Somarama is one of the Pancharama Kshetras which is located in Bhimavaram of West Godavari district. Somarama Temple is also called as Someswara Temple and Bhimavaram. The Temple is one of the Pancharama Kshetras (five temples), dedicated to Lord Shiva in Andhra Pradesh. The Pancharama Kshetras are:
Amararama at Amaravati, Guntur
Draksharama at Draksharama, East Godavari
Somarama at Bhimavaram, West Godavari
Ksheerarama at Palakol, West Godavari
Bhimarama at Samarlakota, East Godavari
About the temple
This temple is an old temple but looks like a new one because of the colored paintings on the walls and sculptures. In front of the temple there is a pond called Chandrakundam. It is fully covered with lotus flowers. There is a big Gopuram as the entrance of temple. In the left side of temple there is a big hall in which temples of Lord Srirama and Hanuman are present. In the right side of temple there is an open hall above the temple office. When crowd is present, pujaris / Pandits conduct puja here for individuals. The temple has so many sculptures which gives a nice look. In the hall of temple there is a big statue of Nandi. After crossing the hall there is a room in front of sanctum. In that room there is a temple of Annapurna mata. In the sanctum we can see Lord Shiva in the form of a beautiful Shivaling. Shivaling in this temple is small unlike in other Pancharamas. There is a speciality in this temple i.e. Shivaling will change its color according to Lunar aspect. At the time of Pournami (Full Moon nights) shivaling will be in white color and in Amavasya days (Dark nights) its color shades black.
The temple was built during the 3rd century A.D. Another unique feature here, is that the temple of Goddess Annapurna was built on top of the Shiva temple, something that cannot be seen anywhere in the country. Surprisingly, the Goddess has the sacred thread around her neck and a baby near her feet. Here Lord Shiva is known as Someswara Swamy here. The consort of Lord Someswara is Sri Rajarajeswari Ammavaru. The Sivalinga at this place is installed and established by Lord Chandra. Maha Shivaratri and Sarannavarathri are the main festivals celebrated at this temple. To the South of the Garbha Gruham, Goddess Adilakshmi can be seen and wedding hall at ground and first floors are constructed. Marriages are conducted both in the new hall and also in Goddess Annapurna mantapam.
To the East side of this temple, there is a Pushkarini pond which is also called Soma Gundam. Inside the temple, Lord Anjaneya Swamy, God Kumara Swamy, Navagraha, Sun God, Lord Ganesha can also be seen. In front of the main entrance, 15-foot pillar is constructed. The pond in front of the entrance is always covered by Lotus flowers. There is a special temple built on the top of the Somarama temple, which houses the deity of Goddess Annapurna, with a sacred thread on Her neck and a baby near to Her holy feet. This astonishing view cannot be seen anywhere. Somarama Temple is adorned with numerous sculptures and images which gives the devotees a delightful experience.
About the Deity
The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Someswara (Lord Shiva) in the form of sacred Shivalingam. The Goddess of the temple is Goddess Sri Rajarajeswari, the consort of Lord Someswara. The pond which is found in the entrance of Somarama Temple is always found to be covered with lotus flowers. Inside the temple complex there is a shrine of Lord Srirama and Lord Hanuman. One of the most special features of this temple is that the color of the Shivalingam will change its color regarding the lunar aspects, the shape of the illuminated (sunlit) portion of the Moon. And hence during Pournami (full moon days), the color of the Shivalingam will be in white and during Amavasya (dark nights), the color of the lingam will be shaded to black. The other deities present in the temple are Goddess Adilakshmi, Lord Anjaneya Swamy, Lord Kumara Swamy, Sun God, Lord Ganesha, Navagraha (the nine planets) and Nandi (the mount of Lord Shiva). The Pushkarani (temple tank) of Somarama Temple is called as Soma Gundam Pushkarani.
Legend and stories
The mythology of the temple was that during Tarakasura vadha, it is said that the Shivalingam which was present on the throat of Tarakasura, a powerful asura, was divided into five pieces. The Pancharama Kshetras are built on the place where the five pieces fell.
There are two famous legends about the temple. First one is widely illustrated in Hindu mythology as one of the PanchramaKshetras. The legend says that, the Shivalinga was owned by Rakshasa King Tarakasura and he was so powerful that no one could win over him due to the power of Shivalinga. Lord Kumara Swamy used his powers (Sakthi Ayudha) to kill Tarakasura into pieces but failed as they reunited again and again. On the guidance of Lord Sriraman Narayana who informed him to break the Shiva lingam worn by Tarakusura into pieces first and then place them in five different places forming the sacred temples (PancharamaKshetras). All these temples were formed by the power of Agniyasthra used by Lord Kumara Swamy. The Lord Chandra installed Shivalinga in Bhimavaram temple and hence the name SomeshwaraSwamy.
Another legend says that, Lord Shiva when destroyed Tripura’s during ‘Tripura Samharam’, all that was left was a Shivalingam in the throat of Lord of Tripuras was broken into five pieces and installed for worship in five different places as Pancharama Kshetras.
Maha Shivaratri – February/March
Sarannavarathri – September/October
The nearest Air terminal is at Vijayawada and Rajahmundry.
The nearest railway station to Somarama temple is Bhimavaram railway station, which is about 2 from the temple.
There are many buses available from Vijayawada and Eluru to Bhimavaram.
Bhimavaram of West Godavari District,
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Relief from diseases
- Purchase of vehicles
- Gain Knowledge
Kailaasarana Shiva Chandramouli Phaneendra Maathaa Mukutee Zalaalee Kaarunya Sindhu Bhava Dukha Haaree Thujaveena Shambho Maja Kona Taaree
Meaning -Oh Lord Shiva who is seated on Mount Kailash, where the moon decorates his forehead and the king of serpents crown his head, who is merciful and removes delusion, You alone can protect me. I surrender to thee.
Aum Trayambakam Yajaamahey Sugandhim Pusti Vardhanam Urvaarukamiva Bandhanaath Mrutyor Muksheeya Maamritaat
Meaning -We worship the fragrant Lord Shiva, who has 3 eyes and who cultivates all beings. May He free me from death, for immortality, as even a cucumber is separated from its bond with the vine.
The temple remains open in the morning from 5.00 AM to 11.00 AM and in the evening from 4.00 PM to 8.00 PM.