At a distance of 1.5 km from Amaravati Bus Station, Amareswara Temple is a Hindu temple situated on the bank of Krishna River in Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh. Also called as Amaralingeswara Swamy Temple, it is one of the well-known places of pilgrimage in Andhra Pradesh and among the popular places to visit in Amaravati.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Amaralingeswara Temple is regarded as one of the Pancharama Kshetras of Lord Shiva. The other four places are Draksharama, Kumararama at Kotipalli, Bheemarama at Samalkota and Ksheerarama at Palakollu. Legend has it that when Subramanya killed the demon Tarakasura, the Shivalingam in his throat broke and fell in five different spots, which became the Pancharama kshetras. It is believed that the sacred Shivalinga of Amareswara Swamy Temple was installed by Lord Indra himself.
Though the origin of the temple is shrouded in the Puranas, the temple was renovated and expanded by Vasireddy Venkatadri Naidu, who was the zamindar of Chintapalli and Dharanikota in 1796. There are several inscriptions on the temple walls, like those of the Kota chiefs of Amaravati and Sri Krishnadevaraya, the great Vijayanagara emperor. On a pillar in the Mukhamantapa there is an inscription of the wife of Proli Naidu, who was the minister of Kota King Ketaraja.
Amaravati Temple, built on a small hammock, known as Krouncha Shaila, exhibits the Dravidian style of architecture. There are four gopurams encircling the shrine along with a Vimana. The temple enshrines a 15 feet high marble Shiva Lingam with his consort Goddess Bala Chamundika. It is believed that Lord Shiva here is present in the structure of five lingams - Pranaveswara, Agasteswara, Kosaleswara, Someswara and Parthiveswara. The Shiva Lingam here is very tall so that archakas mount a pedestal platform to perform the daily rituals and abhishekam. The top of the Linga has a red stain on it. It is said that the lingam was continuously growing in size and a nail was hammered in at the top to stop its growth. As soon as the nail went in, blood started to ooze out from the Sivalinga it seems. One can see the stain even today.
The sanctum of the temple is surrounded by three concentric circles. The first circle houses the temples of Mahishasura Mardini, Veerabhadraswamy, Omkareswara Swamy, Guru Dattareya, and Agasteswara Swamy, the second circle contains the temples of Vinayaka, Kalabhairava, Anjaneya, Nagendraswamy, Kumaraswamy along with the statue of Lord Krishna under a tree while the third circle is a bit above the second circle and comes with the temples of Kasi Viswanatha, Mallikarjuna, Pushpadanteswara Swamy and Kalahasthiswara.
Maha Shivaratri is the major festival celebrated at Amareswara Temple. The divine aura of the shrine attracts thousands of pilgrims every year during this occasion. Navaratri and the Kalyana Utsavam are the other festivals celebrated here with great devotion here.
Timings: 6 AM - 1 PM & 4 PM - 8 PM