Draksharama , Draksharamam

Drakasharama is located in East Godavari district near Kakinada. Rajahmundry is the nearest airport. Draksharama constitues one of the five Arama kshetras of Andhra Pradesh, sacred to Shiva, the other four being Kumararama, Ksheerarama and Bheemarama and Amararama. Draksharama, Sree Sailam and Kalahasti together constitute the three sacred Shivalingams of Andhra Pradesh, giving it its ancient name Trilinga Desa.

Draksharama is one of the important centers of Shiva worship in Andhra Pradesh.

Several legends tie together the five Pancharama temples dedicated to Shiva.

Legend also has it that Vyasa installed the Shivalingam at Draksharama. Legend also has it that Draksharama was the site of Daksha yagna. Since it is believed that Sati immolated herself at the site of her father's sacrificial hall, no sacrificial yagna rituals are performed here.

The Bhimeswara temple at Draksharama has two prakarams. The outer prakaram is pierced with four entrances each with a gopuram. The gopuram on the west is a five tiered one. The entrance to the inner prakaram is on the south. A pillared two storeyed verandah lines the inner prakaram (tiruchutrumaaligai in the ancient temples of Tamilnadu). The sculptural work in the mukha manda
pam depicts clear Chalukyan features.

There are shrines to Lakshmi Narayana, Sankaranarayana, Ganap
ati and the Navagrahas.

The sanctum is two storeyed. The walls surrounding both levels are beautified with sculptural work. Two flights of stairs lead to the upper level of the sanctum. Bhimeswara is enshrined in the form of a ten feet high Shivalingam in the sanctum. Shiva's consort here is Manikyamba.

Mahashivaratri and Navaratri are some of the festivals celebrated here.

History: This temple was built by the Eastern Chalukyan King of Vengi - Bhima, during very troubled times (9th -10th centuries), when his kingdom was under attack by the Rashtrakootas. Inscriptions reveal that he had to fight as many as 360 battles. Chalukya Bhima also built the Chalukya Bhimeswaram temple at Samalkota nearby. The Draksharamam temple contains as many as 400 inscriptions going back to the 11th century. These inscriptions can be traced back to the Eastern and the Western Chalukyas as well as the Cholas and Kalinga rulers.

How to reach

Air : The nearest airport to Draskharamam is in Vijayawada at Ryali Templea distance of 185 km. Rail :The nearest rail head is in Kakinada at a distance of 17 km. Road : One can easily reach Draskharam by bus from Kakinada and Rajahmundry.

Where to stay

Choultries are available at Drakshramam. Budget hotels in Kakinada and Rajahmundry.

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