Location: Mandapalli near Rajamundry, East Godavari.
Also known as Sri Mandeswara Swami Temple and Someswara Temple, it is said that Saturn himself consecrated the linga representing Lord Shiva here. Other deities here are Bhrameswara and Nageswara enshrined in black stone Shivlingas. There is a shrine to Saturn - Saneeswara. This is a small temple attracting a large number of pilgrims.
Legend: A great sage Dhadichi gave a great sacrifice by donating his spinal cord for Lord Indra's 'Vajra' to relieve the people from the tyranny of the demon Kartabha. However, the sons of the demon Aswartha and Pippala vowed revenge and created havoc in Mandapalli. Sage Agastya approached Lord Shaneeswar or Saturn with the request for help but Shani stated that till the prayers and penance was completed, he would not have strength to fight and get rid of the demons. He relented when sages agreed to give their 'Tapasshakti' (power of penance) to him. He fought and killed the demons and relieved the people of their tyranny. Saturn installed a 'Shiva Linga' known as 'Someswara' or 'Mandeshwara' to mark his victory, around which the Saneeshwara temple is built.
Kesava Swami Temple
The Shrine is Salagrama Ekasila and is 5 feet in height and 3 feet wide, with the image of Jaganmohini, the female aspect of Vishnu in the rear. This temple is said to date back to the period of the Cholas. The idol is made of black stone depicting Maha Vishnu and Mohini in the front and rear sides, and is a marvel of sculptural dexterity. The ten incarnations of Vishnu with consorts are beautifully, sculptured around the shrine. A rare feature is that, Ganga flows from the feet of Vishnu and is the origin of Akasa Ganga, which can be seen here.
Golingeswara Aalayam Temple
Location: Ramachandrapuram, East Godavari
Deity: Lord Siva
There are three temples here facing east and are called Golingeswaraalaya, Rajarajeswaraalaya and Chandrasekaraalaya - all dedicated to Siva. Of the three, Golingeswaraalayam is the biggest and grandest because of the sculptures. The Sivalinga installed in Golingeswaraalayais is made of black granite and is very tall and highly polished. The temple also enshrines Subrahmanya in a niche and is called Subbarayudu. There are anthills with serpents all around that are also worshipped. People come here and offer prayers for ten to 40 days to get relief from earache and get Santanaprapti.
Kapoteswara Aalayam Temple
Location: Razole (Rajolu), East Godavari
Deity: Lord Siva
Siva linga is worshipped in the form of a dove or kapotha. Hence, the name Kapoteswaraalayam. The Sivalinga has two doves over it and there is a tank called Kapotagundam.
Legend: The two doves sacrificed their lives for the benefit of a hunter. A serpent used to come from the tank and worshipped the Lord. And since that time, the temple authorities introduced the Subrahmanya Shasti, a special prayer service.
Koppulingeswara Swamy Aalayam Temple
Location: Palivela near Kottapeta, East Godavari
Deity: Lord Shiva. This Sivaalaya owes its existence to the sage Agasthya.
Legend: A certain priest was known for his higher learning, but was notorious for his passion for flesh. He worshipped the Lord regularly with garlands worn by his ladylove. The King suspected it, when he found the garland containing a long hair. Insisting on the truth, the priest hoodwinked the King, saying that the Sivalinga has a braid. The King left desiring to see it the next day. The priest wailed and called out to the lord. Pleased with his devotion, the Lord gave darsan to the King with a braid. The King bestowed many valuables and lands on the priest. The temple houses other deities too.
Kukkuteswara Swamy Aalayam Temple
The presiding deity reveals himself in linga form and is in white marble stone about two feet in height. The linga resembles the back of cock; hence Lord Siva is called Kukkuteswaraswamy. He fulfils the desires. It is a Swayambhu linga and water trickling down in a pot from his nose. Vyasa worshiped this murti for a very long time.
Annavaram Satyanarayana Swami Temple
The temple is dedicated to Lord Satyanarayanaswami where this Vratham is performed. This temple is dedicated to Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swami and is built atop the Ratnagiri. The temple resembles a chariot. The distance from the foot of the hill there is a path laid out in stone steps.
Location: Samalkot near Kakinada, in East Godavari District of AP. It is also known as Kumararamam.
Legend: When Subramanya killed the demon Tarakasura, the Shivalingam in the demon's throat broke and fell in five different spots, which became the Panchaarama kshetras. The foremost is Amareswara at Amaravati where Indra and other gods are said to have worshipped Shiva. The others are Draksharama, Somarama at Kotipalli, Bheemarama at Kakinada and Ksheerarama or Palakollu. The Shivalingam was installed here by Skanda and hence the name Kumararamam. There are puranic references to Kumararamam in the Skanda Purana.
Architecture: The Shivalingam is large and is housed in a three-storied sanctum, and worship is performed in the upper level. The sculptures are worth a mention. There is intricate work done in stone. For eg. a black granite swing here actually sways when rocked.
The place is famous as the seat of the temple of Bhimeswaraswami. The temple is a perfect blend of Chalukya and the Chola styles of temple architecture. There are 381 inscriptions from Saka 1002 (1080 AD) to Saka 1356 (1434 AD).
Found at the origin is the Tryambakeshwar Jyotirlinga shrine thus the worship at Someswaram is associated with a ritual bath in the river Godavari. Draksharama is one of the pancharaama shrines, and is associated with the legend of the destruction of (the vain) Daksha's ritual sacrifice. The ritual bath in the river is symbolic of a new beginning in life, a change in direction.
(Last Updated on : 18-09-2010)
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