Bhimeswara Temple

Bhimeswara Temple
Bhimeswara Temple

The majestic Draksharamam Temple in Andhra Pradesh is the celestial abode of Lord Bhimeswara Swamy and Goddess Manikyamba. A remarkable ‘Spatika Linga’ measuring 2.6 metres tall stands as the temple’s presiding deity, made from one enormous crystal!

Another frequent moniker for the temple is Dakshina Kasi Kshetram. The literal expression of Draksharamam denotes ‘the dwelling place of Lord Shiva’s father-in-law, Daksha Prajapathi’ and the husband to Sati. This sanctum is one among five prominent temples dedicated to Shiva in Andhra Pradesh, who are referred to as “Pancharamas”.

Daksha Prajapati, son of Brahma and grandson of Vishnu, rose to power with the help from Trimurti. His newly gained authority made him arrogant and he began demanding Chandra (Moon God) to wed his 27 adopted sisters – ranging from Ashwini to Bharani in the Nakshatras galaxy. Blessed by Creator, Preserver, and Destroyers alike; nothing was impossible for Daksha now. Chandra accepted the proposal and married all 27 stars, yet Rohini remained her favorite among them. Due to his disregard for the other 26 stars, Daksha’s children were highly displeased with Chandra’s actions and reported it back to their father. Consequently, a furious Daksha cursed Chandra that he would be inflicted with tuberculosis and soon die as punishment.

Chandra humbly pleaded to Lord Shiva for salvation, and the merciful god vowed that he would grant Chandra his wish. But Daksha had other plans; he implored Shiva not to spare Chandra – an idea which infuriated Shivaji. Nevertheless, it was Vishnu who ultimately came in as a savior and set up two elongations between Sukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha so that Chandra could be rescued from peril.Chandra implores Siva to take in his life, humbly prostrating at the god’s feet. In response, Siva affectionately bestows upon Chandra a new name: “Chandra Mouleesawara” and places him atop His head. As their clash of egos intensifies, so does the tension between Siva and Daksha.

In an attempt to insult Shiva, Daksha declared he would marry his daughter Sati and appointed a statue of the god as gatekeeper at the door. To her surprise, Siva appeared and married Sati before whisking her away to Kailasa with him. This act by Shiva further intensified Daksha’s animosity towards him.

After a few years, Daksha made an announcement about organizing a yagna named “Nireeswara Yagna” and deliberately excluded Siva from the list of invitees. This decision was met with extreme disapproval from all devas; however, their words fell on deaf ears. Despite knowing that her father was inviting dire consequences to himself by going ahead with his plan, Dakshayani / Sati decided to take matters into her own hands and requested permission from Siva to attend the ceremony in order to prevent further damage being caused. Sati reaches her father’s palace, hoping that her family and loved ones would prevent the yagna from taking place. However, she receives no response as they all turn a deaf ear to her plea. Determined not to give up hope yet, Sati visits every single person invited for the ceremony and requests their assistance in halting “Yagna Nireeswara”. Yet again though, despite trying her best, everyone denies helping with this cause.

Daksha’s harsh comments and insults towards Siva and Sati filled the air, prompting Sati to take her own life at “Daksha aaraama.” Upon learning of this tragedy, Siva was overwhelmed with pain and rage. His grief manifested in an intense dance that expressed both his sorrow and anger.

Out of one of his matted dreadlocks, a powerful warrior arises and Siva names him Vira Bhadra. This valiant soldier is tasked with providing security to the kingdom by going to Daksha Aaraama and slaying everyone in combat. Without hesitation, Vira Bhadra heads forth on this mission and beheads all present at Daksha Aaraama including “Daksha” himself!

Later, Daksha’s wife begged Shiva to revive her husband by replacing his head with a goat’s. Upon seeing this tragedy, Shiva was filled with indescribable sorrow and started dancing in grief while carrying Sati’s body. To help him control his immense heartache, Vishnu divided the corpse into eighteen parts that were scattered across India – these places are now known as Shakti Peetas. One of them is located at Draksharamam Navel-region where the goddess associated with Siva (Bheemeswara) is called Maanikyaamba due Sanskrit word Mani meaning navel. Henceforth Drakshaarama’s Bheemeswara & Maanikyaamba have become symbols of eternal love!

By Air
If you’re looking to visit the temple, your best bet is heading over to Rajahmundry Airport, which is a mere 50km away.

By Rail
The temple is closest to Kakinada, Rajahmundry, and Samalkot Junction railway stations.

By Road
The temple is a suitable distance from Rajahmundry (50 km), Kakinada Town (28 km) and Ramachandrapuram(6km). Several bus services are available to make the journey with ease.

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