Draksharamam - Lord Bhimeswara & Manikyamba Temple
Draksharamam is one of the Pancharamas and one of the 18 Shaktipeethas. It is famous as both Shiva kshetra and Shakti kshetra. Lord Bhimeswara swamy and Manikyamba mata are main the deities here. This place is also called as Dakshina Kasi.
Daksha vatika was the name in use earlier for this place. Daksha Prajapathi (father of godess Parvathi) performs a yagna without calling his daughter Parvathi and Shiva.
Parvathi attends the function, she gets ill treated. She jumps into fire without tolerating the insult, which leaded Lord Shiva to create Lord Veerabhadra with his hair to destroy the yagna. After the destruction, Lord Shiva had done rudrataandavam carrying his wife’s dead body in anger. Lord Vishnu had used his Sudarshan to cut Sathi Devi’s deadbody into 18 pieces to make Lord Shiva peaceful. The places where the parts of Sathi Devi had fallen are called Shakthi Peetams (holy places of Goddess), one among them is Draksharamam and the goddess here is named as Manikyamba. Later the name Daksha Vatika got changed to Draksharamam.
Sri Bhimeswara Temple, Draksharama, was constructed by Eastern Chalukyan King Bhima in the period 892A.D. to 902A.D. and also consecrated the Shiva Linga and called as Lord Bhimeswara after his own name. Draksharama Temple was developed and patronized by many Royal Dynasties like Eastern Chalukyas, Kalyani Chalukyas, Cholas, Eastern Gangas, Kakatiyas, Reddy Kings and Vijayanagaras as well as some minor dynasties.
The Puranas and Contemporary Literature states the Origin and Antiquity of the place. "Skanda Purana" describes the sanctity of Draksharama Temple. The Great Telugu Poet "Srinatha Kavi Sarvabhowmudu" explained the significance of the Temple in his "Bhimeswara Puranam".
Shri Bhimeswara Temple consists of two storyed temple having "Dviprakaras". The temple can be approached by four entrances on the cardinal directions. The temple is situated inside two enclosures. It contain a flight of steps to go the first floor. The Lofty Linga elevated from the ground floor and the actual worship is offered at the first floor only. On the upper floor, pillars having carved images like Nataraja, Kiratarjuna, Parvati Devi and etc.
On the Eastern door (Dwara) Goddess Gogulamma, Western gate Nookambika, Northern side Moodhambika and at Southern side, Ghattambika can be seen.
The other shrines in the temple are Brahma, Lakshmi Narayana, Ganapati, Nakuleswara, Anjaneya, Virupaksha, Nataraja, Kuamara Swamy, Mahisasuramardhini, Saptamatrikas, Bhirava, Vishweswara and Annapurna. To the right side of Bhimeswara Temple Kasi Visweshwara Temple(South Facing) is situated.
An interesting sculptural panel has the figure of SaptaRishi's and Arundanti. The Seven Sages(SaptaRishi's) are Atri, Bhrigu, Kautsa, Vasistha, Gautama, Kasyapa, Angirasa. This panel is located near the Sapta-Godvari holy water tank of the temple.
Draksharamam is well connected by buses from Hyderabad, Rajahmundry, Kakinada. Kakinada to Kotipalli Rail car via Draksharamam (from Kakinada railway station every day 9.30 am) is an interesting and unique kind of transport to experience.
Where to Stay
Budget hotels and Devasthanam Choultries available at Draksharamam town. Stay at Rajahmundry for luxury hotels.
Best Season & Time to Visit
Visit during festivals mentioned below. Monsoon is the best season to experience beaty of East Godavari along with temple Darshan.
Festivals / Events
Morning: 6.00am to 12.00pm
Evening: 3.00pm to 8.00pm
The busiest time in the temple is during the Maha Shivarathri festival in the month of February / March
During the same time, Sri Swamivari Kalyanam (marriage ceremony) is held on Bhishma Ekadasi
Every year in the month of October (Dasara festival), Navarathri is celebrated
In November / December, Kartheeka Somavaram (Monday) festivals and Jwalathoranam is celebrated
In December, the birth anniversary of the Lord is celebrated as Shasti Festival
What to Eat - Food Specials
Godavari districts are famous for sweets. So you have to pack some sweets on the way back.
Don't miss the famous Tapeswaram Kaja sweet
Buy Godavari special sweets in Tapeswaram, Mandapeta and Ramachandrapuram towns on the way.