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Hindu Temples Index
Draksharama (Bhimesvara Swamy)Temple
Draksharama is one of the Pancharama Shaiva Kshetras located in Andhra Pradesh. The Siva deity here is known as Bhimesvara Swamy and his consort as Manikyamba. Draksharama is also one of the 18 Shakti Peetha. This temple has one of the lasrgest shiva linga among major shiva shrines. The temple is situated on the eastern bank of Godavari River. According to local belief the Siva linga at the temple was installed and established by the god Surya. Maha Shivaratri, Devi Navaratrulu, Karthika Masam, and Dhanurmasam are the main festivals celebrated at this temple.

According to local legend, the temple was built by angels in one night. The construction of the perimeter wall could not be completed before sunrise and still stands incomplete. Several attempts have been made to construct the uncompleted part of the wall but all those efforts have failed with the constructed wall collapsing within a few months.

As per the Government of India, the temple construction was started in mid 800 A.D. and completed somewhere around the 11th century. The construction of the temple is a marvel, consisting of a two-staired mandapa and two walls, one inside of the other. The inner temple (Garbhaalaya) made it a very profound and cultural work of architecture in those times. Its architecture is still a library for students of architecture. The ventilation of the inner temple is impressive. The temple is always full of light and air with very good ventilation. The temple's two-stair mandapa is a real astonishment for anyone, and the pillars in the temple are carved so delicately skillfully carved. Many Shasanas (Official & Historical Registry Chronicles) have been written on the stone walls of the temple from time to time, from legions of Chola & Sathavahanas to Vijayanagra & Reddy Kingdoms that ruled over centuries. The scripts are Dravidian, Tamil, Devanagri, and Telugu scripts of both Sanskrit and Telugu languages.

The inner sanctorium has a pedestal built for the archakas to perform the rituals. The inner sanctorium is very dark, that one cannot see without a light. Legends say that the inner walls of the temple were once filled with diamonds that provided the required light. When Aurangazeb invaded the temple to pluder the riches, all the diamonds turned to stones itseems. Archakas show the walls edorned with diamond shaped rocks as a proof for this.

There is another small temple within the main temple. One legend says that as ages go, the height of the humans would reduce to such an extent that the current temple would become a huge gigantic structure, and hence another temple was built for the tiny people of the future. Another legend says that the tiny temple is for the tiny creatures that inhabit the land. And some say that its the prototype of the temple.
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