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Panch Raam Kshetra

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Panch Raam Kshetra
See also    Pancharama Kshetra

Panch Raam Kshetra temples is not one temple of Shiv, but there are 5 Shiv special Temples. The Panch Raam Kshetra is situated in Aandhra Pradesh. The Shiv Ling at these Temples are made from a single Shiv Ling. As per the legend, this Shiv Ling was owned by the demon king Taaraakaasur. No one could win over him due to the power of this Shiv Ling. Finally, Lord Kumaaraswaamee or Kaarttikeye, the son of Shiv broke the Shiv Ling into 5 pieces and then only he could kill Taarakaasur. So wherever these 5 pieces fell on the Earth, these p[laces came to be known as Panch Raam Kshetra. Thus these are those 5 Kshetra (places) where those 5 pieces of Swaayambhoo Ling are installed. The Shiv Ling that Taarakaasur had in his throat was a huge one, and the biggest of those 5 pieces was a 15-feet long column of white marble which is worshipped as Amareshwar at the Amaravati Temple (this is very similar to the 10-feet high Shiv Ling at the Draksh Raam Temple).

(1) Amaraavatee - Amareshwar or Amar Raam Swaamee
This is the foremost place where Indra, Dev Guru brihaspati and Daitya guru Shukra installed the Shiv Ling and then Indra and Devtaa worshipped him. It is 30 Kms from Vijayavaadaa and 35 Kms from Guntoor. The Temple is situated on the banks of River Krishnaa. The Ling is 15 feet high, carved olut of marble.

(2) Draksharaam - Draksh Raam Swaamee.
This Temple is situated at 4 Kms from Raamchandrapuram which is in East Godaavaree District in Aandhra. It is also known as Dakshin Kaashee (southern Kaashee). There is a Nava Graha shrine and a Asht Lokpaal shrine in the Eastern Mukh Mandap. An image of Lakshmee Naaraayan is also there. This Teerth is associated with the legend of the destruction of Daksh's ritual sacrifice.

(3) Samal Kot - Bheem Raam or Kumaar Raam Swaamee
It is situated in Raajaamundary. Koti Pallee or Koti Teertham is situated at the confluence of the River Godaavaree and the sea. Shiv is worshipped here as Someshwar or Koteeshwar and Paarvatee as Raaj Raajeshwaree.  Legend has it that the Moon God (Chandra Dev) was cursed by Daksh to lose his brilliance and that he was relieved of his curse after he offered worship to Shiv at this Koti Teertham. This legend is very similar to the one held at Somnaath Jyotirling shrine in Gujaraat.

The most classic of these legends is that of Ahalya and Indra Shaap Vimochan. This legend comes in Raamaayan. Gautama was married to Ahalyaa. Indra lusted after Ahalyaa and using a ploy, diverted Gautam and assuming the disguise of Gautam led Ahalya in his embrace. As Rishi came to know this he cursed his wife who petrified into a rock immediately and was absolved of her curse by Raam. Indra the king of Devtaa was also cursed with a lifelong disease. He lived through this curse and performed severe penances and finally was absolved of his curse and forgiven when his penance concluded with a ritual dip in the Godaavaree River at Someshwaram. It is to be known that Gautam Rishi himself brought the River Godaavaree down to the Earth at Tryambakeshwar where it is referred to as the Gangaa. There are several other local legends associated with Koti Pallee, all based on the theme of forgiveness of sins of lust.

Bheem Varam in West Godaavaree district also bears a temple dedicated to Someshwar and it is also considered to be Som Raam. This temple is associated with legends related to the Moon God Som. The temple tank here is known as Chandra Pushkarinee. The Someshwar Ling (a crystal Ling) is said to glow with differing levels of brightness depending on the phase of the Moon. This Shiv Ling is 5 feet high and is housed in a two storeyed sanctum, with Annapoornaa (Paarvatee) on the 2nd floor.

(4) Guneepundee (Bheemvaram) - Som Raam Swaamee

(5) Palakolloo - Ksheer Raam Swaamee

Yet there is another legend linked to this Panch Raam Kshetra, that these 5 Shiv Ling, worshipped at these shrines are said to be a part of a single Shiv Ling which is said to have been created by Soorya Dev or the Sun God. This original Shiv Ling is said to have been held in worship by the seven Rishi - Kashyap, Atri, Gautam, Kaushik (Vishwaamitra), Bharadwaaj, Vashishth and Jamadagni. These 7 Rishi are believed to be present in the 7 tributaries of Godaavaree, out of which the Bharadwaaj, Kaushik and Jamadagni Godavaree are not in existence anymore. It is believed that the 7 Rishi brought water into the Godaavaree River from their points of origin. It is also believed that the waters from these 7 tributaries constitute the water sources in the temple tank.



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Created and Maintained by Sushma Gupta
Created on March 15, 2003 and Updated on May 07, 2013