Being the destroyer of evil, Lord Shiva is the most ferocious deity in Hinduism. He is also called the creator and the protector of the universe in Shaivism.
There are innumerable temples in India which are dedicated to Lord Shiva. These temples are the foremost pilgrimage sites for Shaivites. Pancharama Kshetras are amongst these Shiva temples which are considered as ancient Shiva temples where Shivalingas were formed out of a single Shivlinga.
How about visiting these ancient five Shiva temples which are located in Andhra Pradesh and are significant pilgrimage sites for Hindus? Here, you can also listen to the various legends of Lord Shiva and how these Shivlingas got placed inside the temple.
PC- Krishna Chaitanya
Located in Amaravathi town of Andhra Pradesh, the holy site Amararama is home to Amaralingeswara Temple and is situated on the banks of Krishna river. The Shivalinga placed inside the temple is one of the parts of a single Shivalinga which was broken into pieces to defeat the demon Taraka. It is believed that the Shivalinga was placed by Lord Indra and hence, the temple was built over it.
Built in Dravidian architecture, the structural formation of the temple also attracts several tourists along with Hindu devotees. The major festivals celebrated here include Maha Shivratri and Kartik Purnima.
Ksheerarama is one of the Pancharama Kshetras and is a centrally protected monument of national importance. The Shivalinga of Ksheerarama is said to be installed by Lord Vishnu; hence, it is believed that if a pilgrim with complete dedication toward his lord stays here for a day, he would be free of all his sins and problems in life the very next day. Therefore, it attracts thousands of Hindu devotees and curious travellers every year.
The tower of Ksheerarama Temple is the tallest of them all in Andhra Pradesh. Apart from the Shivalinga, one can also find several other shrines of Sun God, Goddess Parvati and Radha Krishna.
PC- Aditya Gopal
Located in Samalkota in the district of East Godavari, Kumararama is one of the holiest places in India in Shaivism. You can find here devotees of Lord Shiva gathering from all across the country during the time of Maha Shivratri. Being one of the Pancharama Kshetras, it is also a historical monument of national importance and is under the care of the Andhra Pradesh government.
Apart from its 16-feet-tall Shivalinga, the temple of Kumararama is also known for its hundred pillars, which support the central mandapa of the temple. Due to its beautiful architecture and green surroundings, it also attracts several architecture enthusiasts and curious travellers.
PC- PV Bhaskar
Somarama is located in Bhimavaram in the West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh and is a significant religious site in Andhra Pradesh. Ever year it witnesses pilgrims in thousands of numbers with maximum frequency at the time of Maha Shivaratri.
The history of the temple dates back to the 3rd century and hence, it is also one of the oldest temples in India. The architectural formation of the temple and the presence of its beautiful surroundings are the major reasons behind its popularity amongst tourists as well.
The speciality of this temple is that the colour of Shivalinga placed in the sanctum of the temple changes with respect to the Lunar phase. Apart from visiting its shrines, you can also enjoy its beautiful ponds namely, Chandrakundalam and Soma Gundam, which are located within the complex of temples and are considered holy.
PC- Aditya Gopal
Draksharama is home to Bhimeswara Swamy Temple, one amongst the five ancient Shiva temples; hence, it is known as Pancharama Kshetras. It is located in the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh and is an important pilgrimage site in Shaivism due to the presence of one of the five major Shivalingas.
The temple is equally popular amongst tourists and devotees due to its pristine environment and devotional aura. Surrounded by lush green grass and beautiful trees, the temple at Draksharama is definitely a must-visit place in Andhra Pradesh if you are looking to savour the beauty of nature, history and devotion altogether.