One of the Ashta Dasha Shakti Peethas
Pithapuram may be a little known town in the East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh, but is widely known as a pilgrim centre and a temple of great importance as it has many shrines of important Deities i.e. Sri Puruhootika Devi, Sri Kukkuteshwara Swamy, Sri Dattatreya Swamy, and Pada Gaya.
Pithapuram which was earlier known as Pithikapuram is one of the Ashta Dasha (Eighteen) Shakthi Peethas and it came to be known as such because this was the place where a part of Satidevi’s body i.e. her left hand fell here. She is known here as Puruhootika Devi. Her temple is opposite to Sri Kukkuteshwara Swamy.
Sri Kukkuteshwara Swamy, a form of Lord Shiva, is the presiding Deity who reveals himself in the form of a Linga. This is a Swayambhu Linga (self originating) of white marble and is about two feet in height. The Linga resembles that of a cock. Hence Lord Shiva is called Sri Kukkuteshwara Swamy.
This place is one among the Trigaya Kshetrams and has become famous as Pada Gaya kshetram. It came to be known as Pada Gaya kshetram because of Gaya Asura, a powerful yet pious Demon who laid his body at the behest of Brahma for doing a great yagam for the betterment of people. He was so huge that his head rested in Bihar and his legs reached Pithapuram. The place where his legs rested was a pond whereafter this pond came to be known as Pada Gaya Sarovar (a sacred pond). It is believed that whoever bathes in this sacred pond will be relieved of their sins and that "PINDA PRADANAM" (last rights) of one’s loved ones performed here ensures salvation of their loved ones. The last rights performed here is equal to the rights performed at Kashi which is also called Benaras/Varanasi.
It is also the birth place of Sripada Sri Vallaba who was the first and foremost Avatar (incarnation) of Sri Dattatreya and henceforth became the main Sripada Sri Vallaba Anagha Datta Kshetram.
The entrance of this temple is in the north. As one enters this temple, one can see a huge gopuram which has been beautifully sculpted and which oversees a pond- Pada Gaya Sarovar (a sacred pond). Pilgrims first sprinkle the holy water from this pond as it relieves oneself from all their sins. After entering the temple one can see the big sized Pada Mudrikas(imprints) of Gaya Asura beside the Dhwaja Sthambha. In the north side of the temple, there is a shrine of Sri Chandeeshwara Swamy. In the north-east corner, there is a shrine of Kala Bhairava, who is the Kshetra Palaka (protector). An ancient temple of Lord Subrahmanyam is present in the north-west which relieves pilgrims of their Kuja Dosha. In the south is Sri Siddi Ganapathi temple. In the south-east is the temple of Gaya Pada Vishnu Pada. In the south-west is the temple of Sri Guru Dattatreya. This is the only shrine with the idol of Sri Guru Dattatreya. There ia Audambara Vriksha (Banyan Tree) beside the shrine. It is also said that those who see, touch, do pradakshina or meditate near the Audumbara Vriksha will be the most fortunate of all. The Padukas (foot imprints) which are present beside the shrine is believed to be the real Padukas of Sri Sripada Vallabha Swamy.
The main temple is in the middle of the premises. There is a huge but beautiful idol of Nandi (bull) made from a single stone in front of the temple. The Shiva Linga which is in the form of a cock’s head is known as Sri Kukkuteshwara Swamy. The shrine of Sri Rajarajeswari, consort of Sri Kukkuteshwara Swamy, is present beside the Shiva temple.
There are other shrines of various gods like Sri Rama, Ayyappa, Sri Vishveshwara and Sri Annapurna Devi, Sri Durga Devi. It is beside Sri Durga shrine, is the shrine of Sri Puruhootika Devi.
There is also a temple named Kunthi Madhava temple in the town of Pithapuram. This temple is one of the Pancha (five) Madhava temples which Lord Indra created to get rid of the sin of killing Vriddhasura.
Every day pujas are performed by the priests, which are as:
SRI KUKKUTESWARA SWAMY
|Time||5.30 to 11.00 A.M||12.30 P.M||4.30 P.M||6.00 P.M||7.30 P.M|
|Puja||Abhishekam||Maha Nivedhanam||Darshanam||Dhoopa Seva||Nivedhanam, Neerajanam, Mantra Pushpam, Darbar Seva, Pavalimpu Seva|
SRI RAJARAJESWARI DEVI
|Time||6.00 A.M||12.30 P.M|
|Puja||Sahasra Kumkumarchana||Maha Nivedhanam|
SRI PURUHUTHIKA DEVI
|Time||6.00 A.M||12.30 P.M|
|Puja||Sahasra Kumkumarchana||Maha Nivedhanam|
SRI DATTATREYA SWAMY
|Time||5.30 P.M||12.30 P.M||4.30 to 8.00P.M||6.00 P.M|
SRI GURU MANDIRAM
|Time||6.00 P.M||12.00 P.M||12.30 P.M||6.00 P.M||9.00 P.M|
|Puja||Kakad Harathi||Madhyana Harathi||Maha Nivedhanam||Sandhya Harathi||Shej Harathi|
There is also a provision where devotees can have pujas performed in their names on any gay of their choice once a year.
Apart from these there are also other daily pujas which are:
|16||Shivaratri Pratyeka Darshanam||10.00/-|
|17||Shivaratri Vishishta Darshanam||250.00/-|
Though there are not many options regarding accommodations in Pithapuram, by the Devasthanam rooms which are very limited in number i.e. 1 A/C room and 8 Non A/C rooms, one can either book their hotel rooms in Kakinada, where there are lot of options or book their rooms at Paduka Mandir, a newly constructed two-storied residential complex for the devotees comprising of 16 rooms, 2 big halls was built in the Samsthan premises with all amenities.
For booking of rooms of the Devasthanam, one can contact or callthe Executive Officer:
KUKKUTESWARA SWAMI DEVASTHANAM Pithapuram-533450 East Godavari District Tel: +08869 – 252477 Website: www.kukkuteswaraswamypadagaya.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For booking of rooms at Mahasamsthanam:
Temple Authorities Manager, Sri Pada Vallabha Anaga Datha Kshetram, Pithapuram-533 450 East Godavari District Phone No :08869-250855
The festivals which are celebrated here are:
|Vaisakha suddha panchami||Sankara Jayanthi|
|Vaisakha suddha Ekadasi||Kalyanam of Kasi Visveswara swamy and Annapoorna Devi for 5 days|
|Vaisakha suddha Pournami||Teppotsavam in the evening with crackers and lightening|
|Aashada suddha Ekadasi||Nandhi Utsavam|
|Sravana suddha Pournami||Kumkumarchana|
|Badrapada Suddha Chaturdhi||Sreepada Sree Vallabha jayanthi
Sree Siddhi Vinayaka Navaratri
|Badrapada Bahula Padyami to Badrapada Bahula Amavasya||Mahalaya Sradha Pindapradhana Tarpanakulu|
|Aasveeyuja Suddha Padyami to Saranava ratri Vijaya Dasami||Sri Chakrarchanalu, Maha puja,Anna Samaradhana.
Rajarajeswari mata will be decorated in 9 different avataras on these 9 days.
|Aasweeja Bahula Panchami||Shiva mandala Deeksha to devotees from various places|
|Karteekha Masam||Rudrabhisheekam, Laksha bilvarchana and Rudrayagam will be performed on every Monday.|
|Karteekha Suddha Videya||Datta Maladharana|
|Karteekha Suddha Chavite||Palabhishekam to Subhramanyeswara swamy|
|Karteekha pournami||Jwala Toranam|
|Margasira Suddha Sasthi||Ksheerabhi shekam to Subramanyeswara swamy|
|Margasira Suddha pournami||Sri Dattajayanthi Utsavam for seven days|
|Makara Sankranthi||Pratyeka pujalu, Nagarotsavamulu|
|Magha Masam||Punya Snanalu on Saturdays , Sundays, Ekadasi and Radhasaptami|
|Magha Bahula Ekadasi||Swamyvari kalyana mahotsavam for 6 days|
|Palguna Suddha Padyami||Sri Pushpotsavam|
|Palguna suddha pournami||Vasantotsavam and Swamyvari Kalyanam for 16 days|
HOW TO REACH
Pithapuram is at a distance of 62 kms from Rajahmundry, 12 kms from Samarlakota, and 20 kms from Kakinada.
By bus: There are a number of buses plying from Kakinada, Rajahmundry, Visakhapatnam on a daily basis.
By train: There are a lot of trains from Hyderabad, Rajahmundry, Visakhapatnam railway stations.
By air: There are a few flights from Visakhapatnam, Rajahmundry Airports.