Friday, April 30, 2010
Shri Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy Temple, Annavaram.
As per the puranas the presiding deity of the place blesses the devotees with Anina Varam (Wanted Boon) the place is called Annavaram. The hillock by the side of the village is considered to be very sacred. Meruvu the Lord of the hills and his consort Menaka did great penance and begot two sons by the grace of Lord Vishnu. One was named Bhadra and the other Ratnakara. Bhadra pleased Lord Vishnu with his devotion and penance and with his grace became Bhadrachalam on which Lord Sri Rama had permanently settled. Ratnakara desired to emulate his brother and succeeded in pleasing Lord Vishnu by his penance to settle on him as Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy, Ratnakara remaining as Ratnagiri hill.
The temple of Sri Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy is the main temple on the Ratnagiri hill. There is also a temple of Sri Rama and the shrines of Vanadurga and Kanaka Durga nearby. The temple of gramadevatha (village deity) is in the village at the foot of the hill.
It is said that Raja I.V.Ramanarayanam, the then zamindar of Gorsa and Kirlampudi estates, having been ordained by the Lord in his dream, traced the idol on the hill, worshipped it and installed it at the present spot on sravana suddha vidhiya of the telugu year Khara, 1891. The hillock it self is about 300ft above sea level, green fields all-round the hills and the pampa river encircling Ratnagiri. About 460 well laid stone steps leads to the top of it.
“The main temple constructed in the form of a chariot with the four wheels at each of the four corners. In front of the main temple is the kalyana mantapa, constructed and decorated with modern pieces of architecture. As we go down the way, we come across Ramalaya and then the shrines of Vana Durga and Kanaka Durga.
The Akriti of any temple is, according to the Agni Purana, merely a manifestation of the Prakriti. According to this the chariot of the temple is intended as a symbol of the Seven Lokas and the seven Lokhas above with, the garbhalaya of the Lord, at the heart’s center ruling over the entire Universe.
The temple at Annavaram has been constructed to depict this idea concretely. The front side of the temple depicts the chariot. The Meru on the floor with the pillar at the center, and the idols at the top are intended to bring forth the idea that the Lord not only remains at the heart’s center but also permeates the entire universe. The wheels depicting the Sun and the Moon serve to remind us that this Juggernaut moves on the wheels of time, and goes on for ever and ever, Thus the Annavaram temple satisfies both the ritualistic values and the spiritual aspirations of the devotees.”
Veera Venkata Sathya Narayana Swamy shrine is situated at Annavaram, which is one of the most visited pilgrim centres in Andhra Pradesh. It is dedicated to Lord Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy, who is worshipped in almost all the houses of Andhra before starting any work. Satyanarayana puja is performed in the shrine by thousands of devotees round the year. 'Vrata' is performed in the name of the Lord, who is believed to fulfill their wishes. Annavaram, which attracts thousands of pilgrims everyday, is considered as the second Tirupati. The temple resembles a chariot with four wheels. The sanctum is constructed in accordance with the principles of Atharva Veda (Tripad Vibuthi Narayana Upanishad). The Moola vigrahas of Lord Vishnu and His consort Lakshmi and a Lingam are installed in a Tripeeta constructed over a Meru with Beejakshara. A yantra is installed in the lower part of the sanctum, which has entrances on all four sides.
Festivals: The major festivals celebrated here are Bheeshma Ekadasi, Vyasa Ekadasi and Kalyana Utsavam.
Location: Annavaram, Andhra Pradesh
Transportation: Annavaram is adequately connected by rail and roadways and provides enough infrastructures for the pilgrims to enjoy their pilgrimage. It is located near Vijayawada and it is 124 km from Visakhapatnam and 72 km from Rajamundry.
Near by Temples: Lord Someswara temple at Kumararama, Bheemeswara temple at Draksharama, Jaganmohini Keshava Swamy temple at Ryali and Lord Amareswara temple at Amaravati.