|Sri Pydithalli Ammavaru Temple|
The famous temple of Sri Pydithalli Ammavaru (also known as Pydimamba) is located in the heart of Vizianagaram city in the Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh. The goddess here is considered to be the "Grama Devata" (deity who protects the city). This ancient temple is located close to the railway station and the temple is one of the major and prestigious religious attractions in the district.
Sri Pydithalli Ammavaru Temple History
The history of the temple dates back to 18th century. Legends say that the goddess Pydimamba belonged to the Gajapati Dynasty and that she was the sister of king Vijaya Rama Raju. During 1756 the king of Vizianagaram had a constant rivalry with the king of Bobbili. Taking the help of French army, led by General De Bussy, Vijaya Rama Raju set out an invasion on Bobbili which led to the "Bobbili Battle" on 23rd January 1757. Many Bobbili soldiers were killed and the Bobbili fort was almost destroyed. During that battle the wife of king Vijaya Rama Raju and his sister, who was suffering from Masuchi (a disease), tried to convince him to avoid war. His sister, Pydimamba, was performing a pooja while she came to know that his brother was in trouble.
So, she wanted to enquire about his whereabouts and tried to convey a message to him through a soldier named Patiwada Appala Naidu. On Vijaya Dasami (a famous Hindu festival), she got the news that Vijaya Rama Raju was killed by Tandra Papa Rayudu. Listening to that she was fainted and fell ill. She told that she could not live anymore and her soul would join goddess Durga. Soon after, she passed away and the next Tuesday villagers found an idol of her at the western part of Pedda Cheruvu (lake), where the temple is constructed. Also, her statue is erected near the lake.
|Sri Pydithalli Ammavaru Temple|
Local info of Sri Pydithalli Ammavaru Temple
There are few festivals- Sirimanu Utsavam, etc celebrated in this temple by the local denizens.
Sirimanu Utsavam: This Utsavam (festival) is grandly celebrated every year on the first Tuesday after Vijaya Dasami (prominent festival of Goddess Durga). People say that goddess Pydimamba comes into the dream of the priest of the temple, before 15 days of the Utsavam, and tells him the place where the Utsavam is to be conducted. "Sirimanu" means a big tree, for which the priest finds a big tree that suits the purpose. The owner must agree to cut and give it to the Utsavam. Later, the cut tree is carved carefully and decorated to make it as a Sirimanu. Then some poojas and rituals are performed and Sirimanu is taken over the streets of the city as a procession. People gather in large numbers to watch this spectacle and the descendants of Vizianagaram Rajahs watch it from the top of the fort. Sirimanu is placed in front of a chariot in the shape of a White elephant.
White Elephant Chariot: In the earlier days, the Maharajahs used to sit on white elephants to watch the Sirimanu Utsavam. Gradually, it has become a tradition to include the white elephant (chariot) in the Sirimanu Utsavam.
Anjali Chariot: Apart from the white elephant, there is another chariot, included in the Sirimanu Utsavam, called Anjali chariot. Pydimamba died before getting married, so five married women are seated on the chariot as a part of tradition. Hence, it is known as Anjali chariot.
Sirimanu Phaladhara: Phaladhara is an umbrella used in the Sirimanu Utsavam which is made of fishing nets and decorated with flowers and fruits. A legend says that the idol of the goddess was brought out from Pedda Cheruvu (lake) by the local fishermen who appealed that they would be given a chance to participate in the Sirimanu Utsavam with an umbrella made of fishing nets. Hence, it became a tradition over time. Thousands of people from different parts of the country come to watch this spectacular festival.
How to reach Sri Pydithalli Ammavaru Temple
The temple is located in the heart of the Vizianagaram city near the Pedda Cheruvu (lake). Vizianagaram city can be reached very easily as it is located across the NH43 (National Highway road). The city has a railway junction which is on the Chennai - Howrah line and numerous trains like Visakha Express, Konark Express, Howrah Express, East Coast Express, Hirakhand Express and Dhanbad Express halt here. The nearest domestic airport is at Visakhapatnam at a distance of 40 km and the nearest international airport is at Shamshabad, Hyderabad at a distance of nearly 640 km.