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Along The Trail Of The River Godavari

By Aishwarya Mishra

Let us highlight the largest and most grand peninsula river, Godavari. It is in the limelight for agricultural purposes and both the deltas of Godavari and Krishna lie in quite close proximity to each other. Would you believe that it supports around 1 crore people covering an area of 12,700 sq. Km? The Godavari is a major inland waterway but also flaunts the role of a National Waterway.

How about focusing on the places of interest along the trail of River Godavari?

1) Basar

1) Basar

PC:RameshSharma

If we enlighten you with chats about Basar, it is deemed to be a census town in the district of Adilabad, in the state of Andhra Pradesh of India. Basar is quite famous in India because of the presence of the Saraswathi Temple. Situated on the banks of river Godavari, it is one of the rare temples of South India dedicated to the Goddess of Knowledge and Learning. Children are gathered here to be a part of the learning ceremony noted as "Akshara Abyasam". It is referred to as "alphabet exercise".

Maharishi Vyasa used to spend a lot of his free time in prayer services here, thus the place which was earlier called 'Vasara' was then called 'Basara' due to a heavy influence of the Marathi language in the region. If we keenly look into the Brahmanda Purana, the poet Vyasa Maharishi had written the Mahabharata here.

You shall be stunned to spot a marble image of Maharshi as well as his Samadhi near the very temple. Did you know that this temple was built at the very confluence of the Manjira and Godavari rivers by the Rashtrakutas? The legends say that it was 'Bijialudu', a king from Karnataka who exerted power over the province of Nandagiri with Nanded as his capital in the sixth century, is the one who built the temple at Basara.

2) Bhadrachalam:

2) Bhadrachalam:

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The tinsel town of Bhadrachalam is situated in the Khammam district of Telangana. The temple abode is cradled on the banks of river Godavari. It shall surprise you to know that it was a part of the eastern Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh up to the year 1959. The town is quite popular for its temple region which is dedicated to Lord Rama.

It proudly represents the largest revenue division in the country which is known as Bhadrachalam Revenue division which again underwent a transfer for purposes of administration. There are quite fascinating snippets and tales some being - Lord Rama is prayed to as Atmarama here at Dummugudem where if you see according to the Puranas, Rama destroyed around 14,000 demons which belonged to Khara and Dushana. The fact that the place was constructed on the ashes of these demons and was called as Dummugudem shall leave you speechless.

Just 5 km from Bhadrachalam, you shall come across this place called Gundala. After scooping on the riverbank for a while, you shall discover hot water springs and it is a belief that the marvellous trio of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara derived pleasure by plunging into the holy water during the freezing cold months.

Other places which shall catch your attention are Shree Rama Giri, Venkatreddipeta as well as Gannavaram. A huge crowd of pilgrims trickles in large numbers and invest their prayers and take away blessing with them during a popular event called Sree Rama Kalyanam here. Kothagudem is deemed the nearest railway station whereas frequent buses can be availed from Khammam, Vijayawada as well as Hyderabad.

3) Trimbakeshwar

3) Trimbakeshwar

PC:Niraj Suryawanshi

This temple is cradled in the foothill ofthe Brahmagiri hill which is also where the river Godavari originates. This temple abode is deemed to be the 10th Jyotirlinga among the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. If you are lucky enough, you shall be privileged to visit the Simhastha Kumbha Mela, which makes way into the heart of the people every 12 years. The temple was lovingly constructed by Shri Nana Saheb Peshwa in 1755-1786 AD. The beautiful temple can be discussed to be intricately designed with sparkling black stones which makes its architecture all the more vibrant. The temple is bordered by a 20-25 ft stone wall which towers over while the most enchanting part has to be the 3 lingams which represent Brahma, Vishnu as well as Shiva.

It is the one and only Jyotirlinga where you shall be thrilled to discover all the three eternally Supreme Gods residing in the main sanctum. There is a hollow space in the interior of the Shiva lingam where all the three of them are present. When you step foot into the Shiva temple, you shall be astounded by the presence of a gorgeous Nandi temple which is facing the Shivalinga. The Nandi idol is seated on a platform which is a foot-long in terms of height and it is carved out of pure white marble. The Shiva temple shall allure you with its dome shape while the sanctum is not that big and comprises the major Shivalinga in a hollow structure.

4) Nashik:

4) Nashik:

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Nashik is a popular household name which is recognized via gorgeous temple lights glittering in the waters of the river Godavari. You shall spot the streetside vendors welcoming the devotees to offer brilliant lighting up of the diyas and floating them away in the water bodies as a pious offering. The sound of temple bells in every nook and corner shall fill your ears with the sweetest music ever! Quite a few temples comprise of just four pillars plus a roof with a Shivalinga under it. The Kale Ram temple is a more elaborate one!

A number of small-time vendors try their best to catch your fancy by selling flowers, brassware, prasad, trinkets and other pooja items. What will leave you speechless is the fact that beautiful, vibrant orange, yellow and white garlands are sold which are lined with not flowers but sugar! They seem to be a favourite among the deities here!

Now let us move on to the most splendid tourist place of attraction in Nashik. It has to be Sita Gupha or Panchvati Temple. Does that seem to ring a bell in your head about the epic Ramayana? It was the very place where Ravana had captured Sita! You shall enter into the world of an artificially constructed cave by slipping through narrow pathways and entering into a temple below it. In the exterior region, you shall find five Vata i.e. Banyan or Bargad trees which have a buzzing bazaar in its vicinity.

We cannot stop wondering how this place which used to be a dense forest where the Ramayana trio survived during their exile had transformed into a different place! It is a strong belief that the tying of yellow-red 'Maouli' threads around the fat tree-trunk shall fulfil wishes! However, it all depends on the believer as to whom he wants to believe in! Nature? The forces of the Universe? Or himself. Give it a thought folks!

5) Paithan:

5) Paithan:

PC:ASethi

All the ladies are especially a fan of the Paithani Silk Sarees from Paithan, which was once an extremely wonderful seat of learning. Just 56 km south from Aurangabad, this capital city of the Satvahanas in AD 78 was more well-known as Pratishthan. Nestled on the banks of Godavari river it is a major point for Hindu pilgrimage. You can also refer to it as a brilliant site for excavation. Quite a long time ago, the popular Marathi poet, saint Eknath dwelled here. What is that shall grab eyeballs in Paithan? It has to be the wondrous bathing ghats of Paithan as well as a lot of other places like the Jayakwadi Dam on the Godavari river which is huge!

The water collected here is in quite large amounts which is referred to as 'Nath Sagar', quite a brilliant tool for irrigation of few hectares of the neighbouring land. This place is wonderful for nature lovers and many birds which are migratory in nature shall attract you here. There is a beautiful garden near the dam which is enveloped with sweet-smelling flowers and enchanting fountains which grabs the most number of eyeballs. It is referred to as Dnyaneshwar Udyan and has been truly inspired by the Vrindavan Gardens of Mysore.

6) Konaseema:

6) Konaseema:

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To understand the details of this place, let us first break the word into two. 'Kona' means 'corner' and 'Seema' means 'boundary'. This is our Andhra's 'Kerala' which is basically a delta bordered by Gautami Godavari on the north and Vashishta Godavari in the south as well as the Bay of Bengal. It is the holy abode of the Vedas where divinely engaging hymns are recited by the Vedic scholars who are praised quite a lot while enveloping the sacredness and sanctity of this region in a cotton-ball of trust.

These hymns shall leave you mesmerized with its beguiling beauty and lush greenery. Its charisma across the Coromandel coast is spectacular and its an epitome of fertility. It contains all important towns like Amalapuram, Ravulapalem, Razole, Mummidivaram as well as Kothapeta. Its pristine white landscape is coloured with enthralling coconut grooves and outstanding landscapes which shall transforms it into a land of beauty, tranquillity and utmost peace. Get ready to go breathless!

7) Pattiseema:

7) Pattiseema:

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This village area is deemed to be just a sleepy abode in Rajahmundry whose sole motive is to rejuvenate the minds and souls and charm its way into the hearts of people as soon as possible. It is simply so stunning that not only tourists but filmmakers are also unable to resist capturing the magnificence of the heavenly place! Just adjacent to the Papikondalu hill range, Pattiseema belongs to the Eastern Ghats and is quite a famous retreat for the people in a holiday mood. The view is panoramic with the gorgeous green hills at an elevation while the gleaming Godavari river is present around it.

It thus takes the shape of a green oasis. One of the eye-catching attractions has to be the Sri Veerabhadra Temple which is tucked into a hillock and is referred to as one of the Panchakasi Kshetrams of the Shaivaties. You shall be tongue-tied at the divine magnanimous figurine of Devi Bhadrakali who is decorated with dense jewellery as well as a sword. How to reach the river? Only possible via boat which sets sail through the mighty river Godavari. The place is a dreamy reverie comprising of hill ranges, silver-struck sand-dunes as well as exotic sculptures which captures the attention of every photographer!

8) Lambasingi:

8) Lambasingi:

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This hill-station is a misty one, located at an altitude of around 1025 metres above sea level in the Chintapalli region of Arakku valley. You shall be awe-struck at the pristine white snow cover which covers Lambasingi like a white coat, every time the temperature goes below 0° C.Why does this happen? It is due to a certain odd cooling effect of the hills which is responsible for sending a chill down your spine!

This cute little hamlet is cradled in the lush green Eastern Ghats while serving as a home for an isolated tribal community as well. It shall always treat you to delicious packets of organic coffee and an adorable green countryside! It shall be welcome news to your ears that the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation has now undertaken the responsibility of developing this quintessential village into a unique destination for eco-tourism.

9) Rajahmundry:

9) Rajahmundry:

PC:Ramesh Ramaiah

Are you in for a visual treat? Then Rajahmundry is definitely your cup of tea with its lush green paddy fields and luscious coconut trees. The winding roads via quaint villages shall give you travel goals in this extravagant destination, located on the left bank of the gigantic river Godavari, exactly in the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. Let Godavari Pushkaralu, which is an exquisite festival celebrated here, every 12 years, be your 'go-to-place' for seeking forgiveness for your sins by taking a dip into the Godavari river. Imagine your sins being washed away and you beginning life with a clean chit! The boat-cruise down the Godavari is a glam choice for embracing the beauty of the Papi Hills. Rejuvenate your religious soul by visiting Kotilingalarevu(one million Shiva Lingas) which is a popular Shiva temple while Kadiyam nurseries refer to a sight which shall leave you speechless with its colourful array of the most glorious-looking flowers in numerous vibrant hues, sprawling over plenty of acres of land.

10) Araku Valley:

10) Araku Valley:

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This popular hill station of Andhra Pradesh, is only 120 km away from Vishakhapatnam and is quite well-known for its splendid scenic brilliance. Situated in the Eastern Ghats, it comprises of valleys, streams and pristine white waterfalls gushing through the trail of train tracks and other pathways. You shall enjoy your trip to this valley via train because of the tunnels, streams and hillsides which shall capture your attention. This is a place which gives you the opportunity to breathe into the calm atmosphere and feel the feeling of having unlocked the magic of serenity when you visit places like the Borra caves. You might even have to traverse 15 km to Chaparai just to see the water is gushing down the rocky terrains and mind you! It is not that easy as it sounds! Other tourist places include Padmapuram Garden, tribal museum, Gallikondalu view-point as well as keep your eyes wide open for the praiseworthy coffee plantations which shall greet you on the way.

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