BHADRACHALAM is a famous temple dedicated to
"Lord Sree Sita Ramachandra Swamy Temple"
and situated on the banks of the sacred river Godavari.
Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy with Sri Lakshmana, Bhadrachalam
can reach Bhadrachalam, from Burgampad,
from the northern side of the river
Godavari. From Burgampad, boats ply
over the river Godavari. From Burgampad,
boats ply over the river to Bhadrachalam.
One can also reach it from Rajahmundry,
which is an important railway station
on the 40 miles or so by steamer
over the river Godavari. The temple
cannot thus be reached by easy means
of communication, and has to be reached
by a difficult boat journey over
the river Godavari and also all kinds
of transportion is available to the
The temple is associated with puranic and historic facts. According to a legend, there was a rishi (sage) named Bhadra, son of Meru, an ardent devotee of Lord Rama, who was promised moksha by Him. Bhadra Maharishi did intense penance until Tretha yuga was over and Lord Rama, who was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, was back to his original avatar. Pleased by Bhadra's devotion, He appeared in the form of Lord Rama (as per Bhadra's wishes) and granted him moksha. This explains the unique form of the deity at Bhadrachalam. The hillock on which Bhadra Maharishi did penance and attained moksha, is called Bhadragiri / Bhadrachalam after the rishi. Another legend associated with the place is that Lord Rama once appeared in the dream of a woman called Pokala Sammakka and informed her about the existence of idols on the Bhadragiri hills. To the astonishment of the woman, the idols were found on the hill, where she got a modest structure built.
The story of Sri Ramachandra which has been sung in immortal verse by Sage Valmiki and which has been the main repository for all the later Kavyas to draw their themes is very well known.
At thespot where the Bhadrachalam temple stands, it is said, Sri Ramachandra himself lived for some time, before Ravana carried Seeta away.
The popular legend is that at this spot a sage by name Bhadra was living at the time of Sri Rama’s sojourn, and Sri Rama, being pleased with the intense Tapas and Bhakti of this sage, came here specially to give him Darshan and liberation.
That is why the place is called Bhadrachalam in memory of the Saint Bhadra.The worship of Sri Rama is as ancient as temple worship in this land. The great Itihasa Ramayana by Saint Valmiki itself has the sanctity of scripture to the Hindus. The same story has been sung and popularized by Tulsidas in Hindi in his Ramcharit Manas and by Kamban in Tamil.
Kalidasa's Raghuvamsha also has as its main theme the life and history of the Ikshwaku race in which Sri Ramachandra was born. In the Atharvaveda there are two Upanishads, one called the Rama Tapini Upanishad, which glorifies the name of SriRama, and another called the Rama Rahasya Upanishad, where several Rama Mantras are revealed for the first time.
The greatness of Sri Rama's life is that it is an intensely human story, where the Lord had assumed the human form, and shown us the correct path of rectitude which we should adopt in the day to day conduct of our lives.
Apart from its sacred appeal, Sri Rama as a human being has an unique appeal, in which his character as an ordinary mortal with an uncompromising adherence to the correct code of conduct at the cost of anything that may happen to him, serves as a beacon light of guidance for us.
The reactions of Sri Rama to any set of circumstances, whether they be prosperous or adverse, are themselves a guide of conduct for ourselves in our human inter-relations. The character of Sri Rama progresses stage by stage as the story of Sri Rama unveils itself.honor by Rama, even at the cost of his own kingdom, and his adherence to the great Dharma of a true warrior in war fare, where he would not kill his enemy Ravana when he was disarmed, but asked him to go and come the next day fully prepared and armed, his adherence to the demands of social customs so that even Sita herself had to demonstrate her fidelity by such a terrific ordeal like the fire ordeal etc., all show a humanness of approach to the problem of life, and steadfast adherence to the rules of ethics, that they move us even to this day by their essentially human appeal.
In addition to all these, Sri Ramachandra, with Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman has been the theme of innumerable poets and has been the object of veneration and devotion of thousands of devotees.
The numerous Rama Bhaktas like Kabir, Ramadas, Thyagaraja, Ramagopanna and Purandharadasa, etc. were so much overwhelmed by the intensity of their devotion to the Lord, that they lost themselves in rapture and have given expression to their mystic joy in uncomparable verse and music.
Bhadrachalam is a very sacred place, with its temple dedicated to Lord Rama. The Vigrahas of Rama, Lakshmana and Seeta in the Sri Rama temple there are beautiful pieces of sculpture and are captivating by the sheer beauty and excellence of the workmanship.
Sri Rama is represented as a charming person, of handsome beauty, and well-built physique, wearing in his two hands, the Dhanus and the Bana, and standing in the 'Tribhanga' attitude as opposed to the 'Samabhanga' pose.
Sita stands near him, also in the Tribhanga attitude, with a lotus in one hand and the other hand shown in the 'Katyavalambita' posture. If there is any temple in which the devotees are captivated by the sheer magic of the beauty of the icon of the Lord, it is at Bhadrachalam.
In India, there are thousands of temples dedicated to Lord Sri Rama, from Ayodhya, his birthplace in Uttar Pradesh, down to Rameswaram at the southernmost tip of the country. Bhadrachalam, out of all these, is remarkable in its own way, for the sheer beauty of the icon of the Lord.
Like most of the temples in the country, Bhadrachalam does not claim to have aSthalapurana called out of various Puranas, nor can it claim to have been constructed by Devatas or Rishis. In fact, it is a temple consecrated by a very human being, and is called 'Manushya Pratishtha', since the local legends trace the first beginning of this temple to a Bairagi or mendicant who came here from Ayodhya.
He took up his abode on the small hillock, which overlooks the mighty and majestic Godavari. It was he that carved our image of Srirama and built a small temple over it.
Today, this temple is famous not only in Andhra but through out India and worldwide, and inspite of the difficulty of its approach, the magical charm of the idol attracts thousands of pilgrims every year.
Thus Bhadrachalam has a unique feature, where the sanctity and sacredness of the place have been increased by the mixture of tradition and history.
This is perhaps the solitary and unique instance of Muslim patronage of a Hindutemple, which was continued till very recently. Under the Nizam's rule, the Tahsildar stationed at Burgampad was responsible for the maintenance of the temple, and for the preservation of its treasures. The Hyderabad Government was spending Rs. 20,000/- out of its State revenues for the upkeep of the temples. Bhadrachalam has thus the happy and unique tradition of Muslim patronage of a Hindu temple.
It is sanctioned by its association with Saint Ramadas and is a famous and sacred shrine of Andhra, well worth a visit.