Visual Evidence of an Episode in Great Epic – Mahabharata
Ask any kid about Mahabharata, the greatest epic ever written, he will tell you right away. Hmmnn... It’s true!! The story of the Mahabharata is not new to us. We all know about it, we have heard about it as it has been passed on to us since generations. But the question is how much do we really know about it? I guess not much. Right!!?? The various tales that took place in between till the battle, the nitty gritties one missed out on while watching it on the television, for e.g. the places they toured during their exile, the stories that your grandmother forgot to mention and many such stories. Tsk Tsk!!! Need we say more?
Not much known to people is, Pandavula Metta, a hillock nearer to Peddapuram, a small town in East Godavari District. Situated close to ADB Road, this hillock tells us about one such episode of the exile period of Pandavas. Legend has it that during one of their exile period of 13 years, the Pandavas had stayed here. The traces of which can still be seen here, in the ruins. It is said that on their way to Rameswaram, they stayed some years in Peddapuram on a hill. This hill was in midst of a Jungle. And back in the days of yore, Koya people (tribals) lived here as the places like Addateegala, Rajavommangi and Peddapuram were where they used to live. Legend also has it that the Pandavas also built a tunnel through which they used to travel to Rajahmundry to have a bath in the River Godavari. "Metta" in Telugu means hillock. That’s the reason this hill was named after their name. If one visits
this hillock, one can find two natural caves on the hill facing the East. It is widely believed that the Pandavas had lived here for some time during their exile. One can also see "Bheemunipadalu' (prints of Bheema's feet, who was the second of the Pandavas). Even today, the Koya people (tribals) name their children after the Pandavas and Draupadi, who was their wife. As a mark of respect people constructed a temple on the hill and arranged steps to access the hill. To access the temple one has to climb 108 steps. Recently, a very good motorable road has been laid by the Government to reach the temple. The height of Pandavula Metta is about 200 Feet. Hence, one can experience the excellent sea breeze in all seasons as the Bay of Bengal is just 22 Km away. The area around the temple is surrounded by mango, palm, Tapioca plantation and other trees giving an impression of a well laid green carpet besides the serene beauty and sanctity of the deity.
Besides this, Peddapuram, in the days of yore was also known for its faith in Hindu religion and valiance of its royals which still echo in this small town.
The days of yore were the days when people were ever humble towards traditions. To keep up the traditions, Sri Saluri Venkata Subba Rao, a pious and a humble man constructed a temple of Sri Suryanarayana Swamy temple. As it was very isolated surrounded by palm trees and thorny bushes during those days, Sri Salluri Subba Rao, who was hailed as a Raja Yogi and a Pancha Pranavananda in the year 1952 had carried the work of constructing a temple single handedly and cleared the area for construction of the temple and planted a number of tree plants. This temple was also built with the shrines of Sri Chaya, Padmini, Prabha, Prajna Devi. The temple also became a Panchayatana, a system of worship in the Smarta Sampradaya (tradition) of Hinduism, wherein the deities of Lord Ganesha, Lord Sri Krishna, Lord Siva, Lord Sri Venkateswara, Sri Gayatri Matha and Hill
Goddess along with the Navagrahas (nine planets) are worshipped. The temple and Sanctum sanctorum is on the hill top, popularly known as Pandavula Metta. Sri Suryanarayana Swamy, which is the main deity of the temple, faces the East and Lord Sri Valli sametha Sri Subramanyeswara Swamy temple is in the North-West side of the temple.
Not be left behind are its heroic tales. A man named, Peddapatrudu had occupied and ruled the place and thereafter constructed a fort. Since then, it has been named as "PEDDAPURAM". The fort was constructed on a land of 38 Acres. Later the Vatsavaya Kings occupied it and started their rule. This was ruled by Sri Raja Vatsavaya Kala Thimma Jagapathi Bahadhur from 1714 BC to 1694 BC. As it was the rule of the Mughal Empire in the country, the representative of the Mughal Empire, one Mr. Rusthum Khan, came here to collect the revenues. He was invited by the Vatsavaya King to stay on the Pandavula Metta, who in turn asked for the King for a talk. Agreeing to this, the Queen Ragavamma sent her three sons with their escorts to meet Mr. Khan. He welcomed them to his room and killed the three brothers with his sword. The news of which, spread to the Queen Ragavamma. Fearing for her grandson’s life she sent him to Vijayanagaram and closed the fort gates. Thereafter, she asked the women of the fort including her faithful servant Challa Pedda to come to the gun powder room, closed the doors and set it on fire.
Apart from these, one can also visit: Sri Maridamma temple, Sri Sivalayam / Sri Venkateswara Temple which is just 1Km away from Peddapuram; Sri Nokalamma Temple, Kandrakota village, Peddapuram Mandal, at a distance of 8 Kms from Peddapuram; Sri Sringara Vallabha Swami Temple, Tirupathi village, Peddapuram Mandal which is 11 Kms away from Peddapuram, and 3 Kms from Kandrakota; Sri Anjaneya Swamy Temple (hailed as the Asia's highest Anjaneya Swamy Statue (52 ft.), run by Kanchi Sringeri Peetham) situated between Samlakot and Peddapuram at a distance of 4 Kms.
Although Peddapuram doesn’t offer any staying options, one can avail a lot of options of stays in Kakinada.
HOW TO REACH
Peddapuram is approx. 20 kms away Kakinada (via Samalakota- Tirupathi- Kandrakota) and approx. 42 kms away from Rajahmundry (on NH-5 via Rajanagaram-Ramesampeta).
Person In-Charge Sri Suryanarayana Swami temple, Pandavula Metta Peddapuram Peddapuram Mandal East Godavari District PIN-533 437