Draksharamam Temple Timings, History, Images, Near Hotel

by Surojit Palmal
Draksharamam Temple

Temples become important because the devotees have so much faith over the deity and they believe in the power of the God. And one such temple is the Draksharamam Temple in Andhra Pradesh. This is one of the most powerful temples in the state and what makes the temple important is also the history attached to it. This temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and for devotees of Lord Shiva this is a very important shrine. It is also one of the 5 most powerful temples in Andhra Pradesh. Also the architecture of the temple and the inscriptions found here makes it a treasure trove for archeologists and historians. So if you are in Andhra Pradesh you need to plan a visit to the Draksharamam Temple. Keep on reading this article as I will mention everything about the Draksharamam Temple in this article.

Draksharamam Temple

Draksharamam Temple timings: The temple opens at 6 am and remains open till 8 pm. From 12 pm to 3 pm there is an afternoon break in the temple when the darshan remains closed. On Masa Shivratri once every month and Maha Shivratri once a year the temple remains open throughout the day from 6 am to 8 pm.

Daily Pooja timings of the Draksharamam Temple:

5 am to 5:30 am Suprabhatam

6 am to 7 am Abhishekam

8 am to 9 am Alankaram

10 am to 11 am Special Abhishekam

12 pm to 12:30 pm Aarti

1 pm to 5 pm Sarva Darshan

6 pm to 7 pm Alankaram

7 pm to 7:30 pm Aarti

8 pm to 9 pm Sarva Darshan

Entry fee of Draksharamam Temple: There is no entry fee

How to reach Draksharamam Temple

By air

The nearest airport to reach the Draksharamam Temple is the Rajahmundry airport which is 50 km away from the temple.

By train

Kakinada, Rajahmundry and Samalkot Junction are the nearest railway stations to reach the Draksharamam Temple. From there you can either take a bus or take a car to reach the temple.

By road

If you are travelling from nearby cities then you can travel by a bus. From Rajahmundry the distance is 50 km, from Kakinada it is 28 km, 65 km from Annavaram, 197 km from Vijayawada, 198 km from Vizag and 6 km from Ramachandrapuram. Buses are regular on these routes so you can opt for that or you can also hire a car to reach the Draksharamam Temple.

Overview of Draksharamam Temple

Overview of Draksharamam Temple
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

Draksharamam Temple Is one of the most important temples in Andhra Pradesh dedicated to Lord Bhimeshwara and Goddess Manikyanmba. The temple is also popular as Dakshina Kashi Kshetram and here the presiding deity is Bheemeshwara form of Lord Shiva. Located 40 km away from Rajahmundry, the temple is situated on the eastern bank of Godavari River. It is 25 km away from Amalapuram and 28 km away from Kakinada and is one of the most popular and powerful temples of Lord Shiva. Draksharamam Temple lingam is 2.6 meters tall and is a large crystal that is the Sphatika linga. The literal meaning of Draksharamam is the Abode of Daksha Prajapati. Daksha was the father of Devi Sati who is Lord Shiva’s wife. This temple is also one of the 5 powerful temples in Andhra Pradesh, popular as the Pancharamas.

Draksharamam Temple History

The history of this temple dates back to the 13th century and it is one of the 5 powerful temples or Pancharamas. You will find inscriptions in this temple that date back to 9th and 10th century to the reign of King Bhima of the Chalukya dynasty. At that time however the Rashtrakutas had attacked the dynasty. According to inscriptions the Chalukyas fought a total of 360 battles. In the past there were diamonds studded in the walls of this temple. But during the rule of Aurangzeb, he plundered and looted the diamonds. Previously these diamonds were the source of light in the sanctum. So from then on the sanctum remains dark.

Legend of Draksharamam Temple

The legend of this temple is related to the Skanda Purana that describes the origin and history of the temple. According to mythology, once Prajapati Daksha decided to host a yagna and for that he travelled to Kailash Parvat to invite all the Gods and Goddesses so that they can sanctify the yagna with their holy presence. When he went to Lord Shiva he was deeply engrossed in his spiritual trance and therefore did not notice Daksha. However Daksha was offended by this behavior and took this as indifference from Lord Shiva’s side. So, he left without inviting Lord Shiva and Devi Sati for the yagna. However, even though Devi Sati did not get an invitation she expressed her will to visit the yagna. Lord Shiva however did not want her to go, but after several requests he let her go.

Upon her arrival, Devi Sati got an indifferent treatment at the yagna. None of the family members there greeted her. Instead Daksha humiliated her. But later he also started humiliating Lord Shiva. Devi Sati could not take this humiliation and embarrassment. She did not want to go back to Lord Shiva with her fallen face and so decided to sacrifice herself into the yagna fire. When Lord Shiva came to know about this he was furious and he sent his son Veerbhadra to destroy Daksha. He himself also came down to Daksha’s home and destroyed everything there. Also he carried the dead corpse of Devi Sati on his shoulders and started the Pralaya Tandav that is the Dance of Destruction.

What’s more?

Everyone was scared that this dance of destruction would lead to the end of this world and so they went to Lord Vishnu to save them. Lord Vishnu therefore let his Sudarshan Chakra cut down Devi Sati’s body into pieces. There were 18 pieces of Devi Sati’s body that fell on 18 locations and these locations came to be known as the Asta Dasha Peethas. According to beliefs the Draksharamam Temple is the 12th of those 18 peethas and Devi Sati’s left cheek had fallen here.

Architecture of Draksharamam Temple

Architecture of Draksharamam Temple
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

The temple of Draksharamam is a two storied structure and it looks like a fort spreading across 12 acres. You will find two paths or Prakarams here, one outer path and one inner path. There are 4 entrances on the outer path in four different directions. Each of the entrances has intricately carved Gopurams and are 4 different forms of Goddesses. They are Nookambika, Gogulamma, Moodhambike, Ghattambikeln. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Shiva’s Bhimeshwar Swamy form. Here the deity is a shiva lingam which is also the tallest Shiva lingam in the world at 2.6 meters. The lingam is a Sphatik or crystal lingam and has black stripes on the upper portion of it. According to legends these black stripes are the stripes of tiger skin that Lord Shiva wears on his lower body.

The Draksharamam Temple is built following the South Indian style of architecture. The inner garbhalaaya has intricate carvings on it that reflects the grandeur of the days gone back. Also the ventilation of the temple is impressive with an inflow of air and light. One of the major attractions of this temple is that the early morning sun rays fall directly on the Shiva lingam here. To reach the main sanctum the visitors will have to take a flight of stairs to reach the upper level. And there they will be able to get the darshan of Lord Bhimeshwar Swamy.


What’s more?

On the back of the temple in the left corner there is the shrine of Manikyamba Devi. The Goddess faces towards the left and it signifies her as Vamachara Devatha. Also there is a shrine of Lord Vishnu in the temple along with his wife Devi Lakhshmi. This area is the Kshetrapalaka of the temple of Draksharamam. There are some smaller shrines inside the main temple as well that belong to different deities. They are Natarajeshwar, Prakara Bhairavudu, Visheshwara, Sundhi Ganapathi, Vaamana, Goddess Annanpurna, and Goddess Kanakadurga. On the right side of the Bheemeswara Swamy Temple there is the Kashi Vishweshwara Temple.

You will also find a Sapta Godavari Pond here or the Seven Godavari Pond which is a very sacred and holy pond. The water from this pond is used for performing the pooja and the rituals of the temple. According to mythological beliefs the Seven Sages or the Sapta Maharishi divided the River Godavari into seven streams in order to end their penance. Out of these 7 streams, 4 streams called the Antharvahini went underground. These are Vishwamitra stream, Draksharamam stream, Jamadagni stream and Bharadhwaja stream. Later these streams merged into a pond and is now popular as the Sapta Godavari Kundam.

There are many inscriptions and scripts written on the temple. You will find inscriptions in multiple language scripts like Tamil, Devanagari, Dravidian, Telugu and Sanskrit. These inscriptions explain about the Chola dynasty, Vijayanagara dynasty, Sathavahanas dynasty, Reddy dynasty etc. Because of the inscriptions the temple is a great source of study for students of archeological architecture. At present the temple is under the responsibility of the Archeological Department of India. They have taken the responsibility to restore and renovate the structure.

Hotels near Draksharamam Temple

In the Devasthanam dormitories are available for a comfortable stay and they are also affordable. They charge only Rs. 200 per day. Moreover they have two AC rooms with attached washrooms too that cost Rs. 700 per day. You will also find other rooms there and they cost Rs. 100 to Rs. 200 depending on the size of the room.

Also there is a choultry just in front of the temple where the devotees can rest for some time and also avail free food. Or if you are looking for hotels you can opt for nearby cities like Rajahmundry, Kakinada or Samalkota. You can easily stay there and make trips to the Draksharamam Temple.


Wrapping Up!

You can surely check out Draksharamam Temple images and see how beautiful this temple looks. However you need to visit this temple in person to understand the essence of the location. So plan a visit to this temple as soon as you can. Let me know if this article on the Draksharamam Temple is helpful for you in planning a trip there. Also don’t forget to tell me when you are planning a visit to this temple in Andhra Pradesh.

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