If there is a location where the Ramayana lives on, it’s the Sita Ramachandra Temple and it’s scenic riverbank built by Bhakta Ramadas in the 17th century. The temple has seen many illustrious footfalls from Parakala Muni, Adi Sankara and the saint and composer Tyagaraja whose musical muse was Lord Rama. The temple is considered so auspicious that the deity is worshipped as ‘Vaikunta Rama’, or the very essence of Lord Vishnu who bestows salvation.
Temple Deity – Sita Ramachandra Swamy
Sita Ramachandra is a beautiful black-granite idol with four arms, seated with sita on his lap. He retains a bow in one hand and arrow in another and his two various other hands hold aloft the conch and discus. The idol is usually decorated in long golden coin-like necklaces and silks. Sita is definitely adorned in colourful silks with gold lace borders and her prominent jewellery can be her Andhra style wedding necklace. On the remaining is the idol of Lakshmana, position armed. On any given day time the idols are decked in floral and tulsi garlands.
Bhadrachalam Temple History
The year of construction of the temple has been recorded as AD 1620 when Ramadas built the temple over the shrine where Dhammakka had installed the Sita and Rama idols.
Style & Architecture
The temple is predominantly built in the Dravidian style with Vijayanagara and Chola features including tiers, steps, pillars and sculpted towers. It is located on an elevation that can be reached by a trip of a hundred steps. High walls enclose the corridors and shrines. In front of the sanctum is certainly a high mandapam with four pillars.
Sculptures of Lakshmi, Shiva and the 10 incarnations of Vishnu are on the white wall space of the temple. On the ceiling of the main mandapam, the nine zodiac indications are sculpted. A large green expanse sprawls in front of the temple and doubles up as a key venue for large festivals.
Bhadrachalam Temple Legend
Pokala Dhammakka, a devotee of Lord Rama once dreamt the idols of Rama and Sita lay concealed under an anthill near the Godavari. Upon waking, she went to the spot and washed the anthill with river water until the idols surfaced. Hearing of this miracle Bhadrachala Ramadas or Gopanna who was a bhakt, built this temple.
However, Ramadas was incarcerated by Sultan Tani Shah for using open public funds for building Rama’s temple. The Lord then performed a miracle and appeared on earth and offered six lakh gold coins to secure his discharge. The Sultan was shifted and freed Ramadas. On particular occasions the deity is normally adorned in the Rama Tanaka gold-coin necklace.
- A big Sudarshana Chakra glitters in gold and stands in the tip of the vimana over a sculpted tower before the primary temple. Legend provides it that Ramadas installed it.
- A small museum (entry Rs.5) is located in the temple precincts. Exhibits include jewellery made for the main deities, a granite idol of Saint Ramadas, Lord Rama and paintings.
- A marriage mandapam along the banks of the Godavari is a pretty site for weddings.
Rama Navami (Apr) Lord Rama’s birthday is marked by a kalyana utsavam where in fact the wedding ceremony of Sita and Rama is enacted with dazzling bronze idols. It draws devotees by the thousands.
Vaikunta Ekadasi (Jan) is celebrated for 10 days and commemorates all 10 avatars of Vishnu. On the last time deities of Rama and Sita are taken on a decorated hamsavahana (swan-shaped float) into the Godavari.
How to Reach Bhadrachalam Temple
Address: Sita Ramachandra Swamy Temple, Bhadrachalam, Telangana state.
Nearest Airport is Rajahmundry, 121kms to Bhadrachalam. Kothagudem, 40 kilometers away is the nearest railway station. There are regular buses from other major cities of the country to Bhadrachalam.