Srikurmam Temple @ Srikakulam
History Of Srikurmam Temple:
Lord Vishnu, one among the divine trinity worshipped by Hindus is known to have undergone 10 incarnations in different periods to accomplish certain significant tasks, slaying the devil rampaging the earth and establishing peace and harmony. The incarnations or avataras have metamorphosed from complete animals to half human-half animals to complete humans.
The chronology of the incarnation is a wonderful metaphor of the ideal and expected procedure of shedding anger and ego to gain composure and civility. The 2nd incarnation of Lord Vishnu was Kurma avatara(tortoise incarnation) after matsya(fish) incarnation. The Kumaranathaswamy Temple, situated in the Gara Mandal of Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh is the only temple in the world that worships Lord Vishnu in the Kurma Avatara.
This temple which is also regarded as Srikurmam temple is known to have an interesting history. It is believed that initially it was a Shaivite temple , that is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and was christened as Kurmeswara temple.
Later, in the 11th Century AD, Ramanuja converted the temple into a vaishnavite temple and named it as Kurmanathaswamy Temple. Even today, both Vaishnavite and Shaivite traditions co-exist inside the temple premises and this makes it stand out.
Glory Of Srikurmam Temple:
The Srikurmam temple is believed to have been established by the king Sweta Chakravarti. The legend goes as, once Shweta Chakravarti approached his wife Vishnu Priya, a devotee of Lord Visnu with the intention of making love. But his wife denied since it was Ekadashi and she was observing a fast. On being turned down he became furious and compelled his wife. Vishnu Priya worshipped Lord Vishnu to save her. Lord Visnu in response created a stream that severed the couple and resulted in flood.
The sage Narada advised the king to pray to Lord Vishnu but by the time he arrived, the health of the king had deteriorated. Lord Vishnu, using his Sudarshan Chakra, dug a lake and a plunge into it helped the king restore his health. The lake today is known as Shweta Pushkarini. On the request of the King, the Lord manifested in the tortoise. Brahma completed the rituals with Gopala Yantra , rendering the idol worthy to be worshipped. Inside the temple, Lakshmi, the consort of the Lord is also worshipped as Kurmanayaki.
Interesting Facts About Srikurmam Temple:
The Kurmanathaswamy temple has a number of interesting features. It hosts two Dhvajasthambas whis is quite rare for any Vaishnavite temple. Besides, there are 108 ekasila (single stones) which are unique and do not resemble each other at all. They bear inscriptions related to the ancient rulers of the region. People often visit the temple for ancestor worship since they believe that if offered prayer in that temple, their ancestors’ souls will gain salvation.
A park has been built around the temple to preserve the tortoise. It is a good recreation area with a noble purpose for ecological benefit. Do not miss a visit to the Srikurmam temple . The gorgeous architecture, glorious stories of the past and the tranquil surrounding will not disappoint you at all.
Srikurmam Temple Timings:
Monday 6:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Tuesday 6:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Wednesday 6:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Thursday 6:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Friday 6:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Saturday 6:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday 6:00 AM – 8:00 PM
How To Reach Srikurmam Temple:
Sri Kurmam Temple is easily accessible by all three major modes of transport, roadways, railways, and airways. Which will come as a source of relief to the many travel enthusiasts ready to visit Sri Kurmam Temple in Srikakulam!
Srikakulam APSRTC bus station and Gara APSRTC bus station are the nearby bus stations to Sri Kurmam Temple. APSRTC runs a number of busses from major cities to Sri Kurmam Temple.
Rails in India are the most affordable and most preferred modes of transportation. Srikakulam Road railway station, Tilaru railway station are the very nearby railway stations to Sri Kurmam Temple.
The place does not have its own airport. The two nearest airports to this town are Biju Patnaik Airport in Bhubaneswar and Visakhapatnam Airport at a distance of 330 kms and 120 kms from the temple, respectively.