The whole month of “Kaartheeka masam” is filled with the divinity of Lord Shiva. The tales of his greatness have been remembered and cherished. The state of Andhra Pradesh holds the pride of having Pancharama kshetralu (five major Shiva temples). One of the five holy temples is ‘Ksheerarama temple’ located in Palakollu, West Godavari district. The other four being Amararama temple in Amaravathi, Draksharama temple in Draksharamam, kumararama temple in Samalkota and Somarama temple in Bhimavaram.
Lord Shiva is worshipped as “Ksheera Ramalingeswara Swamy” at this temple. The temple tower is one of the tallest among the temple tower in Andhra Pradesh. The height of the temple is 120 ft with 9 floors constructed during the reign of Chalukya Bheema in the 9th century. The prakaram of this temple was designed by Sri Velupathi during the 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.
According to a legend, Upamanyu the son of sage Kaushik requested Lord Shiva to grant him enough milk so that he can carry out with the rituals in the temple. Lord Shiva then filled the whole tank of Kshetra Pushkarni with milk. From there comes the name of this place- Ksheeraramam, Palakollu, and Dugdhapovanam. The speciality of the idol in this temple is that it’s in unique milky white colour and is also the tallest. The Shiva lingam inside the temple can be seen from all the four sides through the windows. The belief is that the Shiva lingam is installed by Lord Vishnu himself and Lord Sri Rama performed the first pooja here. Adi Sankaracharya during his journey through the town installed a Sri chakra in this temple.
The temple is also an architectural beauty with 72 pillars made of black stone in the temple’s mandapa. Inside the temple complex, Gokarneswara and Ganapathi shrines can also be visited. Gostani river flows through the town of palakollu and it gets merged with river Godavari at Narsapur. Mahasivarathri is a very important festival and is celebrated with much pomp. The flow of devotees to this temple is rather high during Kartheeka Masam as well.
If you wish to contribute, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org