Day 6/9 | Visiting Annavaram and Visakhapatnam
Following the Master | East India Pilgrimage 2019
With a filled heart we left Bhadrachalam and started our long (total 12-hour) journey to Visakhapatnam passing through Annavaram.
After a few hours on the road with constant curves, Guruji asked to pause by a beautiful river that we were passing by to rest and refresh for a few minutes.
After lunch in Annavaram, we proceeded to the large temple dedicated to Veera Satyanarayana to receive darshan.
Annavaram means whatever you desire will be given as a boon by the deity. It got its name from the large free food distributions.
A short story about Ratnagiri Mountain:
This sacred Hindu pilgrim centre is located on a hilltop called Ratnagiri. There ́s a story about how the hilltop got its name. Meruvu, the lord of the hills and his consort Menaka did great penance and begot two sons by the Grace of Lord Vishnu. One was named Bhadra and the other Ratnakar. Bhadra pleased Lord Vishnu with his devotion and penance and with His Grace became Bhadrachalam on which Lord Sri Rama had permanently settled. Ratnakara desired to emulate his brother and succeeded in pleasing Lord Vishnu by his penance and with His grace became Ratnagiri (giri - hill) on which Lord Sri Vishnu settled as Lord Sri Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy. The idol was dug out from the hill and placed at the current spot which we now know as Annavaram.
Veera Satyanarayana Swamy Temple
The main deity in Annavaram is Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy. This temple is, In popularity, the most important temple after Tirupathi in Andhra Pradesh. Lord Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy is considered to be very powerful in fulfilling the wishes of the devotees.
It is said that one Brahmin of the village by the name of Earanki Prakasam had a dream in which the Lord appeared and told him about the Sathyanarayana Swamy Vigraham idol that was left abandoned in the hill. The Brahmin found the idol on the hill and worshipped it.
The image of Sathyanarayana Swamy represents in a single murti, the Trimurtis: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Anatha Lakshmi is to His left side and Lord Shiva in Linga Roopa is on His right side. The shrine is constructed in two storeys, the lower one containing the yantra and upper one housing the vigrahas of the lord.
'Moolatho Brahma roopaya Madhayathashca Maheswaram Agrathah Vishnuroopaya
This means that the base in the lower sanctum represents Lord Brahma, the top in the upper sanctum represents Lord Vishnu and the middle portion represents Lord Shiva.
The main temple is constructed in the form of a chariot with the four wheels at each of the four corners. The temple is intended as a symbol of the seven lokas with the Lord at the heart’s centre ruling over the entire universe.
Satyanarayan means ‘The highest being who is an embodiment of Truth’.
After receiving darshan of the main deities, we paid respects to the Sita Rama temple within the temple complex. The Rama Temple was the place where the original murti of Sathyanarayana Swamy was discovered by devotees.
Late at night, we finally arrived in Vishakapatnam.
Stay tuned for more posts as we ‘Follow the Master’ on a pilgrimage to the Divine!