Bhadrachalam Rama Temple is vast in size. The Vimana and the Mandapams are of fine craftsmanship. This temple is associated with Bhadrachala Ramadas an ardent devotee of Lord Rama. The temple underwent renovation in the 17th century. Valmiki has sung the story of Sri Ramachandra here. The spot where the temple stands was where Lord Rama lived before Ravana carried Sita away. Lord Rama is said to have given Ramachandra darshan and liberated his soul. That is why it is called Bhadrachalam in the memory of the Saint Bhadra. The temple has beautiful pieces of sculpture that captivates the attention with their sheer beauty and excellence of workmanship. Sri Rama is shown here as handsome, well-built, holding the Dhanus-bow and arrow, and standing in the Tribhanga pose. Sita stands close to him, also in Tribhanga pose, with a lotus in one hand and the other hand in the katyavalambita posture.
The temple was consecrated by Manushya Pratishtha according to local legends the temple finds its first mention with a Bairagi or mendicant who came from Ayodhya. He resided on a small hillock overlooking the mighty Godavari. Here he carved out an image of Srirama and built a small temple. Ramadas were a Taluk official who was sent here to collect the revenues for his masters. He collected the revenues, but instead of remitting them to his masters, he thought that the money could be better used for constructing a temple for Srirama, and hence spent all the money for enlarging the small temple. He was found a guilty of embezzlement and was sentenced to prison by Tanashah for 12 years.
Lord Rama, pleased with his devotee, he chose to appear before the Kutub Shahi ruler, in the form of Gopanna and showered lakes of rupees. The king freed Saint Ramadas and was also allowed to mint gold coins, popularly known as ramatangi. An unlettered woman Dammakka is said to have lived in the hamlet near the hill. >She saw a vision of the images of Sri Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana lying sheltered in an unfrequented spot on the hill. Next day, she climbed the hill and discovered the idols on the very spot she had dreamt. Dammakka is said to have built a small mantapa to house these idols.
Ramadas expanded the temple and constructed mantapas and gopuras for conducting several festivals for the Lord particularly Sri Ramnavami which is celebrated on a grand scale here. The temple till recently got an endowment of Rs. 20,000/- from the Nizam's treasury, for the maintenance of worship of Sri Rama. It was at Bhadrachalam that Sri Rama lost Sita, and it was here that he manifested himself to save his devotee Ramadas. During Sri Rama Navami endless streams of pilgrims do the famous Bhadrachala Yatra.
The Yatra follows a serpentine track, creeping up many ancient hill and passes through many dales and woods, which are a part of the Dandakaranya forest (of Ramayana), which form a part of his exile.
Close by are in the vicinity: Parnasala, 32 km near Bhadrachalam is said to be the site of the hut where Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshman lived in exile. Ushnagundam, a hot water spring 6 km near Bhadrachalam is another site visited by them.
(Last Updated on : 05-07-2014)