The Pancharama Kshetras hold immense significance for the devoted Hindus of South India, particularly in Andhra Pradesh.
These sacred sites consist of five distinct temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, each consecrated by five different deities. Notably, the Shiva lingams in these temples are believed to be fragments of a singular lingam with a captivating history.
The Ancient Saga of Pancharama Kshetras: Every venerable site carries a profound history, and the Pancharama Kshetras are no exception.
Legend has it that during a decisive battle between Lord Shiva’s son Kartikeya and the formidable demon Tarakasura, Kartikeya was unable to defeat the demon due to the protective power of the demon’s shivalingam pendant.
In a timely intervention, Lord Vishnu came to Kartikeya’s aid, advising him to destroy the protective shivalingam and then vanquish Tarakasura.
Following this counsel, Kartikeya successfully killed Tarakasura with an agneyastra (fire weapon). The shattered pieces of the shivalingam were then installed and revered by Hindu deities Indra, Chandra, Surya, Vishnu, and Kartikeya at five distinct locations in present-day Andhra Pradesh.
The architecture of the Pancharama Kshetras is a mix of Dravidian and Nagara styles. The temples are decorated with intricate carvings and sculptures. The temples are also home to a number of other Hindu deities, including Vishnu, Lakshmi, and Hanuman.
The Five Aaramas are:-
Situated in Amaravati, Guntur district, on the banks of the Krishna River, the lingam at Amararama temple was installed by Lord Indra. Shiva is worshipped in the form of Aghorarupam, and the temple also honors Bala Chamundeswari, an aspect of Goddess Parvati.
This unique temple in Draksharamam, East Godavari District, is associated with Lord Rama, who worshiped Lord Shiva at the site. Vemulavada Bhima, a renowned Telugu poet, is believed to have received blessings from Lord Shiva at this temple.
Located in Bhimavaram, this temple is known for Chandra Kundam, a sacred pond in front of the shrine. The lingam at Somarama Temple changes color according to the phases of the moon. Devi Annapoorna is also venerated at this temple.
Found in Palakollu, West Godavari District, this shrine is associated with the belief that Lord Vishnu received the divine discus from Lord Shiva at the same location. Another legend connects the temple to sage Upamanyu, who received boons and milk from Lord Shiva after intense penance.
Located in Samarlakota, it is believed that Kumara Kartikeya himself installed the shivalingam at this temple. The temple also honors Shiva’s divine consort, Bala Tripura Sundari Devi.
Visiting these temples on a single day during the holy month of Kartik is considered particularly auspicious, and a special bus service is provided by the Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation to facilitate pilgrims during this time.
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