Palakkolu Sri Ksheera Ramalingeswara Swamy temple
Sri Ksheera Ramalingeswara Swamy temple is in Palakkolu, about 20km from Rajole, as you cross from East to West Godavari district. This Ksheeraramam shrine of Lord Shiva is located at a walk able distance from the Palakkolu bus station.
This shrine is one of the Pancharama temples in Andhra Pradesh. It is known as Ksheera Ramalingeswaram. Ksheera because Lord Shiva made the Ksheera Pushkarni tank here overflow with milk from the celestial Ksheera Sangaram (Ocean of Milk), and as Ramalingeswaram for lord Rama performed pooja here, like He did in Rameswaram. Perhaps because of the milk connection, the marble Lingam is white in colour. Lord Shiva is worshipped here as Sri Ramalingeswara Swamy and as Sri Ksheera Rameswaraswamy.
The temple was built around 918CE by Chalukya Bhima, the builder of the Samalkot and Draksharamam shrines. Later, various dynasties that ruled this area contributed to the temple's upkeep and renovation, as 46 inscriptions, dating from 1136 to 1640, testify. The unique thing about this temple is its tall, lean Rajagopuram. Taller gopurams there are, but one would probably not see a tower as lean as this. The gopuram is a later addition, though. Bachhu Ammayagaru took the initiative in 1777 to build the gopuram, which is in nine tiers, and rises to a height of nearly 37 metres (120 feet). The beauty and uniqueness of the gopuram is, however, marred by the presence of commercial complexes around the temple.
Like in most Shiva temples in the region, there are shrines for Lord Vishnu, as Sri Janaradhana Swamy, and Lakshmi here, besides a shrine for Parvati.
How to get there
Palakkolu is on the National Highway. All buses bound for Narsapur or Bhimavaram stop here. Those from Hyderabad, Vijayawada and other parts of the country can come via Tanku, on the National Highway, or b the state highway, via Gudivada, Kaikalur and Bhimavaram. Palakkolu is also on the railway network, with express trains to and from Narasapur, nine km away, stopping here, as do passenger tranis. Vijayawada (129km) is the nearest airport.
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