Karthika Masam is one of the most auspicious times for Lord Shiva devotees, when thousands of pilgrims visit temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed that visiting a Lord Shiva temple during this month will absolve them of their sins and problems and bring them good fortune. According to Hindu mythology, there are many significant Shiva temples throughout the world. On this auspicious occasion of Karthika Masam, we at Touringwala have compiled a list of five prominent Shiva temples in Andhra Pradesh, known as the ‘Pancharamalu‘.

Andhra Pradesh

The historical significance and majestic beauty of Andhra Pradesh captivate the hearts of visitors. The state is renowned for its grand temples and rich mythology, each temple etching its unique signature on the pages of Hindu mythology. The tourism authorities of the state are working diligently to enhance the tourism industry.

Mythological Significance of Pancharamas

A mythological legend states that Tarakasura, a demon king, obtained the Shivalinga (Atmalinga) through penance towards Lord Shiva. He began tormenting the people, sages, and gods. As a result, the gods pleaded with Lord Shiva, the supreme god, to protect them from Tarakasura’s evil deeds. According to the boon, Tarakasura could only be slain by a boy. Before killing Tarakasura, Lord Kumara Swamy first shattered the Atmalinga into five pieces. Each fragment was installed at a different location by five lords: Indra, Chandra, Vishnu, Kumara Swamy, and Surya.

Amaralingeswara Swamy – Amararama

Amararama is one of the prominent Pancharama Kshetras, situated on the southern bank of the River Krishna in Amaravati town, Guntur. The main deity of the temple is Lord Shiva (in Linga Roopa), standing at an impressive height of 16 feet. The rituals are performed from a specially arranged platform. Legends claim that the white marble Linga in the sanctum was installed by Indra, hence the town’s name Amaravati. A red stain can be seen on the top of the Linga; it is said that a nail was hammered into the Linga’s top to halt its growth, but blood oozed out. The stain is still visible today.

How to Reach

The temple is just 35 kilometers from Guntur, and numerous buses and trains are available from various cities in the state.

Bhimeswara Swamy – Draksharamam

The Bhimeswara Swamy temple is one of the most famous temples in Andhra Pradesh and is well-known as Dakshina Kasi. It is also one of the Shaktipeetas. It is said that Lord Surya installed the Shiva Linga here. The sculptures at the Bhimeswara Swamy temple showcase the architectural mastery of both the Chalukyas and Cholas. The temple’s architecture resembles a fort, with two prakarams. The temple’s outer wall has four entrances in four directions, each adorned with beautifully carved gopurams. The inner sanctum houses the 2.6-meter-tall Shiva Linga, which is the focal point of the temple. In the early hours, the sun’s rays illuminate the Shiva Linga, highlighting the architectural brilliance of that era. According to sthalapurana, this is the site where the left cheek of Mother Sathi fell, and she is worshipped in the form of Manikyamba.

How to Reach

The temple is in close proximity to Kakinada and Rajahmundry. One can hire either private or public transportation from the railway station to reach Draksharamam.

Someswara Swamy – Somarama

Somarama is nestled in Bhimavaram, East Godavari district. Lord Shiva is worshipped here in the form of Someshwarudu, and the main Linga in the sanctum was installed by Lord Chandra. The temple fascinates visitors with its colossal Nandi statue and magnificent gopura. The most fascinating feature of the temple is the Shiva Linga’s color, which changes with the phases of the moon. During the full moon, the Shiva Linga appears white, while on Amavasya, it appears black in color.

How to Reach

Bhimavaram is well connected to major cities via rail and roadways. From there, one needs to hire either public or private transportation to reach the temple.

Ksheera Rama Lingeswara Swamy – Ksheerarama

Ksheera Ramakingeshawara Swamy

The Ksheera Rama Lingeswara Swamy temple is nestled in the heart of Palakollu, West Godavari. According to a legend, Lord Vishnu installed the Shiva Linga here. The 120-foot-tall Rajagopuram with nine floors is the temple’s crowning glory. According to mythological legend, the temple was built during the reign of Chalukya Bheema in 918 AD. The great poets Nannaya, Tikkana, and Srinatha visited the temple. The serene surroundings and picturesque setting of this village offer a much-needed respite from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

How to Reach

Palakollu and Narasapuram are the nearest railway stations to the temple. The temple is just adjacent to the Palakollu bus stand.

Kumara Bhimeswara Swamy – Kumararama

The Kumara Bhimeswara Swamy temple is located in Samarlakota, East Godavari, and it is said that Lord Kumara Swamy installed the Shiva Linga here. According to an inscription, the temple was constructed by the Eastern Chalukya king Chalukya Bhima-I. The architecture of this temple resembles the Drakshrama temple. There is a miniature temple on the premises of the main temple which depicts the complete architecture of the temple. Hundreds of devotees visit this temple during Maha Shivaratri.

How to Reach

The temple is a short distance away from Kakinada and Rajahmundry. One needs to hire public or private transportation to reach the temple. Numerous buses are available from Kakinada to the temple.

Hara Hara Maha Deva