It is said that the bones of the deceased if thrown into the Swetapushkarani tank get converted into tortoises or kurmas, and hence unclean persons are forbidden to touch the water from the tank.
The Shrine is noted for its architectural beauty and it contains many inscriptions ranging from the 11th century AD to the 19th century AD There is one important inscription in Srikurmam, which has led to a controversy over the authenticity or the authorship of the Telugu Bharata, which is attributed to the great Telugu poet Nannaya, the court poet of the great Eastern Chalukyan king Rajarajanarendra.
The temple has beautiful pillared Mandapas and some of the pieces of sculpture done in granite are masterpieces of workmanship. The Vimana of the temple is built in the characteristic Chola type of architecture, though the outer gates beyond the prakara are much later. There are several sacred Teerthas within the temple.
The most important festival celebrated at
Srikurmam during March every year is the Dolotsavam. About 20,000 pilgrims
gather on this occasion to witness the celebration.
Nearby Tourist Attractions
There are many important Kshetras round about Srikurmam. To the west, there is a Shaivite temple by the name of Sundareswara at Pippala village. To the east, where the Vamsadhara River joins the sea, there is a famous temple of Karpureswara and to the west on the banks of the Langulya there is the temple of Koteeswara. There are also many Teerthas near Srikurmam like the 'Vakra Teertha', 'Chakra Teertha', 'Sudhagunda', 'Ashta Teertha' etc.
Rail: To reach the place, one has
to get down at Srikakulam
railway station, which is an important station on the
route, and from their take a bus.
Road: There is a good metalled road from Srikakulam railway Station to Srikakulam and from Srikakulam to Srikurmam also. Taxis are also available from Srikakulam and Vishakhapatnam.
There are choultries at Srikurmam, where pilgrims can stay. One can also stay in the hotels at Srikakulam.