When vinod’s relavites wanted to go to a devotional place – we had 2 options : Srisailam and Bhadrachalam. As Srisailam had no railway, we opted for Bhadrachalam. We started the tour off a relatively short notice. After winding up my office work the before day, we spent the entire evening packing, shopping and more packing.
The train started from Hyderabad to Bhadrachalam road ( Kothagudem) at 11:45 and we reached there by 5:30 AM. Bhadrachalam temple road is almost 40 kms from there, and the auto wallah minted money from us, seeing the little kid in our hands and our luggage. Vinod’s friend was gracious enough to get the TTD Soumitri Sadam accomodation arranged for us. We checked in around 7:30 in the morning. As the train was overnight, no body slept. We did not pack blankets as everyone underestimated the chillness in the weather. For the first time in her life, Saanvi slept in the topmost compartment of train, and she was so thrilled to be on top of everybody!!
The temple is around 10 mins walk from the accomodation. One cannot but remember the telugu movie “Sri Ramadasu” while roaming in Bhadrachalam. We went for Dharma Darshanam and it took us around 40 minutes to see the God. It’s definitely crowded, but the people near the god weren’t very cruel to the devotees. It’s magical to see Lord Sri rama inside the garbha gudi. The entire afternoon and evening were spent resting, as everyone was sleep deprived and were nothing short of zombies.
The next day morning, me and lavanya ( my sister by relation) went to the temple early morning. Being sunday, special archana carried out in lord rama’s garbha gudi were cancelled. Tad disappointed, we walked to Prasadam Counter and got all the prasadams. When we spent around 1 and 1/2 hour in the temple roaming around, the counter for special darsan got opened and we were fortunate enough to get tickets. The queue went very long in a short time. And with 20 Rs, we finished our darshan in less than five minutes. This time, we stayed even long. Being morning, everyone was fresh and no body even asked us to go away, when we kept watching lord’s idol.
Afternoon, we went to Parnashala. That’s a village which is around 37 kms from Bhadrachalam. Major attractions are a temple, the parnashala kutiram that has lord rama’s, and sita devi’s foot imprints for us to see. It is hard to describe the feeling you get, when you stand at a place where lord rama and sita once stood. Exhilirating, that’s the word.
Half kilometer from there, we went to a broad rock. It is said that lord rama and sita stayed on the rock for 5 days every month. We could see the saree imprint and dhoti imprints on the rock. Also, the place where sita devi used to sit, the place where lord rama used to sit , the place where they used to play. Fortunate is the word to describe who can lay their feet and stand in such a holy place. There was a place where lord lakshmana cut the nose and ears of surpanaka. The guy over there asked us to take 3 stones with left hand and throw them on the stone pile in front of us. By doing so, we will avoid the difficuilties that rama and sita have faced in their lifes. We debated later on, whether the stone throwing will really remove the difficuilties. No body won, but the journey turned interesting.
Later in the evening, we visited the banks of Godavari and paid tribute to the nature mother over there. We could see less water and more and more sand. It’s sad that the natural resources are evaporating at such a pace. I wonder what would remain for my future generations to eat, enjoy and live.
We returned by ASPRTC 7646, which started at 9 PM and we reached Hyderabad bus station by 4 AM in the morning. The bus journey was much much better than the train journey. Almost everyone caught a nice nap at night.
We could not visit Papi kondalu due to time and situation constraints. When I close my eyes on the return trip, I can imagine the entire temple, lord rama’s statue and the rock at parnashala. My heart fills with joy. It is at this moment I decide a goal for 2013 : To listen to Ramayanam by China Jeeyar Swami.
Overall, a fitting end to 2012. What more can one want, than stand on the holy land of Bhadrachalam where Lord Rama and Sita devi has once roamed?
Have a great day and keep rocking!!