The Pancharama Kshetras are five ancient Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva located in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. These temples are important pilgrimage sites for Hindus, especially for those from Andhra Pradesh. According to legend, the five Shiva Lingas at these temples are derived from a single lingam. The lingam broke into five pieces when the demon Tarakasura attacked Lord Shiva. Tarakasura was eventually killed by Lord Shiva’s son, Kartikeya. The five pieces of the lingam fell to the ground, which came to be known as the ‘five Pancharama Kshetras’. Here is a guide to the five Pancharama Temples of Andhra Pradesh in the order in which the broken pieces were rounded:
Amareswara Swamy Temple (Amararama)
Located in the West Godavari district, Amaravati is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva performed penance to please Lord Vishnu. The temple complex at Amaravati is also built in the Chalukya style of architecture. It is known for its large lingam, which is one of the tallest in India.
How to get there: The Amararama temple is about 386 kilometres far from Vizag. It would take approximately 8 hours by road. Alternatively, Pedakurapadu is the nearest railway station to reach the temple and the nearest airport is Vijayawada Airport, which is 59 KM away.
Sri Kumararama Bhimeswara Swamy Temple
Located in the East Godavari district, Kumararama is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva was worshipped by his son Kartikeya. The temple complex at Kumararama is built in the Chalukya style of architecture. It is known for its intricate carvings and soaring gopurams.
How to get there: Located in Samarlakota, the easiest way to reach the temple is by road, it is about 125 km away from Vizag. You can also take the train to Samarlakota from Vizag.
Located in the East Godavari district, Draksharama is believed to be the place where Daksha Yagnam happened. The temple complex has a blend of both Chalukya and Chola styles. It is one of the largest and most important Shiva temples in India protected under ASI (Archaeological Survey of India)
How to get there: Located in Konaseema district, 186 KM away from Vizag, the easiest way to get there is by road. The nearest railway stations to Draksharama are Kakinada and Annavaram.
Someswara Temple (Somarama)
Located in Bhimavaram, West Godavari district, Somarama is one of the centrally protected monuments of national importance. The temple complex at Somarama is built in the Chalukya style of architecture. The lingam here is small compared to the other pancharamas but is said to change its colour based on the lunar month.
How to get there: It will take you approximately 6 and a half hours by road from Vizag if you travel via the Chennai-Kolkata Highway. You can also take the train to Bhimavaram railway station from Vizag.
Ksheera Ramalingeswara Swamy Temple
Located in Palakollu, West Godavari district, it is believed that staying one day in Ksheerarama is equivalent to staying one year in Varanasi The temple complex at Ksheerarama is built in the Chalukya style of architecture. It is known for its beautiful carvings and intricate sculptures.
How to get there: It will take you approximately 6 hours by road from Vizag if you travel via the Chennai-Srikakulam Highway. You can also take the train to Palakollu railway station from Vizag.
The Pancharama Kshetras are home to several festivals and rituals. The most important festival is the Mahashivratri, which is celebrated in all five temples. Mahashivratri or the great night of Shiva is one of the most sacred Hindu festivals celebrated between February and March
Let us know which one of these temples in Andhra Pradesh you would visit first on your devotional trip.
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