Located on the banks of River Krishna, Amaravati Temple is a pilgrimage for the stressed minds and hearts. This historic shrine is in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, on the Amaravathi Road; the nearest city being Vijayawada. The road is also known by the name of Dhanyakataka or Dharanikota. It is a belief that the temple was built during the reign of the Satavahanas when Amaravathi was their capital. The temple is dedicated to Shri Amareswara Swamy or Amaralingeswara, an incarnation of Lord Shiva.
There is a huge Shiva Lingam that is worshiped here. Another deity of the Amaravati Temple is goddess Bala Chamundika, known to be the consort of Amaralingeswara Swamy. Bala Chamundika is also believed to be the fourth of the 18 goddesses. There are other several deities worshiped at this temple.
Amaravati Temple exhibits the Dravidian style of architecture, built on a small hammock, known as Krouncha Shaila. There are four gopurams encircling the shrine along with a Vimana, all built in the Dravidian way. The walls of the temple are adorned with inscriptions, which are similar to that of the Kota chiefs of Amaravathi and Sri Krishnadevraya, monarch of the Vijayanagara Empire. The inscription on the Mukhamantapa pillar was inscribed by the wife of Proli Nayudu, the then minister of the Kota king, Ketaraja.
The temple is built in three concentric circles. While the first circle houses the temples of Mahishasura Mardini, Veerabhadraswamy, Omkareswara Swamy, Guru Dattareya, and Agasteswara Swamy, the second circle contains the temples of Vinayaka, Kalabhairava, Anjaneya, Nagendraswamy, Kumaraswamy along with the statue of Lord Krishna under a tree. The third circle is a bit above the second circle and comes with the temples of Kasi Viswanatha, Mallikarjuna, Pushpadanteswara Swamy and Kalahasthiswara. At the heart of these three circles is located the deity of Amaralingeswara Swamy.
Besides engagement in the daily worship of the Lord, the temple trust of Amaravati Temple is also engaged in various charities for the overall development of the society.
Amaravati Temple History
Amaravati Temple is a popular South Indian temple and has several myths surrounding it. The Kshetra Mahatmyam and the Kshetramurthy Mahatmyam also treasures many legends related to the temple.
The most popular legend that revolves around the temple is that the 15 feet Shiva Lingam here was nailed to stop its growth. There is a red mark at the top of the Lingam which is believed to be blood stain that oozed out when the nail was hammered into it.
The Skanda Purana narrates a unique story of the Amaravati Temple. As per the Purana, at the end of Dwaparayuga, almost 5053 years ago, the Sounakadi saints asked the way to liberation to Maharishi Narada. Maharishi informed that River Krishna was created by Lord Krishna so that saints can bath in its water and attain salvation. Any devotee, who stays here for three days, bathes in the holy waters of the river and worships Lord Amareswara, shall attain liberty. Anyone who dies here shall be absorbed into Lord Shiva; hence, the importance of the place led to the construction of the temple.
Another legend states that when the demons defeated the gods at Varanasi, Lord Shiva appeared to defeat the demons. At this time, Lord Shiva resided at this place and hence was named as It is also believed that God Indra established the Shiva Lingum at this temple.
According to some, the Shiva Lingam was actually an Ayaka Stambha or pillar, which was later termed as a Shiva Lingum.
As per some, the temple was actually a Buddhist stupa and hence the base of the Amaravati Temple is still in Buddhist architectural form. The Mula Virat within the sanctum is in the form of a white marble lotus medallion, which is a feature of the Buddhist architecture.
It is also believed that the temple was erected to bring peace during the reign of Vasireddy Venkatadri Nayudu. After the death of thousands of tribesmen who were plotting against the king, Vasireddy Venkatadri Nayudu built the temple on an advice of his ministers.
Significance of Amaravati Temple
Besides its beautiful architecture and large, marble Shiva Lingum, Amaravathi Amaralingeswara Swamy Temple has the special place in the lives of the locals.
Amaravati Temple is dedicated to the incarnation of Lord Shiva, as the destroyer of the universe. It is one of the five Pancharamas, or holy sites, the other four being, Kumararama, Ksheerarama and Bheemarama and Draksharama.
The Amaravati Temple is believed to fulfill the good wishes of the people. Worshiping at this temple is believed to resolve family issues.
Amaravati is an important site of Hindu and Buddhist religion. It was a centre of Buddhist art and still bears many relics of the same.
River Krishna is considered pious and devotees often dip in its holy waters to cleanse their souls.
The Amaravati Temple is also unique in its style of worship. Unlike other Shiva temples, Abhishekam (the custom of pouring libations) is performed from upstairs as the 15 feet Shiva Lingam is too high to be reached from the ground floor.
Besides its religious significance, the temple is also historically important. The inscriptions which are engraved on the walls of the shrine describe the ruling kings of the region.
Amaravati Temple Timings
- The Amaravati temple is open from 6 am to 8:30 pm.
- Afternoon break is from 1 pm to 4 pm.
Amaravati Temple Dress Code
- The temple committee encourages traditional get up of men and women while visiting the temple. Short dresses are not permitted.
- Footwear is strictly not allowed within the temple premises.
- Photography is also not allowed within the temple.
- Mobile phones are asked to be switched off as well. Visitors can keep their belongings at the temple office.
Festivals celebrated at Amaravati Temple
The Amaravati Temple is crowded with devotees during different festivals and it is one of the best times to experience the true South Indian rituals.
- Maha Shivaratri is the major festival of the Amaravati Temple. Celebrated during the Hindu month of Magha Bahula Dasami (which is generally the month of March), during this festival devotees bathe the Shiva Lingum with milk on all the four phases of the day.
- Navaratri is also celebrated with great pomp and show at the temple, during the Hindu month of Ashwin (September- October)
- The Kalyana Utsavs are celebrated throughout the year at the temple. These are marriage festivals and hence, visitors can witness the typical South Indian style of the wedding during the wedding months at the temple.
- Janmastami, the celebration of the birth of Lord Krishna is also celebrated at the temple. This festival generally takes place during the month of Bhadon (July or August).
Amaravati Temple Sevas
Besides the festivities, there are regular rituals performed at the Amaravati Temple.
- During the ritual of Dhoopa, Deepa, Naivedyam, the air of the temple complex is filled with the aroma of incense and the sound of bells create a celestial environment.
- Abhishekam is another important ritual of the shrine. Milk is poured over the Shiva Lingam, chanting the holy mantras or just ‘Om Namah Shivai.’
- As the Shiva Lingum is very high, hence pedestal has been arranged for the devotees so that they can perform this ritual with ease.
Amaravati Temple Official Website
There is no official website for Amaravati Temple. All the information you need can be found here.
How to reach Amaravati Temple
Amaravati Temple is an important tourist destination of Andhra Pradesh and hence easily accessible.
- By Air: The nearest airport to the Amaravati Temple is the Vijayawada It is located 82 kilometres from the temple.
- By Train: The Pedakurapadu is the nearest railway station to the temple; located just at 19 kilometres from Amaravati Temple.
- By Road: Guntur is located at 35 km from Amaravathi. There are several state buses, APSRTC which ply non-stop between Amaravathi and Guntur headquarters and is a journey of just 45 minutes. These buses also connect the temple city with other cities of the state, like Vijaywada, Mangalagiri, Sattenapalle and Hyderabad. Tourists can also opt for a private air-conditioned buses for a comfortable journey to the temple. There are cabs and auto rickshaws available from Guntur which takes you to the temple. The road to the shrine is in good condition.
Amaravati Temple Accommodation
Tourists can avail decent hotels at Amaravathi. For luxurious accommodation, they must arrange for a stay at Guntur.
Amaravati Temple trust has also special guest houses for the tourists. Special arrangements also have been made by the government for the thousands of pilgrims that visit the temple and they can be accommodated at the PWD travellers’ bungalow.
Where to eat in Amaravati
There are several vegetarian hotels available near Amaravati Temple. The food comes with the unique South Indian flavour. The food stalls are clean and the food is tasty.
- Venugopala Swamy: This 1800 years old temple is located near Amaravati Temple and is dedicated to Venugopal, an incarnation of Lord Narayana.
- Sai Baba temple: One of the most popular temples of Andhra Pradesh, this temple is also known by the name of Shirdi Sai and is dedicated to the saint, Sai Baba.
- Lalitha peetham: Dedicated to Goddess Lalitha Devi, this temple is an abode of peace. Be here during Rama Navami and Vijaya Dasami to enjoy the colours of festivals.
- Srirama temple: The temple is one of its kind, was built by Bhakta Ramdas, a devotee of Lord Rama in the 17th Beautifully lit in the evenings, it is a lifetime experience to visit this temple.
- Buddha stupa: Also known as the Amaravathi Stupa, this Buddhist relic depicts the wonderful art and architecture of ancient India. This stupa is adjacent to the Amaralingeswara Swamy Temple.
- Buddha statue: Located at Hyderabad, this serene idol of Lord Buddha is a popular tourist destination. With a height of 17.5 metres, this statue is located on the banks of the Hussain Sagar Lake.
Hence, a trip to Amaravati Temple is not only a pilgrimage to cleanse your soul and mind, but also an excursion to the ancient art and architecture of India. The site of Amaravathi depicts a wonderful fusion of Hinduism and Buddhism, amazing the tourists.