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Draksharamam – Importance – Hindu Religious Center Andhra Pradesh

Draksharamam is an important Hindu religious center in Andhra Pradesh famous for Bhimeswara Swamy Temple dedicated to Mahadev Shiva. Draksharamam is located 26 kilometers from Kakinada, the headquarters of east Godavari District. The holy place has rich Puranic and legendary associations. It was formerly known as Dakshatapovana and Dakshavatika (the place where Daksha Prajapati observed penance and yajna).

Draksharamam is one of the five armas (gardens) of Andhra Pradesh, the other four being Amararamam at Amaravati (Guntur District), Somarama at Gunupudi Bimavaram (West Godavari District), Kshiraramam at Palakollu (West Godavari District) and Kumararama near Samalkot (East Godavari District).

Srinatha, the celebrated Telugu poet of the medieval period, in his Bhimeswara Puranam, extols Lord Bhimeswara Swamy, the presiding deity of Draksharamam.

Chalukya Bhima I (892 – 921 CE), the eastern Chalukyan monarch, constructed the original temple to Shiva at this place and named the deity Bhimeswara. About 400 inscriptions found in the temple, date from 1038 CE to 1444 CE, revealing the patronage extended to the temple by many dynasties such as eastern Chalukyas, Cholas, Velnati Cholas, Kakatiyas, Eastern Gangas, and Suryavamsha Gajapatis of Odisha.

The temple complex extends over an area of six acres and is surrounded on all four sides by a high prakara wall. It has its four well-sculptured gopuras (entrance). The main shrine is double storied. The first floor has a mukha mandapa fronting the garbhagriha, constructed in the sarvatobhadra style. The lofty linga rises to a height of 15 feet (4.5 m).

Bhimesvaraswami Kalyanam is celebrated for five days, beginning on the 11th day, after new moon day during January-February every year.