Everybody needs a break from busy schedules and hectic life once in a while. While most of the famous places around Visakhapatnam are within the city, a weekend getaway and a long drive is all anyone seeks. In such case, Punyagiri makes a good option with lots of greenery, hills and a holy place.
Sri Uma Kotilingeswara Swami temple is a famous Shiva kshetra located in the district of Vizianagaram. This temple is located in the Punyagiri hills near a village called Srungavarapukota commonly known as S. Kota. The old name of this hill is Virata Parvatha. There are many perennial streams of water flowing down the hill. The Shivalinga of this temple is surrounded by water from a natural stream underground. This gradually gives birth to many waterfalls flowing down the hill which stay alive all round the year.
A large number of devotees visit the temple during the Mahashiva ratri and Karthika masam. Punyagiri is located at just 4 km from Srungavarapukota [S. Kota], 25 km from Vizianagaram and 70 km from Visakhapatnam. With all its scenic beauty and yearlong flowing waterfalls, the hill of Punyagiri attracts many tourists in every season.
A long carpet of stairs welcomes you when you enter the hill premises and then comes the first waterfall of the Punyagiri hill. A long series of waterfalls is witnessed as we move upwards towards the Shiva temple located on the top of the hill. The sanctum has an underground water source which ensures that the Shivalinga is perpetually bathed with water. In the nearby Trimurthi cave, three lingas are places such that the water constantly drops on those lingas.
Considered to be a very holy spot, people perform pooja and other holy rituals to seek blessings from lord Shiva. After the calming visit to the Punyagiri hills, do not forget to feast on the lip smacking biryani served at the restaurant named ‘Muntaz’. This restaurant has been serving authentic biryani since a decade and is pretty famous in the neighbouring districts. This will sum up to be a good weekend drive with your loved ones while being in touch with the nature.