|Chaturbhuj Rama Temple, Bhadrachalam - Top View|
|Circumambulation Path Showing Vimanam and Rajagopuram|
|Temple Tower Chaturbhuj Rama Temple|
|Sree Seetha Ramachandra swamy appears with Four Hands - Consort Seetha and Lord Lakshmana|
Sree Seetha Ramachandra swamy vaari hill temple at Bhadrachalam is the most important Hindu temple devoted to Lord Rama and is located on the left banks of the holy Godavari river. Read on to learn the mythology, history, main deity, fairs and festivals and other tourism information.
Have you ever heard of Bhadrachalam, the holy Hindu temple built for Lord Rama by Ramadas during 1630 A.D? This vast hill temple located, on the banks of the holy river Godavari, in Khammam district, Andhra Pradesh, South India and you have to climb the 40 foot-steps. This pilgrim centre attracts thousands and thousands of devotees from all corners of the world. The temple complex has exquisitely sculpted vimana (tower right on top of the main deity) and mandapams (huge hall supported by stone pillars). This shrine is well associated with the great epic Ramayana (Glorious life history of Lord Rama – the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu) as well as with the lives of devotees such as Guru Adi Sankara, Bhakta Ramadas and Kabirdas ( a Muslim by birth).
According to the sthala purana (history learned from puranas), the sage Bhadra was the child of sage Meru and Menaka (celestial beauty served at Lord Indra’s court as dancer). Sage Bhadra prayed Lord Vishnu and appealed him to establish dharma (virtue) and destroy the evil demons. Since Lord Vishnu was sympathetic and decided to incarnate for the seventh time to save the world. King Dasaratha of Ayodhya (ancient Indian Kingdom – now a popular city in Uttar Pradesh State, India) and his queen Kausalya gave birth to Lord Rama (approximate year 7323 B.C).
It is learned from the mythology that Lord Rama, his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana spent their vanavasam (observing penance at a forest) at this shrine (name of a place Parnashala). Parnashala (32 K.M away from Bhadrachalam) is believed to be the hut constructed by Lord Rama for spending their time at Vanavasam. The story of golden deer is also associated with this shrine. The king of Sri Lanka abducted Devi Sita and taken her to Sri Lanka (approximate date 7306 B.C). Lord Rama waged a war and destroyed the demon king Ravana (approximate date 7323 B.C) and returned to his kingdom Ayodhya with his wife and brother.
History of temple
Another interesting episode related to this shrine is about the tribal woman called Pokala Dammakka. She lived in the 17th century at Bhadrireddypalayam near Bhadrachalam. Lord Rama seems to have appeared in her dream and informed about the existence of the icons of the Lord around Bhadragiri. The woman, being an ardent devotee of Lord Rama was shocked and went in search and idols and found them buried in side of an ant-hill. She cleaned the idols by pouring holy water from river Godavari.
The local Tahsildar (of Burgampahad) Kancharla Gopanna, (later attained popularity as Bhakta Ramadas) a staunch devotee of Lord Rama vowed to construct the temple for his Lord (temple and the prakaram) in 1674 A.D. The jewelry made by him for his Lord Rama includes headgear and necklaces studded with gems like emerald, ruby etc. Ramadas and has lavishly spent the government money of the Tanisha Nawab. The Navab even jailed Ramadas as a punishment for the act of spending huge wealth. Saint Thyagaraja (one of three exponents of Carnatic music) adopted Bhakta Ramadas as his role model and even included his name in one or two keerthanas.
Lord Rama is the prime deity of this temple. The idol of Lord Rama has four arms and found sitting in Padmasana posture. The other two hands are holding the conch (Sankha) at right and the wheel (Chakra) at left. The main deity is known as Chaturbhuj Rama (Rama with four hands). His consort Sita is found at his left and brother Lakshmana also found to the left of Sita. You will find at the idols taken for procession (Utsav deities) that Lord Rama at centre and his consort Sita and brother Lakshmana on either side. Adi Sankarar used to invoke and praise Lord Rama as Bhadrachala Rama and Vaikuntha Rama.
Main Festival : Ramanavami
The temple at Bhadrachalam is celebrating the nine day Ramanavami festival at a grand scale. Bhakta Ramadas was responsible in organizing this festival at a huge scale. Even today this festival is celebrated in the same style. The main attraction of this festival is ‘Sita Rama Kalyana utsavam’ (the celestial wedding anniversary festival).
Other Places of Interest
The temples in and around Bhadrachalam include Narasimhaswami Temple, Govindarajulu Swamy Temple and Kalyana Mandapam. As told earlier Parnashala is just located 32 km away from here. A hot water spring named as Ushnagundam is another place located 6 km from here.
How you can reach?
Bhadrachalam is well connected to the rest of the Indian cities by roads and railways. The town located to the east of Hyderabad (State capital of Andhra Pradesh) and lies at a distance of 320 km. The nearest airport is at Hyderabad. The city lies closer to Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh border. You may prefer to go either by bus or train. If you go by train you have to get down at Kothagudem Railway station, a place located 40 km from Bhadrachalam.
The temple opens at 04.30 A.M. in the morning with “Prabhadhotsavam” or awakening ceremony and the darshan from 07.00 A.M. to 08.30 P.M. Consult temple website for details: http://www.bhadrachalarama.org/index.html
You will find a number of budget hotels as well as Andhra Pradesh Tourism Guest Houses at the vicinity of Bhadrachalam
Sree Seetha Ramachandra swamy vaari
Bhadrachalam-500 711,Dist. Khammam,
Andhra Pradesh India
Published by Muthusamy R in Hinduism on April 12, 2011