Monday, February 25, 2013

Sri Uma Maheswara Swamy Temple, Yaganti, Kurnool, AP.

Yaganti:  Sri Uma Maheswara Swamy Temple.

Yaganti is located in Kurnool District of AP. The place is about 300 kms from Hyderabad. Yaganti is well connected by bus from all the places. We visited Alampur, and from there we visited Yaganti, via Bethamcharla, and Banagapalli.

Sri Uma Maheswara Swamy temple is one of the holy temples in Kurnool. The temple is surrounded by mountains. There are several natural caves which add to scenic beauty to the place. People visit the place in large number during Maha Sivarathri day. The temple was constructed and completed by first Vijayanagara Sangama Kings Harihara Bukkarayalu in 15th Century.

There is a five tier Raja Gopuram for the temple with Dwajasthambam erected.

Main Deity is Lord Siva in Ardhanareeswara form known as Uma Maheswara Swamy.

There is a small pond in front of the temple.

Interesting fact about this pushkarani is there is water all round the year. Here water flows into the pushkarani from bottom of the hill through the mouth of Nandi. We do not see any water flowing from the hill. No one knows how the water reaches the pushkarani in all season. Holy bath in the pushkarani is considered highly beneficial. Water here is clear and sweet. Saint Agasthya has visited this place and worshipped Lord Siva of this temple.

Nandi in the temple is too big. Archakar says this Nandi grows at the rate of 1 inch for every twenty year. Initially it was smaller in its size, and devotees were able to go around it. Nandi is seen in a mandapam. It is to a side of the mandapam and not in a straight line to main deity. Due to the growth of Nandi already they have removed a pillar.

According to Potuluri Veera Brahmendra Swamy, the Nandi of Yaganti will come alive and shout at the end of Kaliyugam.

Sthala Purana says Agasthya Muni was traveling down towards south, and happens to visit this place. Looking at the secnic beauty of this place he wanted to construct Temple for Lord Venkateswara. The idol that was made, to install in the temple, was broken near the toe nail and sage was a bit upset and he started penancing in a cave here. Lord Siva appeared in front of Agyasthya, who tried to find the reason for what has happened. Lord Siva replied him that the place appears like Kailash surrounded by mountains which is more suitable for Siva Temple. Agasthya muni requested Lord Siva to give darshan along with Goddess Parvathy, as Uma Maheswarar on a single stone for devotees to worship. Siva obliged to him, and stayed here in Yganti as Uma Maheswarar.

When sage Agasthya was performing penance, the crows disturbed him. So he cursed the crows, as not to enter the place. From that time onwards crows are not seen in Yaganti kshetra. Devotees, who worship here, need not fear about Saneeswara Bhagawan, since crow is his Vahan. We do not see Navagraham in this Siva temple.

A devotee by name Chittappa worshipped Lord Siva, to whom Lord gave darshan as a Tiger. Chittappa was able see Lord Siva, in Tiger and he shouted “Neganti Shivunnu ne kanti” Which means I saw Siva I saw) and danced in joy. Over a period the place was known as Yaganti.

Agasthya cave:

We have to climb about 100 steps inside the cave to reach the top.

Agyastya penanced and worshiped Lord Siva.

Venkateswara cave:

The steps are steep here. We see the moorthy of Sri Lord Venkateswara, to which the toe is damaged.

Veera Brahmam cave:

We find steps leading to Brahamam gari cave.

Here we have to climb steps to reach the entrance of the cave. The entrance is too low and one has to bend, to enter inside the cave

Here inside we find Siva Lingam and Nandi.

Sthala Purana says this is the cave where Viswakarma Brahmin, Saint Sri Potuluri Veera Brahmam wrote some of his “Kala Gyanam.”

Here on the top of mountain cliff at the back of Uma Maheswara Swamy temple, lamp is lit in the evening. Devotees can pay for the lighting of lamp on the mountain cliff.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sri Sita Rama Swamy Temple, Badrachalam, AP


Badrachalam Town is about 300 Kms from Secunderabad.

Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy temple of Badrachalam is situated on the bank of River Godavari.

Main Arch of  Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy temple.

The temple dates back to Rayamana Era. The temple was constructed in 17th century by Kancharala Gopanna who is popularly known as Baktha Ramadas a great devotee of Sri Rama.

The temple has main Raja Gopuram with five tiers. We climb few steps to enter into the temple. Inside the temple as we go around we see small sanctums for acharays, and other Gods.

Main Deity is Sita Ramar. Here we see Sri Ramar in sitting posture with Sanku, Chakkra, Bow and arrow in his hands. Sita is seen seated on his lap. Next to them Lakshmana is seen standing with Bow and Arrow in his hands.

Sthala purana: The idols of Vaikuntha Rama, Lakshmana and Sita, were found by Pokala Dammakka ardent devotee of Lord Sri Rama, lived in 17th century in Bhadrireddy palem about a Km away from Badrachalam. One day she had darshan of Sri Rama in her dream. Lord Sri Rama  asked her to trace out the idols, which were worshipped by sages. He asked her to perform pooja and attain salvation. He said one of his devotee will construct a Mandir here. Next day when she went in search of the idols, she found them hidden in an ant hill. She poured water from River Godavari to wash the mud of Anthill, removed the idols and installed them on the hill in a small hut. She performed pooja for the idols of Lord Srirama, Lakshmana and Sita.

In the year 1674 AD Badrachala Rama temple was constructed by Kancharla Gopanna popularly known as Bhakta Ramadas.

Maharishi Badra penanced in this Dandakarnya, on the bank of River Godavari to be blessed by Lord Sri Rama. Sri Maha Vishnu manifested himself as Sri Vaikuntha Rama along with Sita and Lakshmana in front of his Baktha. Badra Rishi requested him to be seated on his head. Lord Sri Rama temple is on the head of Maharishi Badra. Achalam means hill, hence the place was known as Badrachalam.

Bhakta Raamadas:   He was born Gopanna to Linganna Mantri and Kadamba, in a small village Nelakondapalli of Khammam District AP., in the year 1620. He composed several kritis on Lord Sri Rama. His devotion towards Vaikunda Rama of Badrachalam earned him fame as Badrachala Ramadass. Sri Raghunadha Battacharya is his Guru.

During the reign of Abdul Hasan Tana Shah, Gopanna (Ramadas) was appointed as Tasildar for Palvancha Paragna, this includes Badrachalam Town. Gopanna‘s devotion and love towards Lord Sri Rama compelled him to build temple for Lord. He collected money from people for construction of the temple. It was not sufficient so he borrowed from the Tax Revenue, owing to return the money. The Nawab was furious and sentenced him for 12 years in prison. Ramadas composed few finest kritis during that period. Rama and Lakshmana in disguise of two youngsters paid his dues and got his released papers. Lord Rama paid gold coins, which is known as Ram Tanka coins. Pattabishekam scene is seen to one side of the coin and to the other side Baktha Hanuman.

Nawab recognized the greatness of Ramadass and released him from prison and gave him land around Badrachalam. Baktha Ramadass spent rest of his life dedicated to Lord Sri Rama.

Parnasala: This place is about 35 kms from Badrachalam. The place was chosen by Agyasthya for Sri Rama to spend his vanavasa period in Dandakaranya.

Sri Rama constructed a Hermitage, and stayed here with his consort Sita and his brother Lakshmana during his exile

Here we see padukai.

Stream of water is flowing which is known as Sita Vaagu, where she used to bathe and wash her clothing’s. The stones here appear in yellow and red colour. It is believed she used these stones powder as Turmeric and Kumkum.

Temple of Sri Rama at Parnasala.

Dwajasthambam in Sri Rama Temple.

The Deity of Parnasala is known as Sokarama.

We see Rama nama pillar.

Here near Parnasala in the same premises there is a temple for Lord Siva known as Ramalingeswara Swamy.

Here in this temple under the vruksham we see stone sculpture of Sri Rama with Sita sitting on his lap

Friday, February 8, 2013

Sri Yogananda Lakshmi Narashima Swamy temple of Vedadri, Krishna District, AP.

Sri Yogananda Lakshmi Narashima Swamy of Vedadri

The place Vedadri is on the banks of River Krishnaveni. This place is about 10 kms from Chillakallu, which is on National High way No-9, from Vijayawada to Hyderabad.

Here in this place Lord exists in five forms, different form each other. They are known as Pancha moorthy, namely Jwala, Saligramha, Yogananda, Veera and Lakshmi Narashimar. Hence the place is known as Vedari

The temple has Raja Gopuram of five tiers to east and west side. The lower portion of Dwajasthambam is seen inside the mandapam. There is Artha mandapam and Garbha graham.

As we enter inside, to left there is a sanctum for Chenchu Lakshmi Thayar. 
Main deity is Yogananda Narashimar erected by Rishyasringa Muni, and on his own peetam as Laksmi Narashimar in the same sanctum. Rajya Lakshmi Thayar is seen in separate sanctum to left side of main sanctum.

West side Gopuram is facing River Krishnaveni.  Here in the River we see Narashimar in the form of Saligrama. We find steps leading to Sikaram. Here we see Jwala Narashimar as deity.

About 5 kms away there is Garudathri were Lord Sriman Narayana has incarnated himself as Veera Narashimar.

Sthala Purana:  Sownakadi muni explains to Sanakadhiyar and to Rishis, about Brahma purana. In this purana it says Somakasura took the Vedas from Lord Brahma, who approached Lord Sriman Narayana to help him in accruing the Vedas, Sriman Narayanar in the form of Matsya, killed the demon Somakasura and brought the Vedas back in tact. As a gesture Vedas thanked Lord Narayanar in human form and requested Him to stay back on their head. Lord agreed to fulfill their wish, after Hiranya vadam.

Lord said he would stay here as Pancha Moorthy. He asked Veda Prussia’s to stay here as Saligrahama Mountain, on the bank of the River Krishnaveni. He said he has granted a boon for River Krishnaveni  also. She has requested Him, to allow her to pray and worship Him everyday. Lord said wishes of Veda Prussia’s and River Krishnaveni  will be fulfilled simultaneously. After Hiranya Vadam, Sriman Narayanar stayed back on the Vedadri Sikara as Jwala Narashimar and fulfilled Veda Purusha’s wish.

Brahma requested Jwala Narashimar to stay in Sathya lokam as Saligramha Narashimar. Lord. Sriman Narayanar went to Sathya Lokha with Brahma.  Even before Lord Brahma offered his worship to Lord in Sathya Lokha, fire took place. So Lord Brahma brought Saligrahma moorthy to the River Krishnaveni and erected the Saligrama Moorthy on Saligrama MountainThus the wish of Veda purusha’s and River Krishnaveni was fulfilled simultaneously.

Rishyasrunga Muni and other Rishi's approached Vyasa Bhagawan, and requested him to show the path of Salvation in Kaliyugam. Vyasa Bhagavan said Nama Sankeerthanam is the easiest way to attain Moksha in Kali Yugam. Rishi's went in search of some peaceful place to recite. When they crossed this Veda Sikaram they heard echo of Veda mantra. Here they worshipped Yoga Narashimar and started their penance. They were blessed by  Sriman Narayanar as Yogananda Narashimar in this place. Rishyasrungar installed Yogananda Narashimar on this Saligrahma Sikaram.

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