Updated May 26, 2023
About Bhadrachalam Temple
Bhadrachalam is a well-known pilgrimage site dedicated to Lord Rama in Telengana’s Bhadradari district, on the left bank of the Godavari River. According to puranic and historical sources, a disciple to whom he had promised “moksha” after many prayers, Lord Rama saved Bhadra Maharshi long after he had discarded his mortal body. It gave the village its name, Bhadradari or Bhadrachalam, in honor of Bhadra.
History of Bhadrachalam Temple
It is a pilgrimage site for Hindus and is one of South India’s holiest shrines, having a highly unique and rich historical heritage. During their visit to Dandakaranya, Sri Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana are to have walked on the sacred site. According to some reports, the fabled Bhakti saint Kancherla Gopanna, also known as Bhadrachala Ramadasu, constructed the Bhadrachalam temple in the 17th century, while according to other stories, he repaired it.
During the Sreeramanavami festival in March and April, the temple serves as a hub of numerous celebrations, colors, and celebrations, which causes many devotees to congregate here.
Layout of the Temple
The temple consists of three parts. You can find the alleged footsteps of Rama inside a rock structure. Thirunamam (white clay) on the rock helps tourists identify it as Bhadra’s head. In the second section of the temple, the primary icon in the sanctum houses Bhadra’s heart, as it is said to represent. The Rajagopuram (central tower) is at Bhadra’s feet, the third section. Devotees must climb 50 steps to reach the main entrance, and the temple has four doors. A gold-plated flag post, Dwajasthambam, is located just across from the sanctuary. The Dwajasthambam is of Panchaloha, which is a five-metal alloy. It has carved images of Garuda, Lord Vishnu’s vehicle.
The central icon of the Bhadrachalam temple is Swayambhu. The icon of Rama sits in the Padmasana pose with Sita seated on his lap. The four-armed Vaikuntha Rama holds his arrow, conch, bow, and disc in each hand. The icon of Lakshmana stands to his left. Devotees who have purchased a special visit ticket for Darshan can enter through the entrance located towards the left of the sanctum. However, regular devotees must wait in a queue leading straight to the shrine.
Ranganayakula Gutta and Lakshmi Thayyar Temple
Gopanna erected and sanctified the icon of Ranganatha, a reclined figure of Vishnu, on a higher peak that faces south. The area is the Ranganayakula Gutta (hillock of Ranganatha). A shrine honoring his consort Lakshmi Thayar is across from the Ranganatha sanctum. Gopanna included these two temples to maintain the customs of Srirangam Ranganathaswamy Temple. Visitors can find other shrines inside the temple.
On the river bank, the Abhayanjaneya temple and the Thiruveedhi (divine passage) of Bhadrachalam are two temples dedicated to the Hindu lord Hanuman. The festival icons of Bhadrachalam spend some time at the shrine of Govindaraja Swamy, a manifestation of Vishnu on the temple’s Rajaveedhi (royal route).
The Thiruveedhi Utsavam festival procession, which takes place in the temple’s Rajaveedhi (royal corridor), features a visit by the festival icons of Bhadrachalam to the Govindaraja Swamy (a form of Vishnu) shrine. As you approach the main temple, you will pass a shrine honoring Yogananda-Narasimha along the river. The dominant figure is supposedly Swayambhu.