Drakasharama is located in East
Godavari district near Kakinada. Rajahmundry is the nearest airport.
Draksharama constitues one of the five Arama kshetras of Andhra Pradesh, sacred to Shiva,
the other four being Kumararama, Ksheerarama and Bheemarama
and Amararama. Draksharama, Sree Sailam and Kalahasti
together constitute the three sacred Shivalingams of Andhra Pradesh, giving it its
ancient name Trilinga Desa.
Draksharama is one of the important centers of Shiva
worship in Andhra Pradesh.
tie together the five Pancharama temples dedicated to Shiva.
Legend also has it that Vyasa
installed the Shivalingam at Draksharama. Legend also has it that Draksharama was the site
of Daksha yagna. Since it is believed
that Sati immolated herself at the site of her father's sacrificial hall, no sacrificial
yagna rituals are performed here.
The Bhimeswara temple at Draksharama
has two prakarams. The outer prakaram is pierced with four entrances each with a gopuram.
The gopuram on the west is a five tiered one. The entrance to the inner prakaram is on the
south. A pillared two storeyed verandah lines the inner prakaram (tiruchutrumaaligai
in the ancient temples of Tamilnadu). The sculptural work in the mukha mandapam
depicts clear Chalukyan features.
There are shrines to Lakshmi Narayana,
Sankaranarayana, Ganapati and the Navagrahas.
The sanctum is two storeyed. The walls surrounding
both levels are beautified with sculptural work. Two flights of stairs lead to the upper
level of the sanctum. Bhimeswara is enshrined in the form of a ten feet high Shivalingam
in the sanctum. Shiva's consort here is Manikyamba.
Mahashivaratri and Navaratri are some of the festivals
History: This temple was built by the
Eastern Chalukyan King of Vengi - Bhima, during very troubled times (9th -10th centuries),
when his kingdom was under attack by the Rashtrakootas. Inscriptions reveal that he had to
fight as many as 360 battles. Chalukya Bhima also built the Chalukya Bhimeswaram temple at
Samalkota nearby. The Draksharamam temple contains as many as 400 inscriptions going back
to the 11th century. These inscriptions can be traced back to the Eastern and the Western
Chalukyas as well as the Cholas and Kalinga rulers.
Abodes of Shiva
The birth of Skanda