Bhadrachalam is a key town of Pilgrimage importance located in the Khammam District of Telangana. The temple town of Bhadrachalam is situated on the banks of Godavari River. It was part of East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh till 1959. The town is synonymous for its famous temple devoted to Lord Rama. Bhadrachalam Revenue division is considered one of the largest revenue divisions in the country, which was transferred to Khammam district of Telangana region for administrative purposes.
According to history, Paleolithic man had roamed the areas, which is called the lower Godavari valley that includes Bhadrachalam and its surroundings. Bhadrachalam town has a clearly documented history of Lord Sri Rama temple, which was constructed in the 17th Century CE. According to Mythology, the present town was once part of the Dandakaranya forest, which Lord Sri Rama, Sita and Lakshmana had visited during their exile also called vanavasam according to local parlance. The jungle which is now in the vicinity of temple was the place for Rama’s retreat and a place called Parnasala which is 32 km away was the location where Rama had built a dwelling for himself and Sita. It was here that Sita was abducted by Lanka ruler, Ravana.
The town shares its historical significance with Ramayana Era. The name Bhadrachalam is derived from the word Bhadragiri (The Mountain Abode of Bhadra, the child of Meru and Menaka). The famous temple at Bhadrachalam is home to the Archa Murthy’s of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana and their idols are believed to be swayambhu i.e. self-manifested ones.
Bhadrachalam division also has several other Hindu temples. Parnasala is believed to be the spot where Rama constructed a hermitage during his exile and spent time with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana. Agastya muni helped Rama select this spot. For the purpose of tourists, there is picturesque display of few scenes from vanavasa at Parnasala. Pilgrims enthrall when they see the footprints of Sita devi, the mosaic of Maarecha who appears in the guise of golden deer and Ravana who appears in the form of Sanyasi for Bhikshatana. One can see Sita Vaagu where Sita had bathed and gathered turmeric and Kunkum from the nearby stones. Yetapaka located 2 km from Bhadrachalam has a history where the bird Jatayuvu, an ardent devotee of Rama tried to obstruct Ravana when he was proceeding on a chariot after kidnapping Sita. A fierce batted ensued and a wing of the bird was believed to have found at Rekkapalli.
Rama is worshipped as Atmarama here at Dummugudem where according to Purana, Rama killed around 14,000 demons belonging to Khara and Dushana. The place is called Dummugudem as it was built on the ashes of these demons. At Gundala, located 5 km away from Bhadrachalam, once can see hot water springs after digging a pit on the riverbank and it is said that the divine trio of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara dipped in the holy water here during winter season. There are other places too like Sree Rama Giri, Venkatreddipeta, Gannavaram etc. The temple town witnesses heavy influx of pilgrims during Sree Rama Kalyanam. Kothagudem, 40 kilometers away is the nearest railway station and regular buses are available from here, Khammam, Hyderabad and Vijayawada.