Annavaram, the abode of Sri Satyanarayana Swamy temple is just about 110 km from Vizag on the National Highway leading to Chennai.
Renowned as of the the most visited temples in the country, Annavaram derived its name from two words Anina+Varam meaning that the place where wanted boons are granted. Treading along the history of the holy shrine, let us know the unique features of Annavaram temple.
History and its origin:
According to the legend, the Lord appeared in the dream of the one Brahmin of the village by name Earanki prakasam and directed him to trace his idol on the hill. He seeked the help of the then Zamindar of Gorsa and Kirlampudi Estates, who along with other villagers traced the idol on the hill. They installed it at the present spot on Sravana Suddha Vidiya of the Telugu year Khara, i.e., 1891 AD (Fasli 1301).
Temple construction and architecture:
The main temple was constructed on the Ratnagiri hill by the pleasing the Pampa River. The hillock itself is about 300 feet above the sea level. About 300 well-laid stone steps lead to the top of it.
The temple complex resembles the shape of a chariot with the four wheels at each of the corners. The Kalyana Mandapam in the front of the temple greets us and as we proceed, we come across the temples of Lord Rama and Vana Durga and Kanaka Durga. The chariot shape of the temple represents seven Lokas and the Garbhalaya, the abode of the Lord, at the center indicates that the Lord is the master of the universe.
Annavaram Prasadam, which is in golden colour, is offered to Satyanarayana Swamy. It is made with broken wheat semolina and jaggery. The taste is simply remarkable. Anyone passing through Annavaram should certainly not miss this local specialty.
One of the unique features of the Annavaram temple is its Sun dial. A panel was set up to cast a shadow over them following the movement of the Sun.
The Sun dial was installed on a marble block. Back in 1943, it was calculated and rebuilt by Raja Sri Inuganti Vekata Bahudur in the presence of Sri Pidaparthi Poorna Krishnamurti Shastri (Rajahmundry).