Annavarams attraction

Print edition : February 01, 2008

The Sri Veera Venkata Satyanarayanaswamy temple.-C.V. SUBRAHMANYAM

EAST Godavari district is known for its ancient temples, the most popular one being the Sri Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy temple at Annavaram. The magnificent shrine draws a large number of devotees every day. The temple has a yantra based on the Tripad Vibhuti Narayana Upanishad, which is a part of the Devarshi Sakha of the Atharvaveda. The shrine has two storeys, the yantra is placed in the lower storey and the vigrahas are in the upper storey. The sanctum sanctorum has four entrances.

The idols are of exquisite grace and beauty and are covered with gold kavachams (armours). On the ground floor of the garbhalaya, the idols of Aditya, Ambika, Gananatha and Maheswara are installed in the four corners. These, along with the main idol of Satyanarayana Swamy in the centre, form the Vishnu Panchayatanas.

The main temple is constructed in the form of a chariot with four wheels. Devotees have a holy dip in the river Pampa that flows close by. The popularity and importance of the temple has grown in recent years, and pilgrims in Andhra Pradesh consider Annavaram the second Tirupati.

Among the important festivals of this temple are the Kalyana Utsavam performed in May, Devi Navaratri, Ekadashi, Srirama Kalyana, Kanakadurga Yatra, Prabha Utsavam, Teppa Utsavam and Jalatoranam. Besides, Dharma Sevalu and Ekadashi Sevalu are also performed.

Bhishma Ekadashi is observed to mark the day when Bhishma, a hero of the Mahabharata, is believed to have sacrificed his life in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Thousands of pilgrims flock to the temple on Bhishma Ekadashi and perform Satyanarayana Vratham.

M. Raghunath, Executive officer of the temple administration.-C.V. SUBRAHMANYAM

M. Raghunath, executive officer of the temple administration said that the shrine earned Rs.26 crores in 2007. Many development works have been taken up by the administration. A ghat road is being laid at an estimated cost of Rs.1 crore. It is expected to be completed by March.

A marriage hall was constructed at a cost of Rs.1 crore and a new building is being built for the college being run by the temple administration. Several works to give the temple a facelift are under way. The executive officer and the hereditary trustee, V.V. Ram Kumar, are keen to transform the shrine into one of the best in South India.

The temple is on the National Highway-5 connecting Chennai and Kolkata. The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation operates buses from Kakinada and Rajahmundry to Annavaram every half hour.

The temple is just 3 km from the Annavaram railway station. It is on the Vijayawada-Visakapatnam broad-gauge section of the South Central Railway. Most of the trains running between Kolkata and Vijayawada stop at Annavaram.

V. Raghavendra
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