(Last Updated on : 13/08/2010)
Badrachalam is a holy place in the South Indian state, Andhra Pradesh. It is situated about 161 km from Rajahmundry and 300 km from Hyderabad. There are lots of prehistoric and historic references of this place. This place is famous for the ancient temple dedicated to Sri Seetha Ramachandraswamy. This famous temple can be seen on the beautiful banks of the wonderful river Godavari. The holy annual festival 'Kalyana Mahotsava' is very famous in this temple. Approximately three lakh devotees gather in Badrachalam during this time. This festival is the marriage anniversary of Lord Rama and his spouse goddess Sita. It is believed that Badrachalam was the venue of the divine marriage in the 'Puranic era'.
According to the legends, it is believed that Lord Rama manifested here long after he had shed mortal coils to save a devotee called 'Badhra Maharishi'. He blessed him 'Moksha' and thereafter the place came to be known as Badrachalam by the name of the Maharshi. There is another belief that Lord Rama once appeared in the dream of a woman called 'Pokala Damakka' and informed her about the idols of the present temple on the Badragiri hills. The lady was surprised to see the idols of the deity on the exact place as she saw in her dream. Then she raised a modest structure and thus the temple was originated.
In the 17th century, the Badrachalam was renovated a tahsildar called Gopanna during the rule of Abdul Hassan Tanashah. He was more known as Ramdas. As he used the revenue money of 6 lakh rupees for the renovation without the permission of the ruler, he was arrested and put behind bars. It is believed that after about 12 years, Lord Rama appeared in the dream of the king and gave a receipt of the due amount in the form of gold coins known as 'Ramamada'. Thereafter, the king rushed to the cell of Ramdas and set him free personally. He provided Ramdas with a number of gifts and also his position as the tahsildar. Moreover, the king also declared several grants to the temple built by Ramdas. Even today, some of the jewels presented to the deities here by the ardent devotee Ramdas like the Kalikiturai Pachala Pathakam, Chintaku Pathakam etc can be seen in the temple even today.
The Badrachalam temple can be seen on a hilltop surrounded by 24 smaller shrines. The temple is very tranquil and has very splendid environment. There are total 48 forms of idols of Lord Vishnu in this temple. The tow main festival of the temple are the 'Sri Rama Navami', the birth anniversary of Lord Rama and 'Kalyana Mahotsavam' i, e, the wedding anniversary of Lord Rama with goddess Sita.