LocationAnnavaram Temple is situated in Annavaram, a village situated on the banks of the Pampa River in the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. The main feature of Annavaram is the shrine of Lord Veera VenkataSatyanarayana Swamy situated on the Ratnagiri hills. This temple stands second only to Tirupati in terms of size in Andhra Pradesh.
History Of The TempleA tale goes behind the origin of the hill and how the Lord came to exist in that place. Meruvu, the Lord of the hills, with his consort Menaka did a great penance and as a result, were gifted two sons by the grace of Lord Vishnu. One was named Bhadra and the other Ratnakara. Bhadra pleased Lord Vishnu with his great devotion and was blessed to become a hill known as Bhadragiri on which Lord Vishnu resided permanently in form of Lord Rama. This place is now well known as Bhadrachalam. To emulate his brother, Ratnakara also started praying Lord Vishnu. Pleased with his penance, Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of Sri Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy and blessed him to turn into hill known as Ratnagiri. Since then the Lord resides on the hill of Ratnagiri, named after Ratnakara.
There is also a myth related to the place as how the idol was discovered. It is said that the Lord Vishnu himself came into the dreams of a villager named EarankiPrakasam and told him that his Vigraha (idol) was lying on the Ratnagiri hill, under a tree, unattended and abandoned. He told him to trace it and sanctify it again. That villager informed this very fact to Sri Raja I.V.Ramanarayanam, the then landlord of Gorsa and Kirlampudi estates. The landlord with the help of villagers acted accordingly and found the idol underneath a tree on the hill. They performed the main rituals and installed it at a little higher place from where it was found in the year 1891 AD. This place is now known as the Sravana Suddha Vidiya.
Construction Of The TempleThe main temple was constructed on the Ratnagiri hill with a soothing view of Bay of Bengal (15 km away) on one side and row of Eastern Ghats on the other side. The hillock is about 300 feet above the sea level and about 460 well laid stone steps leads to the top of it. When the idol was found in 1891, only a small shed was constructed. The temple got reconstructed with the locally available stone in 1933-34. Later, when the same reached in neglected condition, it was again renovated during 2011-12.
The main temple is constructed in the form of a chariot with four magnificent wheels on each of the four corners. Opposite to the main temple is Kalyana Mantapa, established and decorated with modern style of architecture. As you go along the way down, you will see Ramalaya and the shrines of Vana Durga and Kanaka Durga. The Akriti of the temple is according to Agni Purana, a manifestation of the Prakriti.The front side of the temple depicts the Chariot. It symbolises the seven worlds of universe. The Meru on the floor with pillar at the center and the idols at the top, are enlightened to bring forth the fact that Lord not only remains at the heart’s centerbut alsocontrol the whole universe. The wheel depicting the Sun and Moon remind us that this universe moves on the wheels of time, and goes on forever and ever. Thus, the ritualistic values and spiritualistic aspirations of the devotees are fulfilled when they visit this temple.
The temple consists of two floors. The ground floor contains the Yantra and peetham of the Lord. There are four deities namely Ganapati, Suryanarayana swamy, Bala Tripurasundari and Maheswara swamy on the four sides of the Yantra which combinely constitutes to form panchayathanam. The 1st floor contains the main idol of Lord Satyanarayana Swamy which is in the centre, the image of Goddess Anantha Lakshmi Ammavaru in the right and Lord Shiva on the left. The idols are very elegant and varnished in gold kavachams. The adjoining shrine of Lord Rama, the Kshetra Palaka of this holy abode, is also considered deeply sacred.
The most special and unique attraction of the temple is the 13 feet high cylindrical structure representing the Trimurthis or the holy trinity of the universe- Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. The base being in the lower sanctum representing Lord Brahma, the top is in the upper sanctum representing Lord Vishnu and the middle portion represents Lord Shiva. Due to this, temple attracts both the Shaivite and Vaishnavite pilgrims.
Best Time To VisitSeptember to March and May
Festivals are celebrated year around this temple. Thousands of pilgrims flock here during popular festivals like Kalyanam Festival in May and Devi Navaratri Festival in September.