Bhadrachalam is a small town located in Bhadradri district of Telangana state. The town is situated on the bank of Godavari River and is around 315 KM from the state capital Hyderabad. Bhadrachalam is known for the famous Lord Rama temple which was built in 17th century by Kancherla Gopanna, who is known as Bhakta Ramadasu.
Lord Rama after the Ramavataram manifested himself in the form of the idols, which are now available in the temple, for his devotee Bhadra Maharshi and appeared in the dreams of a woman called Dammakka that his idols are located in the forest. Dammakka could found the idols in the forest and started worshipping by building a small shelter to idols. Post which, the then tahasildar of the town, Kancherla Gopanna alias Bhakta Ramadasu has built the present temple.
Badra Maharshi wanted his beloved Lord Rama to incarnate on him, hence he wanted to form like a hill. So, the town is named after Bhadra Maharshi and the hill is known as Bhadragiri. Hence, name of the town is made up of Bhadra (Maharshi name) and achalam (No movement). Now the temple is located on Bhadragiri.
How to reach:
By Air: Rajahmundry and Vijayawada airports are the nearest airports which are around 120 KM and 130 KM to Bhadrachalam. From airports, tourists can book cabs to reach Bhadrachalam.
By Train: There are many train services from major cities such as Hyderabad (11 services) and Vijayawada etc.
By Road: APSRTC and TSRTC are operating daily bus services to the Bhadrachalam town.
Where to stay:
There are many accommodation options available arranged by temple devasthanam, which can be booked online through devasthanam portal. Further, private accommodation also available.
Varieties of Andhra breakfast such as Idli, dosas, poori, upma, uthappam etc. are available in the morning. What I enjoyed in Bhdrachalam was hot idlis and dosas available with yummy gram dal chutney on roadside. For lunch and dinner, typical Andhra lunch is available along with north Indian food at some restaurants.
Bongulo chicken – chicken marinated with spices and cooked in the bamboo sticks on fire is the tastiest food. Bongulo chicken is one of the most delicious food available in Godavari districts however we get this item here in Bhadrachalam even on the way to papi kondalu. Local gooseberries are also good to taste.
Temple is normally crowded during weekends and on any special occasions such as festivals etc. Worshipping the Lord Rama, Seetha amman and Lakshmana swamy in the form of centuries old idols gives devotees a spiritual bliss. One can feel the importance of the temple upon watching the local devotees worshipping the Lord Rama in the temple.
Apart from the main deity, there is a sample hill stone of Bhadragiri hill in the temple premises where devotees pray for wellbeing. Further, hanuman temple is located at the entrance of the temple.
Tourist attractions in and around the Bhadrachalam:
We have booked a cab at Bhadrachalam to visit all the nearest attractions. That was one of the best road travels to us. We had yummy hot idlis/dosas on roadside. Further, while returning back to Bhadrachalam, many kids were selling lotus flowers on roadside. We stopped for a while and had a chat with the kids. Kids were so good at heart and we really enjoyed spending time with them. Further, all of us went to the small pond to pluck lotus flowers again and that was the best moment of mine.
- Parnasala: About 35 KM from Bhadrachalam, this is the place where, Lord rama lived along with Seetha and Lakshmana during vanavasam. Some incidents of vanavasam are displayed in pictures in parnasala where devotees can relate with Ramayanam.
- Sree Ramagiri: About 57 KM from Bhadrachalam, yoga Rama temple is located on a hill and is on the downstream of Godavari.
- Jatayu paaka: About 2 KM from Bhadrachalam, this is the place where the bird Jatayu fought with Ravana while the later taking away Sita amman on a chariot.
- Place where seetha amman used to dry her sarees: This may not be true, but maintained so by locals to get some money. However, travel to the place by small local boats is good experience.
- Boating to papikondalu: Papikondalu (Kondalu – hills) are a range of hills spread across 4 districts of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, East Godavari and West Godavari. This is one of the best tourist destination for nature lovers. River Godavari flows between the hills and there are many boat operators to and from bhadrachalam via papikondalu. Many tourists take a boat from Rajahmundry to/from bhadrachalam. That is a 2 day trip where tourists have night stay in small huts on the banks of River Godavari.
- Going for a walk on the banks of River Godavari is a good option for kids.
- Boating to papikondalu is the best experience for kids and even for adults too.
- When wanting to visit the temple during festival season, it is always a good idea to book darshan tickets and stay in advance.
- Plan the trip along with papikondalu boating, an experience which cannot be missed.