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Papi Kondalu is a hill range inKhammam district Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh India. Papi kondalu are distributed among Khammam East Godavari

and West Godavari districts. The entrance of Papi kondalu can be seen from Koruturu (West Godavari District).

The original name for this hill range was ‘Papidi Kondalu’. Papidi is a rough translation for partition in Telugu. Since this range looks like a well designed partition

that splits river Godavari, this name was coined. There is also another idea that the range looks like a partition of a typical Indian Woman's hair line. In due

course, it settled for ‘Papi Kondalu.

Papikondalu hills are one of the most visited tourist attraction in Andhra Pradesh. Punnami Tourism and many other private tourism corporations operate boat

tourism corporations operate boat journeys on the Godavari river which passes through Papi Hills. There is also a night stay facility in Kollur village which is in

the mid of hills completely covered by forests. The scenary, including the waterfalls at Munivaatam, and the peaceful atmosphere at this tribal area make this area

a tourist attraction. The idol of Shiva under serpent shade was installed in Munivaatam of Khammam district. The village Perantala palli is in this area. Swami

Balananda Balananda was involved in uplifting the tribals of the region. Early summer months i.e. March and April are the best times to visit this place.Polavarm

Project which is planned to be constructed across Godavari river on is considered to be a threat to Papi Hills. it would displace 276 villages of which

many are tirbal villages situated in Papi Hills.

Teak, Arjun and Rose Wood are most commercial forest timber products. Very rare medicinal plants do also exist in Papi kondalu

.Papi kondalu has a wide varieties of natural vegetation and wildlife, that spreads across the three districts of Andhra pradesh. Papi hills lies in Eastern Ghats

. Papi kondalu wild life sanctuary is shelter for animals including tigers, panthers, antelopes, hyenas, jackals, spotted deers and many types of birds.

 

As the train rumbled on, I was just wondering what this new destinatin would give me. Papikondalu is such a strange and unique name and I was just waiting

eagerly to know what this place would offer me. From the time, I have retired, I take it upon myself to visit places and then write about them. It not only gives

me personal satisfaction but also the fact that you read it, makes me want to go to more places and share it with you.

So Papi Hills is where I was headed. Monica, my wife had my tickets booked whilst she was in another all women adventure trip elsewhere. I love being alone

sometimes and as I got down at the Rajahmundry station, I looked around in this district of Godavari in the state andhra pradesh in India. Lying on the banks of

the River Godavari, this mountain range Papikondalu is one of the most scenic spots around in this part of the state. This is a vast area that the ranges cover

and they spread over the districts of the East Godavari, khamam and the West Godavari districts

.

 

Papi-Hills

From Rajahmundry I went by boat to Papikondalu. The motor boat had five of us in it and there I saw some steamers carrying more than 50 or 60. The eight

hour journey was quite adventurous as we saw the cool waters sometimes moving calmly and sometimes tilting the boat completely. The sand drifted on and the

breeze was quite cool and blew on my face. The water was clean yet due to water current the boat seemed as if it would totally collapse sometimes!

Papikondalu

Anyway I had a good travel and I loved to have come to this land of greenery, birds, animals and beautiful plants. The river was quite full and this added to the

thrill. The sailors and the boatmen were skilled so they weren't sacred at all.

I saw some communities of tribal on the hills of the Perantalapalli and the Pattiseema. Apparently these tribes have made a living here and have fishing and

agriculture as their main occupation. They also indulge in a lot of handicraft making. I decided to camp at the riverside overnight. I wanted to experience

something different. Coincidentally all the men in the boat agreed

to do the same. Soon we had got ready to camp with eatables, fishing rods and tents. The night was quite pleasant and the five of us got to know each other

very well. We were a group of one doctor, one graphologist, one naturalist, a chartered accountant and me a retired person.

 

Papikondalu

 

The next morning we went up and had a good trek up the hill. The walkup quite tired us, but all of us from different streams yet had the same taste – adventure

tourism and we got what we wanted. We came back down and had a good breakfast of tea and biscuits and some eggs which the boatman gave us. We then

went to another place called the Pattisam. This is actually an island though very small and is popular for the Veerabhadra temple here. Incidentally Veerabhadra

is Lord Shiva's warrior. The village is so named after one of Lord Shiva’s weapons.

 

The boat ride was quite nice and convenient. We were given food on the boat so we didn’t have to worry. It was good that I had towels with me as the

summer heat makes you sweat a lot, and so you would be quite grimy and sweaty.

 

At Perantalapalli I got the chance to see some good handicrafts. I bought some for Monica and my friends who would certainly be a trifle surprised I actually

shopped while on tour. There were beautiful flowers and some toy items. All these are good souvenirs so I picked up all of the things that I felt were good and

was quite impressed with my shopping instincts.

There are two ways to go to this place. One way is to take the trip of two days. Start in the boat early in the morning and reach your destination in the evening.

Here you can go and take a darshan of the temple BHADRACHALAM . The boat halts around an hour away from this place. The next day you could come

back after an overnight stay here. This trip is however a little longer than other trips. However you could get to see a lot of temples mentioned in the Indian epic

Ramayana.

Bhadrachalam-temple


The other option is to only go to Papikondalu. So if you starts from a bank near RAJAHMUNDRY then the boat would go on and would show around the

places that are important

in and around Papikondalu. The boat halts for some time and then comes back. However both the options are worth it and you could take whichever suits

your schedule.


 

 

 

The Sree Seetha Ramachandra Swamy shrine at Bhadrachalam, the most famous

temple in the country dedicated to Lord Rama, is situated on the left bank of the

Godavari river. It is a place of pilgrimage for Hindus, considered to be one of th

e greatest holy shrines in South India with a very rich and unique historical

background. The Temple was constructed in the 17th Century by the local

Tahsildar, Kancharla Gopanna, popularly known as Bhakta Ramadas, a fervent

devotee of Lod Sree Rama.

The puranic and historic facts relate that Lord Rama long after he had shed his

mortal coils manifested himself to save his devotee Bhadra Maharshi whom he

promised 'moksha' after intensive prayer. That is why the village is named after

Bhadra as Bhadradri or Bhadrachalam. Srirama appeared in a dream to a woman

called Pokala Dammakka and informed here about the existence of vigrahas on

Bhadragiri hills. To her surprise she found the "Vigrahas" and put up a modest

structure. This was the origin of the present temple.

 

 

, Kancherla Gopanna (1620 - 1680)

popularly known as Bhadrachala

Ramadasu, was a 17th century Indian

devotee of Rama and a composer of

Carnatic music. He is one among the

famous vaggeyakaras in the Telugu

language, the others being Tyagaraja,

Annamayya, Kshetryya.

 

 

wo major festivals are being celebrated

every year which were introduced and

traditionally celebrated right from the

tenure of Bhakta Ram Das ."Vykuntha

Ekadasi" , a religious festival that attracts

lakhs of devotees from all over the

country .

 

 

 

 

 

BHADRACHALAM is a famous temple dedicated to


"Lord Sree Sita Ramachandra Swamy Temple"


and situated on the banks of the sacred river Godavari.

Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy with Sri Lakshmana, Bhadrachalam

Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy with Sri Lakshmana, Bhadrachalam

 

One can reach Bhadrachalam, from Burgampad, from the northern side of the river Godavari. From Burgampad, boats ply over the river Godavari. From

Burgampad, boats ply over the river to Bhadrachalam. One can also reach it from Rajahmundry, which is an important railway station on the 40 miles or so

by steamer over the river Godavari. The temple cannot thus be reached by easy means of communication, and has to be reached by a difficult boat journey

over the river Godavari and also all kinds of transportion is available to the temple.

The temple is associated with puranic and historic facts. According to a legend, there was a rishi (sage) named Bhadra, son of Meru, an ardent devotee of

Lord Rama, who was promised moksha by Him. Bhadra Maharishi did intense penance until Tretha yuga was over and Lord Rama, who was an incarnation

of Lord Vishnu, was back to his original avatar. Pleased by Bhadra's devotion, He appeared in the form of Lord Rama (as per Bhadra's wishes) and granted

him moksha. This explains the unique form of the deity at Bhadrachalam. The hillock on which Bhadra Maharishi did penance and attained moksha, is

called Bhadragiri / Bhadrachalam after the rishi. Another legend associated with the place is that Lord Rama once appeared in the dream of a woman

called Pokala Sammakka and informed her about the existence of idols on the Bhadragiri hills. To the astonishment of the woman, the idols were found

on the hill, where she got a modest structure built

.

The story of Sri Ramachandra which has been sung in immortal verse by Sage Valmiki and which has been the main repository for all the later Kavyas to

draw their themes is very well known. At thespot where the Bhadrachalam temple stands, it is said, Sri Ramachandra himself lived for some time, before

Ravana carried Seeta away.

The popular legend is that at this spot a sage by name Bhadra was living at the time of Sri Rama’s sojourn, and Sri Rama, being pleased with the intense

Tapas and Bhakti of this sage, came here specially to give him Darshan and liberation.

That is why the place is called Bhadrachalam in memory of the Saint Bhadra.The worship of Sri Rama is as ancient as temple worship in this land. The

great Itihasa Ramayana by Saint Valmiki itself has the sanctity of scripture to the Hindus. The same story has been sung and popularized by Tulsidas in

Hindi in his Ramcharit Manas and by Kamban in Tamil.

Kalidasa's Raghuvamsha also has as its main theme the life and history of the Ikshwaku race in which Sri Ramachandra was born. In the Atharvaveda

there are two Upanishads, one called the Rama Tapini Upanishad, which glorifies the name of SriRama, and another called the Rama RahasyaUpanishad,

 

where several Rama Mantras are revealed for the first time.

 

The greatness of Sri Rama's life is that it is an intensely human story, where the Lord had assumed the human form, and shown us the correct path

of rectitude which we should adopt in the day to day conduct of our lives.

Apart from its sacred appeal, Sri Rama as a human being has an unique appeal, in which his character as an ordinary mortal with an uncompromising

adherence to the correct code of conduct at the cost of anything that may happen to him, serves as a beacon light of guidance for us.

The reactions of Sri Rama to any set of circumstances, whether they be prosperous or adverse, are themselves a guide of conduct for ourselves in

our human inter-relations. The character of Sri Rama progresses stage by stage as the story of Sri Rama unveils itself.honor by Rama, even at the cost

of his own kingdom, and his adherence to the great Dharma of a true warrior in war fare, where he would not kill his enemy Ravana when he was disarmed,

but asked him to go and come the next day fully prepared and armed, his adherence to the demands of social customs so that even Sita herself

had to demonstrate her fidelity by such a terrific ordeal like the fire ordeal etc., all show a humanness of approach to the problem of life, and steadfast

adherence to the rules of ethics, that they move us even to this day by their essentially human appeal.

In addition to all these, Sri Ramachandra, with Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman has been the theme of innumerable poets and has been the object of

veneration and devotion of thousands of devotees

.

The numerous Rama Bhaktas like Kabir, Ramadas, Thyagaraja, Ramagopanna and Purandharadasa, etc. were so much overwhelmed by the

intensity

of their devotion to the Lord, that they lost themselves in rapture and have given expression to their mystic joy in uncomparable verse and music

. Bhadrachalam is a very sacred place, with its temple dedicated to Lord Rama. The Vigrahas of Rama, Lakshmana and Seeta in the Sri Rama temple

there are beautiful pieces of sculpture and are captivating by the sheer beauty and excellence of the workmanship.

Sri Rama is represented as a charming person, of handsome beauty, and well-built physique, wearing in his two hands, the Dhanus and the Bana, and

standing in the 'Tribhanga' attitude as opposed to the 'Samabhanga' pose.

 

Sita stands near him, also in the Tribhanga attitude, with a lotus in one hand and the other hand shown in the 'Katyavalambita' posture. If there is

any temple in which the devotees are captivated by the sheer magic of the beauty of the icon of the Lord, it is at Bhadrachalam

.

In India, there are thousands of temples dedicated to Lord Sri Rama, from Ayodhya, his birthplace in Uttar Pradesh, down to Rameswaram at the

southernmost tip of the country. Bhadrachalam, out of all these, is remarkable in its own way, for the sheer beauty of the icon of the Lord.

Like most of the temples in the country, Bhadrachalam does not claim to have aSthalapurana called out of various Puranas, nor can it claim to have

been constructed by Devatas or Rishis. In fact, it is a temple consecrated by a very human being, and is called 'Manushya Pratishtha', since the local

legends trace the first beginning of this temple to a Bairagi or mendicant who came here from Ayodhya.

 

He took up his abode on the small hillock, which overlooks the mighty and majestic Godavari. It was he that carved our image of Srirama and built

a small temple over it.

Today, this temple is famous not only in Andhra but through out India and worldwide, and inspite of the difficulty of its approach, the magical charm of the

idol attracts thousands of pilgrims every year.


Thus Bhadrachalam has a unique feature, where the sanctity and sacredness of the place have been increased by the mixture of tradition and history.

This is perhaps the solitary and unique instance of Muslim patronage of a Hindutemple, which was continued till very recently. Under the Nizam's

rule, the Tahsildar stationed at Burgampad was responsible for the maintenance of the temple, and for the preservation of its treasures.

The Hyderabad Government was spending Rs. 20,000/- out of its State revenues for the upkeep of the temples. Bhadrachalam has thus the happy and

unique tradition of Muslim patronage of a Hindu temple.

It is sanctioned by its association with Saint Ramadas and is a famous and sacred shrine of Andhra, well worth a visit.

 

 

 

 


PUNNAMI TOURISM

Adminstrative Office,


RC NO :117/2012 , D.No 9-3-1/1


Near Gowthami jeevakarunya sangam


Godavari Bund; Rajahmundry,


E.G.Dt (AP) India


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