The Indian state of Andhra Pradesh is rich in various pilgrim places and you can find a good number of important Shiva temples besides the important Vaishavite temple of Sri Varaha Narasimha Swamy temple at Simhachalam in the state. In addition to these important pilgrim places, the state is well known for the famous Saraswati Temple at Basara which is one of the two in the country.
Andhra Pradesh is not only rich in its temple culture but the Telugu people take much pleasure in celebrating almost all the festivals alike. They enjoy Holi - the festival of colors with the same spirit though the festival has no roots in the South as they celebrate the festivals of Ugadi - the Telugu New Year's Day
Bhadrachalam is a small temple town in the Khammam district and this small town is well known for Sri Seeta Ramachandra Swamy Temple. In fact, this is one of the most important Hindu temples that is dedicated to Lord Rama. The temple of Lord Rama is located on the banks of River Godavari and is visited by devotees in lakhs from across the country. The temple which is located on a small hillock named Bhadragiri has a rich historical background. In fact, the name of the town is derived from the name of this hillock. It is believed that the place dates back to the era of Lord Rama. As Bhadrachalam which borders the present Indian state of Jharkhand lies in the forest area of Dandakaranya where Lord Rama along with his wife Sita Devi and brother Lakshmana spent his exile period in the forest. Hence, the place has great mythological significance.
History states that a great sage by name Bhadra who happened to be a staunch devotee of Lord Rama, transformed into Bhadragiri hillock after being blessed by Lord Rama.
About Bhadrachalam Sri Seeta Ramachandra Swamy Temple
The temple which is located on Bhadragiri hillock was the dream project of Kancharla Gopanna who is well known as Bhakta Ramadas - a staunch devotee of Lord Rama. The temple was constructed in 1674 A.D when Gopanna was the Tahsildar in the court of Nawab Abbul Hussain Shah who was the Taneshah of Golconda region.
As per historical evidences, Pokala Dhammakka of the 17 century A.D was an ardent devotee of Lord Rama lived in Bhadrireddypalem an adjacent village of Bhadrachalam. One night, she had a dream in which she had the darshan of Rama who asked her to unearth the embodied idols in the Bhadragiri hillock. Accordingly she went in search and found the idols hidden inside an ant-hill. She kept pouring pots of water from the Godavari river on the ant-hill till it was smashed to earth and the hidden deities appeared. She took these idols of Seeta sameta Vaikuntha Rama and Lakshmana, placed these on a earthen mandapam in a thatched hut and started worshiping regularly. In a dream Lord Rama foretold her that one of his devotees would construct a temple on the hillock, so she waited and recognized Bhakta Ramadas to be the devotee who took to constructing the temple on Bhadragiri hillock. Thus the most famous temple of Lord Rama came into existence.
Details of Bhadrachalam Sri Seeta Ramachandra Swamy Temple
The temple daily opens at 4.30 a.m for the devotees with "Prabhadhotsavam" or awakening ceremony of Lord Rama for which the devotees need to purchase tickets in advance and be at the temple premises at least half-an-hour before the ceremony starts. Please note that all the devotees for this special darshan are packed in the small place in front of the sanctum sanctorum. And on Sundays, abhishekam to Lord Rama will be performed at 7.00 a.m and on the rest of the days, this will be performed at Bhadruni Sannidhi at the same timing.
The major festival at this temple is Sri Rama Navami, which is celebrated with great devotion. On this special day, Kalyanotsavam of Sri Rama and Sita Devi is performed which is witnessed by a huge crowd of devotees. It has become customary by the Govt of Andhra Pradesh to offer pattu vastralu or silk costumes to the Divine couple on this auspicious occasion. The Chief Minister of the state offers this on behalf of the Govt of AP. And there will be a live broadcasting and telecasting of this popular event of the state in the radio and various TV channels as well. Besides Sri Rama Navami, all other important festivals dedicated to Lord Vishnu like Vykuntha Ekadasi / Mukkoti Ekadasi are celebrated here.
How to reach Bhadrachalam Sri Seeta Ramachandra Swamy Temple
Bhadrachalam which is located in the Dandakaranya region of Khammam district bordering the state of Jharkhand is well connected by rail route with all the important places of Andrha Pradesh. Besides the rail route, the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) plies buses from every corner of the state. It even arranges special buses on this special occasion of Sri Rama Navami celebrations to meet with heavy in pour of devotees to this place.
Accommodation near Bhadrachalam Sri Seeta Ramachandra Swamy Temple
Being the most popular pilgrim place of the state there is no dearth for accommodation at this place. There are choultries run by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams and also other accommodation by the Bhadrachalam Devasthanam. If you are planning a trip to this famous pilgrim center, for advance booking of accommodation you can contact:
Superintendent - +91-8985-891-939
There are AC rooms as well as non-AC rooms with single and double bed facilities at these choultries.
Interesting places to visit near Bhadrachalam
There are number of interesting places to visit around Bhadrachalam. The important ones are:
This place is around 35 Km from Bhandrachalam and is a must see place. It is believed that at this place in the Dandakaranya forest, Lord Rama, Lakshmana and Sita Devi built their hermitage and lived during their exile period at forest. And it is at this place that Ravana - the King of Lanka came in the disguise of a hermit and kidnapped Sita Devi. You can see the life size statues of some of these events of the Aranya Kanda of Ramayana.
This is one of the most attracted places near Bhadrachalam where Mother Nature is at her best and gives a feast to the eyes to the nature lovers. The tourists can enjoy a thrilling and joyous ride in a launch on the waterways. This route on waterways is a 3 Km stretch on the Bhadrachalam-Rajamandry waterways where you can see the waters of mighty River Godavari narrowing down between a stretch of hills of the Paapikondalu. And this is the most sort after trip in this route where one can have a joyous ride on the launch. There are many tour packages operated by various launch operators and you need to reach a place called Kunavaram, where river Sabari merges into Godavari, by road from Bhadrachalam town. This place is at a distance of about 50 Km from Bhadrachalam. And from here you can go on a Motor Launch to Rajahmandry on the river Godavari which is a four and half hours ride. Most of the tour packages come with food provision on board.