Parnasala, 32 km from Bhadrachalam, is said to be the place where Lord Rama spent a few of His 14 years in exile, and it was here that the tragic story of Sita's abduction unfolded. Local tradition claims that Ravana parked his Pushpaka Vimana, his magical vehicle, on the opposited side of the river before abducting Sita from Her hut here. Parnasala is also said to be the place where Rama killed Mareecha, who deceived the Divine Couple in the form of a golden deer, an incident that culminated in the abduction.
Right at the entrance is a temple, dedicated to Lord Rama, with Sita on His lap and flanked by Lakshmana. The idols are said to be Swayambhu. On the other side of the road, is the Godavari flowing, majestically. But the star attraction here is a piece of land, on which stands a hut (apparently a modern re-creation). The place has been carefully reconstructed to resemble the Parnasala of Rama's days. Concrete figures re-enact scenes from the Ramayana, as they happened here. There is a small Shiva temple next door. In the Sanctum is a Lingam, to which Lord Rama is said to have offered worship.
About 1/2 km away is Sita Vaagu (stream) and Sita banda (rocky mound). The walk is through fields, in the midst of which is this rocky mound, considered sacred. Vehicles come the other way, through the road, which is a slight round-about. It is believed that Sri Sita washed and dried Her clothes, before bathing in the perennial stream, abutting the rock. She did so during Her monthly periods, as She did not want to soil the sacred Godavari at the time. How considerate of the Divine Mother to think of the purity of the river, thousands of years ago, when the population was very low, and when pollution was not an issue!
How to get there
Buses, share autos and ordinary autos ply regularly between Bhadrachalam and parnasala. Buses are not frequent, especially at the Parnasala end, and their timings are erratic.
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