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Temples in South India >> Bhadrachalam Temple

Bhadrachalam is located at a distance of 200 km from Vijayawada. Dornakkal, on the Vijayawada - Warangal railroad is the nearest railway junction, and Bhadrachalam road is the nearest railhead.

Legends: This temple is intimately connected with the life of the saint composer Bhadrachala Ramadasa who was known as Gopanna. Gopanna the Tasildar of Bhadrachalam (second half of the 17th century) is said to have utilized money from the government treasury to build this temple, and was imprisoned in a dungeon at Golconda.

Rama is said to have miraculously given the Sultan the money spent by Gopanna, after which he was released. Gopanna then became Bhadrachala Ramadasa, and went on to compose several songs in Telugu in praise of Rama.

Bhadrachalam and Vijayanagara are sites said to have been closely associated with the Ramayana. Rama, Sita and Lakshmana are said to have stayed at Parnasala, 35 km away from Bhadrachalam. Rama is said to have crossed the river Godavari on his way to Sri Lanka to rescue Sita, at the spot where the Bhadrachalam temple stands, on the northern bank of the river.

Legend has it that the son of Meru - Bhadra performed penances towards Rama here. Kabirdas, a muslim by birth is also closely associated with this temple. It is believed that the images of the deities miraculously disappeared when Kabir was refused entry into the temple and that they reappeared miraculously upon his being permitted to enter.

Akiripalli near Vijayawada is home to a hill temple bearing a cave shrine to Vyagra Narasimha and a temple to Malleswara Shiva. The hill is also known as Sobhanachalam.

The hill temple also has shrines to Rajyalakshmi, and to all of the Alwar saints of Tamilnadu. The Nammalwar Adhyayanotsavam is celebrated in this temple once a year.

Legend has it that a king by name Subhavrata meditated upon Vishnu and Shiva and was blessed with a vision of Narasimha and Shiva on this hill. The hill is known as Sobhanadri after the king Subhavrata.

The Varaha theertham or tank is located to the west of the hill. Legend has it that Vishnu in his Varaha avatara dug out this tank, and hence the name Varaha pushkarini. The word kiri refers to Varaha, and hence the name of the place - Akiripalli.

This Akiritemple celebrates festivals such as the adhyayanotsavam, Ratha Saptami with a chariot procession, the full moon night in the month of Kartika and so on.