Srikakulam

Srikakulam not to be confused with Srikakulam, in Srikakulam district, in the far northeastern corner of Andhra Pradesh is in Krishna district.  It is famous for Srikakuleswara Swamy temple, better known as Sri Andhra Maha Vishnu.

Sri Kakuleswara Swamy Temple

Sri Kakuleswara Swamy temple is 57th among the 108 Vaishnava Divyadesams, claims the temple brochure.  This Srikakulam is considered as the first capital of the Andhra region in ancient days; hence, the title Sri Andhra Maha Vishnu.  In fact, according to the temple authorities, in no other Vaishnava shrine in AP is the deity addressde as Maha Vishnu.  The earliest extant inscription is dated 1207.  At over two metres in eight (7.2 feet), SriKakuleswara Swamy is, indeed, an imposing figure.  Sri Rajalakshmi Ammavaru is the Lord's consort here.

Another specialty of this temple is that it is associated with the great Vijayanagar emperor, Sri Krishnadeva Raya.  Te Raya, it is said, had a dream, after a visit to the temple in 1518.  Prompted by the dream, he wrote his masterpiece, Amuktamalyada, a celebrated Telugu work, which describes the story of Sri Goda Devi, better known as Andal.  The Amuktamalyada Mandapam has been erected at the entrance to commemorate the Raya's memory.  A statue of the Raya is now enshrined in the immaculate and well-maintained mandapam.  Sri krishnadeva Raya is depicted sitting, with a pen and palmleaves.

SriKakuleswara Swamy temple is a small shrine, specially recommended for those with the Budha (Mercury) dosha.  The locals pray to the Ammavaru for removal of obstacles to marriage.  There is a Shiva shrine next to the Andhra Maha Vishnu temple.

Srikakulam can be reached via Kuchipudi, the village that gave us the classical dance form of the same name.  Also en route is Movva, the site of a temple for Sri Movva Gopala, made famous in the padams and jawalis of the great masters.

How to get there

Gudivada is one of the choices, for those coming from the north coastal region of Andhra Pradesh, via Pamarru. Gudivada to Pamarru is less than 20km.  But Vijayawada, via Vuyyuru, is the better choice for all others.  Vijayawada is 69km from Vuyyuru Srikakulam is 20 odd km from Vuyyuru via Pamarru. Pamarru is the connecting point to Srikakulam.

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