GR Travels

Shri Bhavanarayana Swamy Temple

Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS) is one of the Wildlife Sanctuaries in Andhra Pradesh. It is located in East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh. It is approximately 20 km (12.42 miles) away from Kakinada, Headquarters of East Godavari District. History of the CWS starts from the year 1978. This wildlife sanctuary was established by government of Andhra Pradesh on July 5, 1978. At present this sanctuary is under the governance of Andhra Pradesh Forest Department. Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary is geographically located on the Kakinada-Yanam state highway, 20 km away from Kakinada city. Deltaic branches of Gouthami and Godavari Rivers flows through this sanctuary. Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary is a part of the Godavari estuary comprising extensive mangroves and dry deciduous tropical forest etc. Coringa and Gaderu rivers and their branches intersect the sanctuary area. The CWS covers an area of 235.7 sq km (91 sq miles) in the marshlands formed due to the rivers and their branches flowing through the sanctuary. Half of the sanctuary area is covered by backwater of mangrove forest. The sanctuary has a sand pit of 18 km (11.18 miles) length in the back water present in its coverage area. This sanctuary is considered as the largest surviving patch of Mangrove forests in Andhra Pradesh. Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary area covered by deciduous forests and mangroves is a home for different varieties of plants, birds and wild animals. Floristic combination of this sanctuary includes mangrove vegetation comprising thirty five species of plants belonging to twenty four families. Few of the important plant species found in the sanctuary area include Avicennia officinalis, Avicennia marina, Avicennia alba, Excoecaria agallocha, Rhizophora mucronata, Ceriops decandra, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Lumnitzera recemosa, Sonneratia apetala, Rhizophora conjugata, Aegiceras corniculatum, Thespesia populneoides and Hibiscus tiliaceus. Apart from the tree and plant species, some of the shrubs found in the sanctuary include Dalbegia spinosa and Derris trifoliata etc. Herbs like Sesuvium portulacastrum, Suaeda maritima, Suaeda monoica and Salicornia brachiatta were also found in this sanctuary. Grasses found in this sanctuary includes Aeluropus lagopoides, Porteresia coarctate and Myriostachya wightiana etc.      Book Now



Coringa Sanctuary

The village of Adurru, located in the Razole Taluk of the East Godavari District, is famous for centuries old monuments excavated by the Archaeological Survey of India. Remains of viharas, Buddhist stupas and chaityas have been excavated from this site. During the excavation, archaeologists also found ancient artefacts, such as jars, dishes, bowls of kaolin, red pottery and troughs. One of the prime attractions of this village is the Maha Stupa that is 17 ft in diameter. There is a mound in Adurru which is popularly called as the Dubaraju Gud. Adurru (or locally Dubaraju Dibba) is a 2,400-year old Buddhist site located on the western bank of the Vainetaya, a tributary of river Godavari, which is around 9.5 km from the Bay of Bengal in Mamidikuduru mandal of East Godavari district. The site was excavated by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in 1923 and declared as a protected monument in 1955. Among the three most popular Buddhist stupas in the world, the first one was constructed in Adurru, the second in Ranchi and last one in Sarnath. According to historical evidence the ASI found, the foundation stone for Adurru was laid by Sanghamithra, a Buddhist nun and daughter of King Ashoka, en route to Sri Lanka. As this Buddhist centre is home to the remains of stupas, several upa-stupas, chaityas and viharas, this is considered as Mahakshetram by Buddhist monks and followers even today. In 1953, the ASI conducted excavations that brought to light the remains of stupas, chaityas and viharas. The most beautiful and the most famous one is the mahastupa, built like a giant wheel with a platform with a diameter of 17 feet. Located around it are vedika (drum) and ayaka platforms that mark the cardinal directions. In 1955, the ASI declared this a protected monument. The excavations also brought to light artefacts such as jars, troughs, dishes and bowls. On the front side, (on the east) are two upa-stupas with the same wheel-based structure. There are also round and square structures on the west side of the main stupam all systematically connected with each other from all the sides.      Book Now



Adurru

Kakinada Beach is a city as well as a municipal corporation which is located in the state of Andhra Pradesh. It is at a distance of about 465 km east of Hyderabad, the capital city. This city is also the headquarters of the East Godavari district. It is located at a distance of 155 km from Visakhapatnam, 210 km from Vijayawada and about 60 km from Rajahmundry. Besides having a deep sea port, Kakinada Beach is also a center for deep sea exploration and other activities. Kakinada Beach was under the rule of the Nandi Kings, followed by the British. The city developed substantially after the European settlers came into the region. The Dutch were one of the first settlers in the region followed by the British. Several signs of colonial times are seen around the city even today. Kakinada Beach is often referred to as the Fertilizer City because there are numerous fertilizer plants in this place. It is also known as the Pensioner Paradise and Second Madras because the city is very well planned, and at the same time very peaceful. It is now ranked as the fifth largest city in Andhra Pradesh and the fourth largest city in Coastal Andhra because of its dense population. Kakinada Beach has a rich culture which is reflected in the numerous temples, mosques and churches located in and around the city, along with the many festivals celebrated here. Some of the most popular festivals celebrated in this region include Pongal, Ganesh Chaturthi, Ugadi, Dashera, Diwali, Christmas and Ramzan. Some of the major attractions in and around the city include Draksharamam, the Coringa Sanctuary and Adurru. Draksharamam is the place where the Pancharama temple, Draksharama Bheemeshwara Swamy, is situated. It was constructed during the 9th century by the East Chalukyan king. This temple also includes Sri Manikyamba, which is one of the Shakti Peetha. Adurru, which is also known as the Dubaraju Gudi, is situated in Razole taluka, at a distance of 50 km from Rajahmundry. Remains of Buddhist stupas, chaityas and viharas were found by archaeologists while excavating this place. Among all, the Mahastupa is the most popular one, which is in the shape of a huge wheel with a 17 feet diameter and is built on a high platform.      Book Now



Kakinada Beach

Hope Island off the kakinada coast is located in the Bay of Bengal, a short distance - 7 kms out. Hope Island is so named for providing a natural haven to sailors against the forces of wind and tide against the weary traveler. In doing so, it has made Kakinada one of the most affluent natural ports in the region. Visitors to Hope Island will be presented with excellent views of the bay and the opportunity to explore the many protected species of plants and animals which grow and flourish there. Amid the Bay of Bengal, abutting the Kakinada coast, Hope Island is certainly a hope for the coastline. Apart from its rich biodiversity both flora and fauna, the natural breakwater spread over 1,000 hectares formed due to littoral drift has been the saviour of the coast during many cyclones. Time and again, both its inhabitants and environmentalists have voiced concerns over the gradually vanishing tip of the island and fingers have been pointed to the dredging operations being carried out by the Kakinada Seaports Limited that owns the deepwater port. And, the debate over possible threat to the biodiversity and the existence of island by human interference has gained momentum, after the Union Ministry of Tourism has allocated Rs. 14.5 crore for converting the island into a tourist destination. The 100-odd residents of Putrayya Pakalu are seeking the intervention of the East Godavari district administration into the ongoing dredging operations, alleging that that are eating into the land mass of the island. Fishermen from the hamlet submitted a detailed memorandum to the authorities last week. Even before the district officials could react, the Central allocation has triggered an intense debate on turning the island into a tourist hub. Environmentalists have been seeing a perceptible threat to the biodiversity, in allowing permanent construction on the island. Now, they are questioning the rationale behind planning the tourism project here.      Book Now



Hope Island

Draksharamam, is one of the most frequented pilgrim centre of South India. It is one of the Shiva Pancharamas and one of 18 Shakti Peethas. It is famous as both Shiva kshetra and Shakti kshetra. Lord Bheemeswara swamy and Manikyamba are main the deities here. This place is also called as Dakshina Kashi. There is an interesting legend regarding the name of this place and existence of Lord Shiva in this place. During Tarakasura vadha, the Shiva Linga which was in the throat of Tarakasura broke into five pieces and one of the pieces fell here. Thereafter, it came to be known as Draksharamam. After the death of Sati, the 12th part of her body i.e. her left cheek fell here which is now known in the form of Goddess Manikyamba. The temple is a 2 storied complex and looks like a fort. It has 2 Prakarams(paths). The outer Prakaram has 4 entrances in 4 different directions with beautifully carved Gopurams and each of the entrance is known in the form of 4 different forms of Goddesses i.e. Gogulamma, Nookambika, Moodhambike, GhattambikeIn this temple we can see Lord Bheemeswar Swamy, who is the main deity in the form of a tall Shiva Lingam. The Shiva Lingam is nearly 9 ft. A flight of steps leads one to the upper level of the Sanctum where one can see the upper part of Lord Bheemeswar Swamy. The speciality of this Shiva Lingam is that, the early morning tender Sun light falls on the Shiva Lingam. The Shiva linga is of a crystal texture. There are black stripes on the upper part. These are said to be the markings of the tiger skin worn by Lord Shiva when He was in disguise of a Hunter when he fought with Arjuna. Manikyamba Devis shrine is present in backside of the temple at the left corner. Goddess face is looking towards left, signifying her as Vamachara Devatha.Lord Vishnu shrine is present at the entrance of main temple. He is the Kshetrapalaka of Draksharamam. Lord Vishnu is present here along with his consort, Lakshmi Devi. There are other small shrines inside the main temple premises. To name a few, there is the, Praakara Bhairavudu, Viroopa, Natarajeshwar, Vaamana, Visheshwara, Dancing Ganapathi, Dundhi Ganapathi, Goddess Kanakadurga and Goddess Annapurna and Kashi Vishweshwara Swamy temple which faces south is on the right side of Bheemeshwara Swamy temple. For performing puja (Abhisheka), water from Sapta (seven) Godavari Kundam (pond) is used as it is considered sacred. Legend has it that the Saptamaharishis (Seven Sages) to achieve the ends of their penance divided the Akhanda (unbranched) Godavari River into seven different streams. Out of these seven streams, Draksharamam. Bharadhwaja, Viswamitra and Jamadagni streams known as Antarvahinis, were believed to have gone underground. These streams later merged at this pond and was thereafter were called Sapta Godavari Kundam.      Book Now



Bhimeswara Temple

It is colloquially known as Draksharama meaning the Abode of Daksha Prajapathi - the father-in-law of Lord Shiva and the beloved father of Sati, the spiritual spouse of Lord Shiva. The history of the sacred temple is exhaustively dealt in the Skanda Purana of Shri Vyasa. To give a brief narration of the same, the story goes thus. Once Daksha Prajapathi decided to perform a yagna. In pursuance of the same, he had been to Kailash to invite Gods and Goddesses to sanctify his yagna and accept his hospitality. When he had been there, Lord Shiva was in his court immersed in his spiritual splendour. Daksha Prajapathi out of his ego of being the father-in-law of Lord Shiva, mistook the Lords trance as indifference towards him. So, he came back without inviting the Lord and his daughter to his yagna. Sati in her womanish nature requested Shiva to permit her to attend, the yagna at her parental home, even though uninvited and have the pleasure of the performance and the association of her kith and kin. But Shiva explained her the tragic implications that she might have to face at her parental house and let her go at her own wish. But, when she actually stepped into her parental home, none greeted her or even exchanged basic courtesies. Then Sathi felt humiliated amidst her own family and instantly decided to give up her body instead of facing her beloved husband with a fallen face. So, she gave up her body then and there and fell down dead. Shiva having come to know of the tragic end, sent his son Veerabhadra to boot down the ego of Daksha. Shiva in his pangs of separation with Sati came down to her dead body , carried the corpse over his shoulders and danced in Pralaya Thandava. At this juncture, the Lord Vishnu, the protecting force of Universe, sent his Chakra to cut down the body of Sathi and redeem the grief of Lord Shiva. The Chakra came and cut the body of Sati into eighteen pieces, that fell in eighteen parts of this Punyabhoomi of ours and came to be known as Ashta Dasa Peethas and out of these eighteen, Shri Manikyamba of Draksharama is the Twelfth.      Book Now


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