History in Bhadrachalam

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Bhadrachalam history dates back to ancient, even mythological times. The town of Bhadrachalam, situated on the banks of the Godavari River has an important Rama temple and a paper mill. It is close to the Dhandakaranya forest, and the Hindus believe that it is from here that Ravana kidnapped Sita and took her to Lanka.

Temple History

This temple is testimony to the patronage of Hindu temples by Muslim rulers. This patronage forms part of the unique history of this great temple and the beautiful icons present there in.

The idols in the temple of Bhadrachalam are old. The great saint Ramdas, known as Bhadrachalam Ramdas or Gopanna, built the present temple in 1630 CE. Gopanna was the thasildar or revenue official for the region and spent the revenue collected in building the temple. For this crime, he was imprisoned in the Golconda Fort. Later, he was released as the amount he `misappropriated’ had be replenished by Lord Rama himself. There are many other legends associated with this place.

Myths

Bhadrachalam is situated atop the Bhadragiri Hill. Because Saint Bhadra performed acts of austerities here, a lord is said to have appeared here in the form of Rama. The main idols here depict this appearance of the Lord.

From Bhadrachalam one can visit the place where Lord Rama built a hut for himself and the place where Jatayu, the bird, fell and waited for Rama is also close by.

The first temple at Bhadrachalam was built by Pokala Dammakka who was supposed to have dreamed of the existence of the idols and found them in the forest. She was then said to have cleared the land around the idols and built a small temple where she worshipped the idols. This is the mythological story behind the origin of this temple at Bhadrachalam. The idols are believed to be self-manifested ones--idols not created by man.

Muslim Influence

Under the Nizam of Hyderabad, this temple was patronized by the Muslim ruler. The upkeep of the temple was out of the funds collected by the thasildar of the area. Hindu-Muslim unity at this temple is a record that is rare in India. The first Nizam to patronize this temple was Nawab Tanishah. He started the tradition of sending pearls to the deities each year, a tradition that is still continued by the present state government.

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