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Ksheera Ramam Palakollu -Pancharam Kshetra 2


One more view of the Gopuram

Sthala : Palakollu (West Godavari District )

Distance: 25 Kms from the town of Narsapur. Bay of Bengal ocean is about 20 Kms from the temple.

Architecture : Height of the main gopuram of the temple is 125 Ft making it one of the biggest gopurams in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Chalukya Architecture built by the Chalukya kings.

Alternate Names and History : Ksheera Rama puram/Upmanyu Puram/Dugdhoparanapuram/Pala Kolanu

Sthala Puranam : Upamanyu is the sage credited with the original sthapana of the ancient linga here. The Linga here is made of white marble and is one of the largest in the state again having an ellipsoid shape rather than the short stub cylindrical shape. Upamanyu is widely beleived to be one of the principal contributors to shaivism and is a vedic rishi as well. Upamanyu’s name comes up in the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata and Anushasana parva as well . He is mentioned in the Shiva Purana, Linga Purana and Kurma Purana.

He is also credited with the Ardha Nareeswara Satakam.

Upamanyu was born to Rishi Vyaghrapada ( Vyaghra means Tiger and Pada means feet. One literally having tiger’s feet ) .His guru was Ayodhya Dhaumya . The story of  Vyaghrapada will be dealt with when we visit the great temple of Chidambaram . Vyaghrapada’s story intersects with the story of Patanjali the great sage who gave us Yoga. Upamanyu’s guru Ayodhya Dhaumya had three pupils . Aruni , Upamanyu , Veda . All three of them later on went to write monumental works relating to philosophy.

Ksheera Rama Gigantic Gopuram


Upamanyu had a fondness for food and he was often advised by his teacher not to be a glutton for food. The students of the ashram were asked to take turns to take out the cattle for grazing. Upamanyu always seemed to be very active and his guru had his own suspicions about his activeness. Upon questioning Upamanyu confessed that he was helping himself to a portion of the food that was being collected for the ashram by begging in the nearby town. His guru reminded him that the first right to the food was to his friends and fellow students and that he should only eat after they have eaten. Some days passed by and again the Guru noticed that Upamanyu was tending to his duties actively , Upon questioning Upamanyu said he was asking for food twice from the villagers now so that he had sufficient both for the ashram and himself. The guru again gently reminded him that it was not proper to burden the villagers and forbade him from consuming any solid food. The clever Upamanyu now started helping himself to the milk of the cows and upon finding this out …the Guru forbade him explicity from both eating or drinking anything as a penance. Upamanyu was in a fix but silently decided to follow his Guru’s orders. A couple of days passed without Upamanyu eating anything , it was a hot day and Upamanyu was tending to the cattle….he ignored his hunger and carried on with his work. By the end of the day his hunger was unbearable and no longer able to stop his hunger Upamanyu grabbed a few leaves from the nearest bush and ate them..As soon as he started chewing the leaves his head started to spin and he lost vision in both eyes…he had consumed the poisnous leaves of the Arka plant .

Back at the hermitage Dhaumya grew worried because the cattle had returned home without Upamanyu. He was worried for the safety of his student . Three days passed without any trace of Upamanyu…the students of the hermitage also decided to mount a search for Upamanyu . Back in the forest Upamanyu was lying still on the ground …slowly but surely he started realizing the message his Guru was trying to convey to him. The message being that the joy of others is more important than one’s own needs and in the fulfillment of other’s needs lies one’s happiness. He slowly wept tears of repentance and started praying to the physician healer twin gods .Legend says the Ashwini devatas pleased with his devotion appeared before him and offered him a divine cake which would give Upamanyu sight back in his eyes…they ask him to eat the cake to get his sight back. Upamanyu refuses saying his Guru has to give him permission first …The Ashwini devatas tempt him in various ways to test his resolve and Upamanyu flatly refuses all the temptations. Pleased with his devotion they lead the blind Upamanyu to Dhaumya. Dhaumya and the pupils also have not eaten since three days waiting for Upamanyu .Dhaumya’s eyes are filled with tears looking at the devotion of his pupil and he hugs him closely and blesses him with a lot of knowledge. Upamanyu’s eyes are restored and he composes an important hymn on the Ashwvini devatas.

🙂 The estoric meaning of the hymn describes the nature of light and sight .It goes on to talk about the whole of creation being born from three primary colours and other metaphysical phenomena.Later on Upamanyu goes on a penance to please Lord Shiva. Ksheera Rama is the place where he pleased Lord Shiva and this temple was built by the great saint.

Temple Inside


Temple Corridor


May the grace of Lord Shiva shine on all of us.

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