Browsing Category

South India

South India Travel

Finding God in Bhadrachalam

I never quite understood the deeper reason/s behind a pilgrimage. Because I do believe that the almighty is omnipresent. Then why do we need to do make exclusive trips to meet Him or Her? We could just seek the divine power around us? I would like to think that I am a not-so-religious person. But it would also be wrong to say that I am a non-believer. I guess that little ounce of belief in me made me accompany my mother and aunts for a trip to Bhadrachalam.

Reaching Bhadrachalam

This holy little village (almost a town) sits 182 Km from Vijayawada and is known for the Sree Sita Ramachandra Swamy Temple. For generations, devotees, pilgrims, and even regular visitors (like us) have been thronging to this temple to experience its divine glory.

We decided to leave before dawn so we could reach for the morning puja. With an all women entourage, we had to rent a safe and reliable car in Vijayawada. We reached just after daybreak and the horizon was still a little misty from the morning dew (It was sometime last year after monsoon).

There’s no doubt that the rural landscape of the state makes for a scenic getaway. Neatly settled on the banks of the mighty Godavari River, the holy town of Bhadrachalam reflected more natural beauty than I had imaged. The lush green hills and the rugged terrain gave it a nice mystical touch.

The Ramachandra Swamy Temple sat on a tiny hillock with lovely views of the river. It was close to 5.30 am and the temple had already opened its doors to the devotees. So the first thing we all had to do was freshen up and head for the ‘darshan’. Thankfully, being a weekday, there wasn’t much crowd to overwhelm us.

The temple history

It is said that this temple was built sometime in the 17th century. Locals believe that a devotee named Kancherla Gopanna, also known as Bhakta Ramadasa built the temple in devotion for Lord Rama. He was a tax collector under the rule of Qutub Shah and never sought any permission from the sultan before going ahead with the construction. Also, in the process, he ended up spending tax money from the royal treasury. Discovering such atrocious behavior of his subject, the sultan threw Gopanna in prison for 14 years. But somewhere before his tenure was over, the sultan dreamed of two soldiers asking him to release Gopanna. Realizing that they must have been the gods themselves, the king immediately set him free. To rectify his wrongdoings, the sultan started donating silk clothes and pearls to the temple every year. This practice still continues till date, where the now the state government offers silk clothes and pearls to the gods.

Apparently, Ramadasa dedicated his entire life to building the temple and establishing a place of worship for the god he loved the most. And eventually, for his devotion, he was liberated by Lord Rama and Lakshmana themselves. While the story might have been a work of fiction, according to me, the devotee’s dedication towards the temple construction was clearly visible. It was indeed a beautifully sculpted work on stone with clearly defined gopurams.

Finding god in unobvious places

We finished the darshan followed by a morning aarti and prasadam distribution within an hour. There was also a hot spring about 5 Km from the temple premise which is also considered to be holy. I saw quite a lot of people taking a dip believing in its divine as well as therapeutic powers. From there, we also headed to Parnasala, much to my aunts’ request of wanting to see the place of Rama and Sita’s exile. Stories are that during the ‘vanavasa’ Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana lived here before Sita was abducted. In fact, the spot from where Sita was abducted is also protected as a holy site.

It was still quite early in the morning and we had no plans to returning home before late evening. So we thought of exploring the place a little bit more. There is this place called Koonavaram, about 25 Km from the temple town, known for its scenic location and boat ride on the Godavari. Since we had booked a cab from Vijayawada to Bhadrachalam for the day, we had no trouble hopping from one place to another. We reached Koonavaram within an hour and a half. The boats run from 7 am to 10 am every morning. That is actually the best time to enjoy the surroundings before the sun reaches its peak.

We rented a boat just for the four of us for a peaceful ride. As the boat left the banks and slowly treaded on the water, it felt like another world. As far as my sight went around me, it was pure, clean, exclusively nature. No buildings, no vehicles, no shrieking cars or busy people. Even the boatmen were quietly steering, absorbing the surroundings. It seemed as if time had stopped. The only ever sound that caught my attention was the gurgling river and the early morning bird calls. Perhaps that is what divinity felt like. Didn’t I say that God is omnipresent?

South India Travel

A Trip with Savaari to Belum Caves

Whenever I see or hear about caves I am always in awe, wondering these are the first ever forms of what we know as ‘homes’ for the humankind. Perhaps these wondrous yet uncanny places are one of the most mysterious creations of nature. I believe that caves, naturally formed or made by ancient people tell the stories of their time. Belum Caves in Hyderabad are one such place. 

Continue Reading

South India Travel Travel Tips Trending Posts

Guide To Goa: Things You Must Know Before Visiting Goa!

We don’t need to sell you the Goa holiday. The exquisite beaches, azure sea and hippie culture has already made Goa a very happening tourist place. Many tourists not only from India, but Russia as well come here. Known as the “party capital” of India, Goa has always been one of the most visited tourist destinations in the country. Here are the best things to do in Goa: 

Continue Reading

Lifestyle South India Travel Trending Posts

Top 7 Unexplored Places To Visit In Goa

Goa known as the erstwhile party capital of India is now a bustling tourist destination at all times of the year. Goa is always on the list of the party lovers and younger generation as well. The relaxed vibe of the place coupled with the stunning beaches and smiling locals, makes this one of the best places to visit in India. Looking for a Goa tourist places list ? You have come to the right place. I’m not going to cover the usual Fort Aguada and such here. This is for those who want to explore the most unexplored places to visit in Goa:

Continue Reading

South India Travel

Exploring Coorg- A South Indian Gem

Sitting in a place where all I can hear is the frogs croaking and rain pouring.
We are in a beautiful town called Coorg, Karnataka. This is famous for coffee, spices and is lush green.


Here is a picture of the balcony, where we can relax while soaking in the view of the hills.


We drove 3 hours to get here, the drive was great peppered with the rains. It’s a little scary here at night as its just 2 ladies. Trying to distract myself by watching American Idol on their big ass TV.
Whenever there is signal that is.