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Bhadrachalam
Bhadrachalam Temple.
Bhadrachalam
Location of Bhadrachalam
in Andhra Pradesh and India
Coordinates 17°40′N 80°53′E / 17.67°N 80.88°E / 17.67; 80.88
Country  India
State Andhra Pradesh
District(s) Khammam
Population
Density
55,352 (2008)
7,121 /km2 (18,443 /sq mi)
Sex ratio 1:1 /
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Area
Elevation
7.5 km2 (3 sq mi)
50 m (164 ft)

Bhadrachalam (Telugu: భద్రాచలము) was a census town which recently turned out to be a Municipal Corporation in Khammam district, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. The Bhadrachalam Temple, where the presiding deity is Lord Rama, is an important site of pilgrimage for Hindus. It is situated on the banks of the river Godavari.

View of Bhadrachalam from Bhadrachalam Temple

The town is connected to other major towns by rail and by road. Bhadrachalam is about 130 kilometres (approx. 82miles) from district head quarters Khammam and 320 kilometres from Hyderabad. The nearest railway station to Bhadrachalam is at a distance of 40 kilometres, in a town called Kothagudem. The railway station at Kothagudem was named as Bhadrachalam road due to its proximity to the important pilgrimage center. However, the Kothagudem railway station does not provide access to many important destinations, and hence to travel to other cities such as Chennai, New Delhi, Mumbai, etc., the district head quarters, Khammam is the nearest Railway station. Bhadrachalam, as known is famous as temple town, besides it has some other specialities, an ITC LIMITED- PAPERBOARDS AND SPECIALTY PAPERS DIVISION factory is located on the opposite bank of the town Bhadrachalam in a small village called Sarapaka. Bhadrachalam town is the gateway of agency area (dhandakaranya). Bhadrachalam's name has been derived from "Bhadragiri" (Mountain of Bhadra - a boon child of Meru and Menaka).

Bhadrachalam is a small town in south India on the banks of river Godavari, the town is famous for "Sri Seetaramachandra Swamy temple" which is the unique temple in India dedicated to lord Rama. Presently it is the biggest kshetra of Sri Rama after Ayodhya. It is the 17th century Shri Ram temple perches on a small hillock, encircled by the holy river Godavari flowing towards southern direction.Bhadrachalam attracts hundreds and thousands of devotees from all over the world.

Bhadrachalam is most picturesquely situated in an area, which once formed part of the Dandakaranya forest, visited by Sri Rama,Sita and Lakshmana during their exile (vanavasam). The jungle in the vicinity of the temple was the actual site of Rama's retreat and it was at the parnasala (32 km from here) that he built a hut for himself and Sita and from where Sita was abducted by Ravana.The history of this shrine stands for the significance of Ramayana Era, and vicinity of the temple had its incongruous add mixture of another story which depicts the exigency of " Sri Mahavishnu " to manifest himself as Rama long after Ramavatara was to fulfill his promise to his Bhakta Bhadra (a mountain king), a sage who had been continuing the frightened penance to get grace of Lord Rama.The name Bhadrachalam derived from Bhadragiri (Mountain of Bhadra - child of Meru and Menaka). The temple at Bhadrachalam has the Archa Murthys of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana and are considered to be Svayambhu Murthys (self-manifested ones).Srirama appeared in a dream to a woman called Pokala Dammakka and informed here about the existence of vigrahas on Bhadragiri hills. To her surprise she found the "Vigrahas" and put up a modest structure.Dhammakka ,cleared jungle and offered puja to the deities. This was the origin of the present temple. The Temple was constructed in the 17th Century by the local Tahsildar, Kancharla Gopanna, popularly known as Bhakta Ramadas, a fervent devotee of Lod Sree Rama.People called Gopanna by the name familiar to us as Bhadrachala Ramadas, because of his devotion to the Vaikunta Rama enshrined at Bhadrachalam.

Two festivals are most important here at Bhadrachalam - Annual Kalyanotsavam on the eve of Sri Rama navami, during Sri Rama Navami(march-april) there is a huge influx of pilgrims not only from Andhra districts, but also from other distant places to attend the wedding of Lord Rama with Sita. Vaikunta Ekadasi (Mukkoti). Sree Seetaramachandra swamy wil give darshan through the Vaikuntha dwaram on the eve of Mukkoti(December-January). This shrine was built by a devotee of Lord Rama, Kancherla Gopanna popularly known as Bhakta Ramadasu in the 17th century (1630 A. D.). Gopanna was the Tasildar of Bhadrachalam (in the second half of the 17th century) is said to have utilized money from the government treasury to build this temple, and was imprisoned in a dungeon at Golconda. Lord Rama is said to have miraculously given the Sultan the money spent by Gopanna, after which he was released. Gopanna then became Bhadrachala Ramadasu, and went on to compose innumerable number of songs in Telugu in praise of Rama.

For more information on Bhadrachalam, visit www.sitaramaswamy.com

Contents

Geography

Bhadrachalam is located at 17°40′N 80°53′E / 17.67°N 80.88°E / 17.67; 80.88[1]. It has an average elevation of 50 metres (164 feet).

Demographics

As of 2008 India census[2], Bhadrachalam had a population of 55,352. As of 2001, Males constitute 50% of the population and females 50%. Bhadrachalam has an average literacy rate of 73%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 54% of the males and 46% of females literate. 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Location

Bhadrachalam is located in Khammam District, Andhra Pradesh at a distance of over 309 km slightly northeast of Hyderabad. Situated on the banks of Godavari River, Bhadrachalam is 161 kilometres from Rajahmundry and 201-km from Vijayawada. It is home to a famous pilgrimage shrine and is considered to be the abode of Lord Rama, situated on the banks of holy river Godavari.

Bhadrachalam Temple Details

Sri Lakshmana Sametha Seeta Ramachandra Swamy, Bhadrachalam. The speciality of this temple is the main Diety faces westside towards river Godavari. The temple at Bhadrachalam is located on a small hillock. The idol of Sri Rama (moolavar) has distinctive features. The deity is in the padmasana pose with four hands, (Chaturbuja Rama) holding the bow and arrow in the front two hands, and Sankha and Chakra in the rear hands. The Sankha is held in the right hand and the Chakra in the left, indicating that having completed the destruction of the "rakshasas" with the Chakra, the Lord is assuring the world of peace and protection as represented by Sankha. To the left of Sri Rama is Sita and Lakshmana is on her left. But in the utsava vigrahas, Sita and Lakshmana are on either side of Rama, he is also known as "Vaikuntha Rama".

The faces of the four pillars in the muhamandapa contain exquisite image of Ashtalakshmi, 18 forms of Lord Siva, Dasavatar, 12 Azhwars, etc. The ceiling of this mandapa contains the figures of a three-petal lotus, made out of a single piece of granite stone. Apsara women adorn the inner portion of the muhamandapa and the sanctum.The octagonal-vimana (tower) over the sanctum is a three-storey construction with granite stones. The other face of the Vimana contains beautiful stone images depicting the 48 forms of Lord Vishnu, Garuda, Simha, Somaskanda and Dakshinamurthy. The sanctum is that the sikhara (dome) crowning the vimana is carved from a single block of granite, weighing about 36 tonnes.This is the biggest in the recent centuries.

The Sikhara is crowned with Sudarsana Chakra, which Ramadas got from the Godavari. The eight-faced Chakra with thousand corners contains Sudarsana Murthi, engraved in the centre.Nearby in the temple complex stands three pillars — "Ramakoti Kratu Sthamba" among the 108 such pillars installed in various pilgrim centres in this country by Sri Ramanujar.On the sides of the pillars are carved inscriptions of "Samkshipta Ramayana" in Sanskrit in Devanagari script. One of the pillars contains the verses from "Dasarathi Sataka" written by Ramadas with a white marble stone of his image in front.

Another Unique feature of this Temple town is there are two Kshetra Palakas for the main temple. Those are:

  1. Sri Yogananda Jwala Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy (Lord Narasimha)
  2. Sri Annapurna Kasi Vishweswara Swamy (Lord Shiva)

In the above two temples also the main Dieties face westside towards river Godavari. These two temples are sub temples to Seeta Ramachandra Swamy Temple and are equally important with the main temple. Both these sub temples are also located on small hillocks as Sri Rama temple. These temples are also equally significant along with the main temple of Lord Sri Rama.

Bhadrachalam Temple History

A sacred place that attracts lakhs of devotees from all over the world, it is the abode of Lord Rama (The seventh incarnation of SriMahavishnu). This hill place which is encircled by holy river Godavari flowing towards southern direction is the famous shrine Bhadrachalam-The name derived from Bhadragiri (Mountain of Bhadra-a boon child of Meru and Menaka). According to a Ithihasas, the significance of this shrine dates back to the Ramayana Era. This coherent hill place existed in "Dandakaranya" Of Ramayana period where Rama with his consort Sita and brother Laxmana had spent their vanavasa- and Parnashaala(the place connected to the famous Golden Deer and the place from where Sita was abducted by Ravana.) is also in the vicinity of this temple site. It is at this Mandir site that, long after Ramavatara, Bhagawan Mahavishnu manifested Himself as Rama again to fulfil a promise He made to His Bhakta Bhadra, who continued his Tapas through Yugas, praying for the grace of the Bhagawan Sri Ramachandra murthy.

Exigency of Incarnation The history depicts that the need emerged for the incarnation of Vykuntha Rama to fulfill a long desire of his ardent devotee Bhadra.

Maharshi Bhadra Bhadra performed penance at the bank of river Godavari in this " Dandakaranya" to get grace of lord Rama and subsequently in the countenance of his beloved God-the exulted "Rishi" implored Rama to be seated on his head. But Rama who was in search of his consort Sita, gave promise to his Bhakta that his desire would be fulfilled on his way back, after finding Sita and accomplishing the process of punishing the wicked Ravana and establish 'Dharma'. Thus the sage had been in continuation of the frightened penance as Rama could not accomplish the promise in Ramavatara. Then, Sri Mahavishnu manifested himself as Vykuntha Rama and rushed to his devotee Bhadra, signaling his arrival by blowing 'Shanku'(Conch), accompanied by his consort Sita and brother Laxmana, resembling that of 'Gajendra Moksham'-Thus, the moorthies of Rama (having four hands)-Shanku(Panchajanya-Conch)on the right, Sudarshana Chakra at his left and Dhanurbhana (Bow and Arrow in the rest two hands), Sita had condescended on the left lap of Rama and brother (at Rama's left) have existed. And the hill place where the Deities were seated on, was the head place of Bhadra -achalam (hill), thus this shrine was transformed into Bhadrachalam.

The idols of Vykuntha Rama, Laxmana and Sita were found by Pokala Dhammakka. Pokala Dhammakka, an ardent devotee of Rama lived in the 17th century and was an inhabitant of Bhadrireddypalem, a mile away from this holy place. On one fine night, she had darshan of Rama in her dream who said "the saints and sages are worshiping my embodied moorthy settled on Bhadragiri" and asked her to trace them, perform pooja and attain salvation. On the very next day morning she started searching for the idols-peeped into an ant-hill and found the idols hidden in it. She poured hundreds of pots of Godavari water on the ant-hill which tardily dissolved and gave way for the appearance of the hidden Deities. Since then, she used to perform pooja daily and offer 'naivedyam' with fruits fallen from near palmyra tree and constructed a mandapam of thatch hut with the help of local villagers. Bhagawan Rama told Dhammakka that at a later date, one of his devotees would construct a Mandir at this site. Dhammakka waited patiently for the devotee. The devotee turned out to be Bhakta Ramadas.

Bhakta Ramadas and construction of temple Bhadrachalarama temple was constructed by Kancharla Gopanna popularly known as Bhakta Ramadas in the year 1674 A.D.

Kancharla Gopanna, popularly known as "Bhakta Ramdas", a fervent devotee of Rama, was born to Linganna Murthy and Kamamba in Nelakondapalli village of Khammamett Taluk in 17th century (1620 AD). He was nephew of Akkannna, the administrative head in the court of Nawab Abul Hussan shah known as 'Taneshah' of Golkonda (he was the last ruler of Golconda before Aurangazeb captured it in 1687A.D.) and was appointed by him as Tahsildar of 'Palvoncha Paragana'. Thus he was discharging his official duties earnestly and collecting revenues due to the Nawabs in continuation of daily preaches -Chanting of 'Ramanama' and the feeding the poor at his house. Ramadasa, who heard the news that the villagers of palvoncha paragana were proceeding to witness a Jatara at Bhadrachalam , became curios and he too visited Bhadrachalam. He found the deities in an amazing appearance. Ramadas, then asked the villagers to contribute liberally for the construction of the temple. After the contributions were found to be insufficient, the villagers appealed him to spend the revenue collections for the construction of the temple with a promise to repay the amount after harvesting the crops. Accordingly, Ramadas constructed the temple with an amount of Rs 6 Lakhs collected from the land revenues with out the permission of the Nizam Nawab.

When the temple reached to the nearing completion, he had a problem of fixing 'Sudarshana Chakra' at the crest of the main temple. He was deeply distressed and fell into sleep. On the same night, Rama in his dream asked him to have a holy dip in river Godavari where he will find that-accordingly. On the next day morning Gopanna did so and found holy Sudarshana Chakra in the river with out much difficulty. He presumed that Sudarshana Chakra itself was shaped up with the divine power of his beloved God Rama. Soon after the construction, his miseries started. He was dismissed from service for mis-utilisation of revenue for constructing the temple and was kept in jail for 12 long years in Golkonda Fort and was tortured. Unable to withstand the miseries, Ramadas implored Rama to relieve him by singing many praising and emotional songs which got popularized from the stanzas of 'Dasaradhi Sathakam' and 'Keertanas' of Bhakta Ramadasa.

The Nizam Nawab Tanishah, the then ruler of Nizam's territory became a devotee of Rama who realised the devotion spirit of Ramadas after his imprisonment and took over the charge of temple administration. This resembles the communal harmony amongst the Hindus and Muslims. The Nizam Nawab realised Ramadas'devotional spirit and dedication towards Rama, when Rama and Laxmana repaid 6 lakh Mohurs exposing themselves as Ramoji and Laxmoji, the servants of Bhakta Ramadas to get release of their devotee from the imprisonment. Thanisha gave voucher to these divine looking persons who approached him at his house during late night. Then they kept the voucher under the pillow of Gopanna where he was jailed. Tanishah who woke up on the very next day morning realised that those divine looking persons were none other than Rama and Laxmana and made arrangements to get release of Gopanna and prayed to forgive him by placing all the Gold Mohurs received last night at the feet of Gopanna. But, he refused to take back those mohurs except two as a mark of divine significance. (Those two can still be seen kept in Bhadrachala Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy vaari Devasthanam).

Influenced by the majesty of Lord Rama, Golkonda Ruler Tanishah earmarked the income derived from the said Palwoncha paragana which came to Rs 20,000 and odd for the maintenance of the temple which was continued during Nizam's reign and offering Pearls (Mutyala Talambralu) on the occasion of kalyana mahotsavam (Sri Rama Navami) to Deities on an elephant through a specially sent messenger. That procedure of sending pearls to the Deities is still followed by present state Government and continues to offer during Sri Rama Navami Festival (Kalyana mahotsavam). Tumu Narsimha Dasa,Tahasildar of Palwoncha paragana,along with his associate Varada Ramadasa came here from Guntur and took over the charge of Bhadrachalarama temple after Ramadas made inscripted the performance of Nitya Poojas and sevas right from early morning "Suprabhata Seva" till night "Pavalimpu Seva" before closure of the temple as "Silaasaasanaalu" on these two pillars. This inscription gives details of daily dictum and daily rituals also.

Other Important Temples in Bhadrachalam

Besides Sri Seeta Ramachandra Swamy Temple the other Important Temples in the Town are as follows:

  1. Sri Annapurna Kasi Vishweswara Swamy Temple
  2. Sri Yogananda Jwala Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple
  3. Sri Govinda Raja Swamy Temple (Tatagudi)
  4. Sri Shiridi Sai Baba Temple
  5. Sri Abhayanjaneya Swamy Temple
  6. Sri Raja Rajeshwari Temple
  7. Sri Ayyappa Swamy Temple
  8. Sri Harnath Baba Mandir
  9. Sri Amba Satram Temple

There are also some more temples. There are many places to visit around Bhadrachalam surroundings. Some of the other important temples in Bhadrachalam are as follows:

  1. Sri Venkateshwara swamy temple (near Ambedkar centre, Busstand, BCM)
  2. Sri Krishna Temple (on the way to Raamalayam)
  3. Sri Durga Devi Temple (near ITDA)
  4. Sri Kodanda Rama Temple (near police station, BCM)

Besides the above temples other significant temple in Bhadrachalam is Lord Shiva temple near to main temple and Kalyana mandapam is "Sadhuvula Matham". There is a belief that an underground way is present from this temple. This temple has been recently renovated.

Visiting places in and around Bhadrachalam

Parnashala

This is supposed to be the exact spot where Rama, during his vanavasa in Dandakaranya, constructed a hermitage and spent his exile with his concert Sita and brother Laxmana. Agastya had selected this spot for Rama and is about 35KMs from Bhadrachalam.

The picturesque display of some scenes of vanavasa could be seen at Parnashala. One can see the foot prints of Sita devi, Mosaic of Maarecha in the guise of golden deer and Ravana in the guise of Sanyasi for Bhikshatana. Also found in the vicinity are Sita Vaagu-where she had bathed and collected the turmeric and Kunkum from near by stones and the marks of her saree on the rock near Sita Vaagu. These are all the visiting places for the piligrims. As Ravana kidnapped Sita, the deity at Parnashala is called Sokarama. The tracks of the chariot of Ravana while kidnapping sita can be seen on the mountain on the other side of the river bank at Parnashala temple.

Jattayu Paaka (Yetapaka)

This Place is situated from 2Kms away from Bhadrachalam. According to Itihasas, the bird Jatayuvu, a devotee of Rama had obstructed Ravana while he was proceeding on the chariot after kidnapping Sita. After the fearful battle between Ravana and Jataayuvu, the heavily injured bird had waited at this place in search of Rama. A wing of this bird fell at Rekkapalli, about 55 Kms from here, in V.R. Puram Mandal.

Dummugudem

Here Rama is called the Atmarama. The story reveals that Rama killed 14000 demons headed by Kharadeoshana. As the village was said to be built upon the ashes of these demons, the place is named after as Dummugudem.

Gundala

It is a place 5 Kms away from the sacred town Bhadrachalam, where springs of hot water could be traced on the river bank when we dig a pit at any place in this area. It is believed that the divine trios (Brahma Vishnu Maheswara) had their dips in winter season according to Brahma Purana.

Sree Rama Giri

This place is situated on the bank in the down stream of river Godavari, about 55 Kms from here. The deity of Yoga Rama Temple is on a hill and is named as Ramagiri.

Education Institutions

  1. Bharthi Vidya NiKetan
  2. Gowtham Model School
  3. Jyothi Educational Society & Jyothi Convent
  4. Bhadrachalam Public School & Jr. College
  5. Government Degree College
  6. P.S.U.P School
  7. Government Girls High School
  8. St.Paul's High School
  9. St.Anns High School
  10. Little Flowers High School & Junior College
  11. Maidhili Girls College
  12. Dr.Paul Raj Engineering College
  13. Nannapaneni Mohan Foundation Govt. School.
  14. MAYARA SeetaRamaiah Public School.
  15. ROOPA School ITDA ROAD
  16. PHOEBE CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTRE (LAMBS)

References

External links

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Contents

Bhadrachalam is a major pilgrim town in Andhra Pradesh in Southern India. Centre of attraction is the temple of Sri Ram built by Ramadas in 1630 AD. Ramdas was then tax revenue collector (or tahsildar). He collected money from people to build this temple and when the collections were not sufficient, used tax collections and consequently was jailed for 12 years by the king Tani Shah of Golconda (now Hyderabad). Moved by the plight of his devotee Sri Ram and his brother Laxmana repaid the money owed to the king and got Ramadas released. For more information, visit www.bhadrachalarama.org

Sanctum inside the temple complex

Get in

Bhadrachalam is connected by road and rail network. The nearest railway station is Bhadrachalam Road (station code: BDCR), 40 km from the town. Locally, Bhadrachalam Road Railway Station is more commonly referred to as Kothagudem Railway Station. It takes approximately 50 minutes to travel from Kothagudem Railway Station to Bhadrachalam by bus and the fare is about Rs 20.

Bhadrachalam is: 120 km from district head quarters, Khammam 325 km from the state head quarters, Hyderabad, where the nearest airport is (Shamshabad) By road from Hyderabad follow this route: Hyderabad – Suryapet – KhammamKothagudem– Palvancha(This Is Beautiful Town In Khammam District, Kothagudem Thermal Power Station-KTPS Located in Palvancha Town.) - Bhadrachalam. Buses ply from Vijayawada and other major towns in Andhra Pradesh.

If you want to go to Bhadrachalam from Hyderabad by train, you have Machilipatnam/Manuguru express(Train No:7050) at Secunderabad Station every day at 10:45 PM. You should buy a ticket upto Kothagudem (Bhadrachalam Road). The train reaches Kothagudem at 04:45AM. From there you can take a bus to Bhadrachalam. There are lots of buses from just outside Kothagudem station. Bus fare is around Rs 20. You can reach Bhadrachalam Town in 50 minutes. While returning you can take Train No:0340(Link Secunderabad Express) from Kothagudem. It departs from there at 10:15 PM.

If you wish to travel by Road, there are a number of APSRTC busses which ply to the place. It will be around 315 kms from the capital city Hyderabad. The tourism department buses also ply to Bhadrachalam. It will take you non-stop with a break at the Guest House on the Highway near Narketpally. It will be a 7 hours journey from Hyderabad to Bhadrachalam. Suppose if you start from Hyderabad at 10 PM, you will reach by 5 AM the next day.

The courtesy and the behaviour of the temple administration, locals are excellent. You can feel that everyone there are ready to extend cooperation and they talk to you politely. Perhaps it is the manners of Sri Rama embedded into atmosphere.

Get around

For the Accommodation you have lot of Devastanam Cottages and Private Cottages. Devastanam cottages are available from Rs 80/- to Rs1200/-. Its some thing difficult to get accommodation on weekends. You can also utilize locker facilities. SitaNilayam is one of the better cottage i have seen. In this you will get rooms from Rs 200/- to 600/- and it is also near to temple and Godavari.

Three wheeler taxis (called 'auto rickshaws') can be found everywhere, clogging the streets of Bhadrachalam. They don’t carry meters hence fares are to be bargained based on distance (or your perception of it). At the time of writing (June, 2009) fares to and from most places in the bus stand and temple areas were between 10 and 15 rupees.

  • Bhadrachala Rama Temple [1] is the main temple complex and the abode of Lord Sri Ram – it also has smaller temples of other gods and goddesses. Temples of Lord Shiva and Narasimha are quite close by.
  • Tiny museum within the temple complex has jewellery Ramadas and others got made for deities of this temple. (The dates of Ramdas’ and Abul Hassan Tanasha birth and death given on their painted portraits indicate that Ramadas lived for 32 years and Tanasha for 17 years which is rubbish).
Edicts issued by Ramadas in late 17th century
Edicts issued by Ramadas in late 17th century
Dilapidated hut in Parnasala
Dilapidated hut in Parnasala
  • Edicts made by Ramadas on stone guiding administration of the temple, poojas and other rituals are inside the temple complex written in Telugu.
  • Parnasala is a popular (nearby) place frequently visited by tourists and is 35 km from Bhadrachalam. This is said to be the place where Ravan abducted Sita. A small hut with gaudily painted sculptures of Sri Ram, Sita, Laxman and Ravan depicting key events from Ramayan is what Parnasala is about. This place has great historical importance but weathered sculptures, attempt to replicate the sculptures with fiber glass, lack of maintenance make it a little less satisfied experience. However, passing through tiny tribal hamlets and expansive fields of paddy by a spooky tree lined road plus the serene Godavari River are the saving grace. Its would be a worth while to visit this place if you plan to spend at least 2 or 3 days in Badrachalam. Avoid recommendations from local guides about this place and make your own call.
A lovely place with beautiful sceneries of "Pappi Hills" and "Perantalapalli"
A lovely place with beautiful sceneries of "Pappi Hills" and "Perantalapalli"
Image:Pappikondalu.jpg
A lovely place with beautiful sceneries of "Pappi Hills" and "Perantalapalli"
  • Papikondalu Hills - a steam boat ride on River Godavari enjoying views of the River and setting sun. Available as a package of one day including 5 to 7 hours of boat ride. Diesel-powered boats start from Sriramagiri, about 60 km from Bhadrachalam. They offer breakfast, tea, lunch and evening snacks on the boat itself, except lunch where they make special arrangements on the way to papikondalu on the shores of Godavari. The taste & hygiene of the food is good. On the way you can also see the perantallapally, a temple of lord shiva ,where you can find a small water fall coming from the thick forests. A sage used to meditate in this forest. You should maintain utmost silence in the temple. You should not offer any thing (like donations etc). The environment is peaceful. If you have the time, you can do meditation here. On the way you can also visit Sriramagiri temple. It is always better to take water, fruit and food with you on the steam boat ride.

Professional Tour Operators run boats cruise to papikondalu and you can block your seats for a fantastic safe and best ride. They can be contacted on 9440082627, 9490942788.

  • Visit the main temple.
  • Sit and absorb the atmosphere in the peaceful (on working days) temple premises.
  • Perform different types of pooja – fees for which can be paid right outside the main temple.
  • Attend sessions of Kirtanas written by Ramadas and others in honor of Sri Ram (after 8 pm)
  • Walk along river Godavari through tiny hamlets if the weather is pleasant.

Eat

Prasadam (food offered to the main deity of the temple) sold outside the main entrance can be a good breakfast as well – especially Laddu, Chakrapongali, Pulihora and Patikabellam (misri) are sold at nominal price right in the temple complex.

Most restaurants are near bus station and offer the same food fare. Cuisine is South Indian ‘thali' and normal south indian snacks like: Idli, Vada, Poori and Dosa.

Tea and Coffee (always with milk) are served in small stainless steel tumblers – tend to be cloyingly sweet unless otherwise specified.

Branded bottled water (also referred to as Mineral Water, which it isn't) of well known brands are available all over the town.

  • Devastanam (temple administration) accommodation offers good value: Sita Nilayam (also called ‘vanda gadulu’)is one such located near the main temple, - several new and big rooms costing between 200rs to 350rs with A/C. No room service. If all the rooms are booked enquire about other so called 'cottages'
  • Hotel Kalki, Godavari, Gitanjali are other smaller hotels.
  • State run Punnami Bhadrachalam has dormitories for 150rs.
  • State run Punnami Bhadrachalam has A/C Suites at 1500rs, A/C at 1400rs and non A/C rooms at 800rs. This is the best hotel in Bhadrachalam town.
  • Hotel Ratan, located near the Bus Stand - has decent ambience and reasonably clean rooms - twin rooms. It is somewhat noisy with constantly ringing phones resounding through the hotel building (especially in the nights). Room service is non-existent (this may change once an restaurant opens in the hotel, planned for July, 2009).

Bus station is on the main road where most hotels and restaurants are. Do check the room you are offered before you pay up.

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