Bhadrachalam Temple, Andhra Pradesh
Location: The extremely sacred Hindu pilgrimage of Andhra Pradesh, Bhadrachalam Temple, is situated in Khammam district, in Bhadrachalam mountain region, India.
Adjoining river: Godavari River.
Prime deity: Lord Rama
Etymology: Bhadra (gentle) + achalam(immovable)= Bhadrachalam (the child of gentle mountains namely Meru and Menaka which is rooted still and strong).
Famous name: As the pioneer of this universe, the almighty God, has many names, likewise, Bahdrachalam temple is also renowned as ‘Lord Sree Sita Ramchandra Swamy Temple in Bhadrachalam’ among locales.
Famous pious occasion to visit: The ancient eve of arranging wedding of Lord Rama with his consort, Sita, is popularly celebrated as ‘Rama Navami’ with pomp and show. It is the spectacular occasion when congregation of zillion devotees bust to witness the anniversary celebration of the lord and his consort (spouse) Sita.
Historical period: 1674 A.D. (origin lies in 17th century)
- As the mythology goes, the ardent devotee of lord Rama known as ‘Kancharla Gopanna’ enlisted himself to the string of Bhakti movement as Bhakta Ramdas. As being a tehsildar of Bhadrachalam, he utilized the money of collected revenue which was mandatory to be deposited into the treasury of the Mughal emperor. As a result, he was imprisoned at Golconda as being alleged in the case fraud/ corruption. But such sentence did not shake his faith in lord Rama. Instead, he focused on lord Rama more profoundly. ‘The god rushes bare-footedly at the very summoning of an honest devotee’. To prove it correct, Lord Rama had to raise himself up from the soil in order to come into vision along with his younger brother ‘Lakshaman’ and wife ‘Sita’. He paid the amount on behalf of his staunch devotee ‘Gopanna’ to the emperor and thus, kept the faith of his devotee unshakable. Thence, Gopanna became famous as ‘Bhadrachala Ramadasa’ since he dedicated his holy composition in praise of Lord Rama in Telugu language.
- ‘Bhadrachalam’, while following the footprints of its parents, chose penance for making itself blessed with the holy feet of lord Rama on his feet. By the granting his wish, lord Rama passed through Bhadrachalam in order to rescue his wife Sita from the wicked clutch of Ravana during Treta-yuga. But he did not fulfill his promise of revisiting the place. Afterwards, Lord Vishnu reincarnated as ‘Vykunta Rama’ long after ‘Ramavtaar’ in order to remove stigma from the forehead of Gopanna, of being corrupted.
- Another tale briefs that Kabirdas, a famous poet of Sufi movement, was forbidden to enter into the temple since he belonged to Muslim religion. At such humiliation of lord Rama’s devotee, the idol became invisible miraculously but reappeared when Rama’s devotee, Kabir, was granted permission to enter in the premise of the temple.
- Pokala Dhammakka was the devotee of 17th century who spotted idols of Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana inside the anthill since it was an order of the deity to Pokala in the dream. She filled the anthills with Godavari river water and thus, the idols appeared to which she enshrined and worshipped with ‘nivedyam’ (fruits offering to god) nearby a palm tree. Later, a Mandapam was constructed with the contribution of locales.