I was not aware of the several important temples in and around Rajamundry except the Sri Satyanarayana Swami temple in Annavaram, a ninety minute drive from our hotel. It also came as a revelation that the town is replete with history and can boast of several luminaries and freedom fighters who hailed from this cultural capital of Andhra.The leading light is Andhra Bheeshma Sri Nyapathi SubbaRao Pantulu of whom our former President the late Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan had observed ‘whenever I think of Rajamundry two things come to my mind. One is the river Godavari and the second is Nyapati Subba Rao Pantulu’.
By way of paying tribute to this iconic figure the grandsons who continue to live in Rajamundry have got a bronze statue installed in the midst of the town which was unveiled last May.
Among the various temples situated outside Rajamundry, Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple in Antarvedi, Draksharamam temple and Sri SatyaNarayana Swami temple in Annavaram are a must see both from the historical /mythological point of view and the religious aspect. Antarvedi is at the tip of the confluence of Godavari River and the Bay of Bengal. After a visit to the temple we could not however reach the spot of the sagara sangamam since the approach by road was blocked. We had to contend ourselves by viewing the river and the sea separately from two different points. It is popularly believed that Treta Yuga episode of Ksheera Sagara Mathanam took place in Antarvedi.
The sanctum of the two storeyed Bhimeswara temple in Draksharamam with ivory coloured gopuram is unique for the form of the Linga here. Bhimeswara is enshrined in the second storey as a ten feet high Shiva linga which appears like marble. Shiva’s consort here is Manikyamba.
Annavaram is famous for Sri Satyanarayana Swami temple which is considered second only to Tirupathi in Andhra Pradesh.The deity is Lord Veera Venkata Satya Narayana Swamy, seated on either side are Sankara and Anantha Lakshmi Satyavathi Ammavaru.
At the end of our four day stay which included enjoying the hospitality of Nyapati Narasimha Rao’s family(he is the grandson of Subba Rao Panthulu) we left Rajamundry stocked with the famous Rajamundry Kaja and Pootharekulu, a delicacy available only in Andhra.
Why not Rajamundry for a holiday? Is my refrain now.
n.meera raghavendra rao