Bhadrachalam is a small town in the Khammam District of the state of Telengana in the southern part of India. The town is about 309 km from the city of Hyderabad towards the north eastern side and is scenically located on the banks of river Godavari. The town gathers its fame from across the country because it is regarded as the earthly abode of Lord Rama and his consort Goddess Sita. The town of Bhadrachalam is an important place of pilgrim for the Hindus because of the town’s association with Lord Rama.
The name of the town is taken from the word ‘Bhadragiri’, which means Mountain of Bhadra. Bhadra was the child born to Meru and Menaka after a boon. As of now, the town of Bhadrachalam is the second most prominent place for the devotees of Rama after Ayodhya, which is considered to be the birth place of Lord Rama. He also ruled the kingdom for long years after slaying the demon king Ravana at Lanka.
The Legends of Bhadrachalam
Legend has it that the town is located in the area that was once a part of the Dandakaranya forest. According to Hindu legends, Lord Rama and Sita Devi together with his brother Laxmana lived in this forest for some time during the duration of their exile. Many people believe that the forested area near the Sri Rama Temple is the place where the God stayed with His wife and brother for a few days. Some 32 km from the temple. Lord Rama built a dwelling place for His family. This was the same hut from where Ravana abducted Sita and carried her with him to Lanka.
Another legend attached to the town of Bhadrachalam is that of Lord Vishnu and His devotee Bhakta Bhadra. Bhadra was a sage who was an ardent devotee of Lord Rama. The Lord met the sage when He was on His way to Lanka to rescue Sita. The sage implored Lord to sit on his head. However, the Lord, who was in a hurry to rescue His wife, promised the sage that He would fulfill his wish on His way back. However, this could not happen, and the sage continued worshipping Lord Vishnu in order to get a glimpse of Vishnu’s Rama avatar. It is believed that, impressed with the devotion and penance of Bhadra, Lord Vishnu appeared to his devotee in the avatar of Lord Rama along with His wife Sita and brother Laxmana. The Lord announced His coming by blowing a conch. The Lord was seated on the top of Bhadragiri, His wife sat on the left lap and His brother on the right side. This event is believed to have occurred many years after the end of the ‘Ramarajaya’ or the rule of Rama. The name of the town is derived from the name of this devotee of Lord Rama.
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A very interesting legend attached to the Sri Rama Temple is that the Lord Himself appeared in the dream of a woman called Pokala Dammakka. Lord Rama told the woman of the presence of vigrahas on the slopes of Bhadragiri. The woman visited the mountain the next day and to her surprise found many vigrahas scattered on the mountain. She formed a simple structure on the mountain and named it Dhammakka. She tried to clear the jungle as much as she could and started worshipping at the altar every day. Ever since then, the mountain of Bhadragiri has become an important holy center for Hindu pilgrims from all over the world. Every year millions of devotees come to the place to offer their prayers and to seek forgiveness for their earthly sins.
Tourist places In and Around Bhadrachalam
Bhadrachalam offers a pleasant experience to travelers with its variety of sightseeing options. The major attractions of the town include Jattayu Pakka, Parnasala, Dummugudem and Gundala. The two renowned temples of the region, namely the Sree Sita Ramachandra Swami Temple and Bhadrachala Rama Temple, attract thousands of devotees every year with its spiritual as well as historical significance.
The town is easily accessible by road and can be reached via rail as well. The legends that surround the region, good connectivity, pleasant climate and the abundance of myths make this small town a favorite among backpackers.
The best time to visit Bhadrachalam is from October to February when the temperature is at an all time low.