Sri Ksheera Rama Temple - Palakollu

Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh

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Lord Shiva is worshipped as Ksheera Ramalingeswara Swamy at this temple. The temple tower is one of the tallest among the temple towers in Andhra Pradesh. The height of the temple is 120 ft with 9 floors constructed during the reign of Chalukya Bheema in 9th century. The Prakara was designed by Sri Velupathi during 10th century. Gopuram was constructed by Sri Alladu Reddy during 14th Century. This ancient temple has been listed as a protected monument by the Archaeological Department.

Ksheera Rama Lingeshwara Swamy Temple in Palakollu is situated in West Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh. This place, Palakollu is famous for the Lord Shiva (Eshwara) temple which is considered as one of the Pancharama temples. The temples are Amareshwar or Amaravana, Draksharama, Kumararama at Kotipalli (Bhimaramam at Samalkot), Ksheeraramam at Palakollu and Somaramam at Bhimavaram (Bhimeswara temples at Bhimeswara). This town was called Ksheera Puri earlier due to this temple but later on, it was renamed Pala Kolani to convey the meaning of ‘milk pond’. It was believed that the hearts of people here are as white as pure milk.

The height of the temple is 120 feet. The lingam here is white in color and the temple tower is said to be the tallest amongst temple towers in Andhra Pradesh. There are 72 pillars made of black stone. Gostani River flows through the town Palakollu and there is a sangam spot near Narsapur with River Godavari. From here the river enters the sea at Antarvedi. Once upon a time, this place was a thick forest abounding in greenery. The access to this place is excellent with several modes of transport to reach Palakollu.

History

The Prakara at Ksheera Rama Lingeshwara Swamy Temple was designed by Sri Velupathi during the 10th century. The art of temple construction resembles that of the Chalukya period. The gopuram in the temple was built by Sri Alladu Reddy during the 14 th century. During the 17th century, the Kalyana mantapam (choultry) and Ashtha Bhuja Lakshmi Narayanaswamy sub-temples (upalalaya) were built.

Legend has it that once, when the deities were unable to face the troubles caused by demons, they requested Lord Vishnu to save them from the demons and give them peace. Lord Vishnu accepted their prayers and decided to do a special archana (one of the nava vidha bhakti) to Ksheeraraamalingeswara. His wish was to save the deities from danavas (demons). Lord Vishnu collected a thousand lotus flowers and worshipped Ksheeraraamalingeswara with those flowers. Lord Shiva wanted to test the devotion of Lord Vishnu before blessing Him. So, He took away one of the lotus flowers and hid it so that Lord Vishnu could not trace it. Lord Vishnu, in the process of Sivarchana, noticed that one of the flowers was missing. Due to Shiva maya, He could not trace the flower. After a lot of effort, with the blessings of Ksheeraraamlingeswara he realized what had happened.

As he was called by the name Kamalanayana (lotus like eyes), he decided to sacrifice his eyes to Lord Shiva. Then Lord Siva appeared before him and blessed him by giving him the Sudarsanachakra. Lord Vishnu, with the help of this Sudarsanachakra, defeated the demons and peace was restored for the deities.

 

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