Someswara Temple of Bhimavaram, Andhra - a ''Pancharama kshetra''

Somarama  temple of Bhimavaram,, Andhra

Undertaking a holy pilgrimage to the five ancient temples of  god Shiva in Andhra Pradesh called Pancharama kshetras is a popular one. God Shiva's linga was broken into five pieces and later got reunited and each lingam was installed by Surya, chandra, Vishnu, Kumaraswamy and Indira in separate temples. The shivalingam at these temples are the scattered parts of one single lingam, which has a strange history. In Someswara temple,  Shiva linga  was installed by demi god Soma (Chandran) to get free from a curse incurred from from a maharishi. These temples can be visited on any day, however the strong belief has been that  visiting all the five temples on a single day in the holy month of Karthikai  is very rewarding, bringing prosperity, welfare and peace of mind to the families. Tourists and pilgrims can  avail themselves of  special bus service provided by the Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation during the month. The buses take them to all destinations on the same day..

Somarama  temple of  Bhimavaram  (west Godhavari district) in Andhra dedicated to God Shiva,  is  a place of pilgrimage for the Hindus  because it is one of the five Pancharama Kshetras of   Shiva. Here Shiva's consort is   Sri Rajarajeswari Ammavaru (Goddess Parvati).  King Chalukya Bheema during the 4th century made  much of the contribution toward construction of this temple.  It is in Gunuipidi on the banks of  Godavari. 

Locations of Pancharama Kshetras

The temple tank- Pushkarani  called chandrakundam  or Somakundam is in front of the temple that has a  tall entrance tower - gopuram.  Visitors to the temple  can not miss a 15-foot tall pillar with Nandi (bull) atop is in front of the temple.

Shiva's mount / vahana Nandi (a big one) is in the big mantap/ hall on the right side The stone Nandi is facing the sanctum as in other Shiva temples. The deity in the sanctum, Nandigeswara  and the entrance tower are on a straight axis, a feature common in all Hindu temples.  The mantap on the left side has  many deities. Present in this temple are common  deties of  Anjaneya Swamy,  Kumara Swamy, Navagraha, Sun God, Lord Ganesha. There are are five stone images of Nandi on the temple premises.

Somarama  temple of Bhimavaram, Andhra

Here, Shiva enshrined in the garbagriha is in the form of a linga, an abstract or aniconic representation of the Hindu god in Shaivism. The Linga  is an “outward symbol” of the “formless Reality.”  An interesting aspect of this  Shiva linga is it changes color depending on the aspect of  moon - on  the day of  Pournami (full moon nights) it will be in white color and on Amavasya days (dark nights) its color is black.  There is a shrine for goddess Annapurna, above   Shiva's shrine on the first floor. Inside the temple the shrine has two tiers.  The presence of Goddess Annapurna above Shiva's shrine is a rare one and it implies that  Shiva has river deity  Ganga on his  Jadamudi and controlling its flow.  

It is said  that there are  two Shivalingas in the temple  namely Koteswara Swamy Linga and Someswara Swamy Linga installed by by  demi gods   Indira (god of rains) and Soma (Moon God) to get rid of their  curse. But, the main shrine is the one installed by Chandran/Soma.

Maha Shivaratri (February/March) and  Sarannavarathri- (September/October) are main festivals here that are celebrated  with religious zeal and dedication.  The temple is just 1.2 km from Bhimavaram new bus stand and about 65 km  Eluru town. 


Pancharama Kshetras, Andhra Pradesh: 

Locations of Pancharama Kshetras, Andhra

01. Someswara Temple, Somarama, Bhimavaram.

02. Sri Kumararama Bhimeswara Swamy Temple, Kumararamam, Samalakota.

03. Bhimeswara Temple, Draksharama, Ramachandrapuram .

04. Amareswara Swamy Temple, Amararama, Amaravati.

05. Ksheera Ramalingeswara Swamy Temple, Ksheeraram, Palakollu.