''Pancharama_Kshetras'' pilgrimage of Andhra - 02

The pilgrimage to  the Pancharama Kshetras in Andhra Pradesh  is a committed religious undertaking by  devout Hindus because at all the five places the Shivalingas are  believed to have been installed by five different deities - Indra, Chandra and Surya along with Vishnu and Kartikeya. They are all located at close distances and it is a one day holy trip to these sites  and  should be completed on the same day itself.   Interestingly, the shivalingas at these temples are the scattered parts of one single lingam that was once worn around the neck by a demon Tarakasura. To kill him god Kumaraswamy, created by Shiva, had to split the linga in to 5 parts and set them fixed in the same place so that they won't fuse together that would make the assura come back alive.   

 Amareswaraswamy in Amaravati, AP:

Amararama temple  in Amaravati, Andhra. templeconnect.com/

Amararama temple, in Amaravati, Andhra. upload.wikimedia.org/

At the Amaraama temple, on the south bank of the Krishna river, Amaravati  in Guntur district, Amara Lingeswara swami was installed by demi god of rain Indira and here the lord's consort is  Bala Chamundeswari.   The Shiva linga in the garbagriha is a tall one and the priest has to climb the platform to perform abhishekam and nithya puja. Shiva is worshiped in the form of Aghorarupam (fierce god). Here, Lord Shiva is worshiped along with Bala Chamundeswari, an aspect of Goddess Parvati. On the temple premises with  two prathakshana paths there is a shrine dedicated to  Venu Gopala swami   

ancharama shetrams, locations, Andhra .uparnidevi.blogspot.com

 Tall lingam, Amararama temple, in Amaravati,tripadvisor.com

Vasireddy Venkatadri Naidu, ruler of of Chintapalli and later Dharanikota, for some reasons shifted his capital to  Amaravati in 1796. Being an ardent devotee of  Amareswara, he not only renovated the temple of  Amareswaraswamy but also entrusted the task of taking care of the temple to nine priest families. He gifted 12 acres of land, etc., to each of the family for their livelihood and seva. 

 Mahashivaratri, that comes in the Magha Bahula Dasami, Navaratri and the Kalyana Utsavas are major festivals here that attract lots of devotees from far and wide.


Ksheera Ramalingeswara Swamy Temple, Ksheeraram, w. Godavari: 

Ksheerarama temple, AP trawell.in

Above image:  Ksheerarama temple in Palakollu of West Godavari is a holy temple.  The devotees of Lord Shiva believe that god Shiva  bestowed Lord Vishnu with the divine discus - chakra at the same place where the temple stands today. Another legend has it that it was at this site that sage Upamanyu, as mentioned in the Mahabharata, got boons and milk from Lord Shiva after his intense penance. Therefore, the temple has been named Ksheera (milk) Ramalingeswara Swami. The Shivaling here is a tall one and has a  milky white  colour; here Lord's consort is Parvati. This temple is so sanctified, it is mentioned, that one day stay here is equal to visiting the holy city Varanasi.

Constructed during the Chalukya period (9th century)  under Chalukya Bheema, the  Prakara was designed by Sri Velupathi during the 10th century. The gateway gopuram  120 ft  tall with  9 floors came up  in the 14th century under the direction of sri Alladu Reddy. During the 17th century, Kalyana mantapam (choultry) and Ashtha Bhuja Lakshmi Narayanaswamy alayam were built. The tmple mandapa has 72 ornate pillars made of black stone. The temple has innumerable deities from the Hindu pantheon.    

Here the major festival is Mahasivaratri and elderly devotees come here in large number to get blessed by the god Ksheera Ramalingeswara Swamy so that they will get salvation - mukti - free from the cycle of birth and death.