Bhimavaram, Andhra: Somaramam Temple:India Divin
Completed in the 3rd century, it is a well-known Pancharama Kshetras, located in Bhimavaram of West Godavari district, Andhra. In view of its antiquity, this temple is considered as a National Monument under the control of the central government.
|Bhimavaram,. Andhra Weather-Forecast.com|
The main entrance tower - gopuram is a tall one and the temple tank in front of the entrance is called Soma Gundam and is covered with lotus flowers. The main sanctum can be accessed through two halls and the one closer to the sanctum - garbagraha is a small one. The large hall is adorned with a lot of stone sculptures. As in many Shiva temples, Nandi (bull) in sitting posture is present in the hall, facing the sanctum. The striking feature is there are five nandis in the main area. The shrine of Annapurna Matha is above the main garbagraha, a rare feature as per Temple Agama Sastras. She is wearing a sacred thread around her neck and has a baby near her holy feet.
|Gunupudi Someswara temple, Bhimavaram. TripAdvisor|
Shivalinga in the sanctum is small in size unlike in other Pancharamas. The unique feature of this Shivalinga is its change of color according to the phase of the Moon. During Ammavasya (dark moon) it is black in color, whereas during Pournima (full Moon), it will be white in color. Here the lord's consort is Rajarajeswari. The Shivalinga at this place is believed to have been installed by Lord Chandra, hence Shiva also goes by the name of Someswara Swamy.
Maha Shivaratri and Saran Navarathri are the main festivals held at this temple and are celebrated with religious fervor. Here, Mahashivaratri Chariot festival is quite famous. There is an idol of Goddess Adilakshmi. At this temple mass weddings are held in Adilakshmi and also in Annapurna mandapams. There are other idols of Kumaraswamy, Ganesha, Navagraha,etc., in this temple.