The Sri Chalukya Kumararama Sri Bhimeswaraswamy vari temple is a temple in Samalkota. The presiding deity at this temple is Lord Shiva, known as Kumara Bhimeswara. The most important festival that is celebrated in this temple is Maha Sivarathri.
The temple is historically prominent, as it was built by Chalukyas who reigned over this location. Construction of the temple started in 892 and completed around 922. It is similar to the temple in Draksharamam, but is also unique, such as the linga being white. The temple still stands strong, and it was made a National Heritage Site. It resembles a twin of Draksharam, with two staired Mandapa, and notable that it is in excellent condition, without any cracks. Though the temple is not in a populated place, people do visit there.
The linga is a limestone, 14 feet (4.3 m) high. The temple was built in Dravidian style, by the King Chalukya Bhima. Hence, the god name is Bhimeswara (between 892-922CE). The Kakatiya rulers (in the period 1340-1466CE) have added and renovated the temple pillars with very fine sharp finishes. The work of Chalukyas and Kakatiya’s is very easily distinguished, by the well-decorated and polished pillars in the temple to the rest of the temple, both new and old. The construction of this temple is so solid that it has not changed much through all the years, when compared to the Draksharaam temple. Kala Bhairava is also of importance, and Balatripura sundari is the Goddess. Shaasanas between 1147-1494 were scripted into pillars of the temple, which also have lists of gifts given, through the ages, for the temple. Recent excavations in the compound of the temple has yielded many figures dated back 1000 years are now present inside the temple. In Puranas it has been written that it is a Yogakshetram, which means, the person who has the “yogam” (“fated to have” or “opportunity given by god” or “boon”) to visit, will visit the temple.
The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC), Kakinada Depot runs circular tours covering all the 5 pancharamas (Amaravathi, Bhimavaram, Palakollu, Draksharama, and Samalkota) in a span of 24 hours. The journey starts at 8:00 pm every Sunday and ends at 8:00 pm next day covering 700 km (430 mi) approximately. Currently charges are Rs.350/- and are inclusive of darshan charges at the respective places.
Nearby this temple, there is one more temple, “Mandavya narayana swamy temple”. This temple is situated on one bank of the canal. Once upon a time, a great saint named Madavya did tapas for Narayanaswamy at this place, and he got the dharshan of Lord Narayana swamy at this place. So this temple is named as Mandavya Narayana Swamy temple. It is said that Indra came to this place to have the saint Mandavya dharshan, with his Pushpaka Vimanam. This temple was built with very good architecture. In Samalkot, there is one more old temple which has more age than above-mentioned temples, i.e. “Trimukha lingam temple”. As the lingam has three faces, this temple is named like that, and the three faces are believed as the Trimurtulu (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva). This temple was totally buried, and only the upper portion is visible, of the lingam, which is of 14 ft (4.3 m) long.
Sri Ganapathi Sri Lakshmidevi Sri Veeravenkatasatyanarayana Swamy Temple at Ganapathinagaram, Peddapuram Road was originally built by Manyam Venkatapathi over 150 years ago and was renovated in March 2006 by The Manyam Family. The deities of all the Shaktipeethams and Jyothirlinghams are displayed in Prakaram.
Manikyamba devi is the wife of Lord Bhimeswara swamy. Lord Bhimeswara swamy temple is one of the Pancharama kshetras and is considered as one of the Trilinga kshteras. Here there is a big temple of Lord Bhimeswara swamy in many Prakaras. Manikyamaba devi temple present in inner circle (prakara) of Lord Bhimeswara swamy temple. It is present in North East Corner of the campus. There is a Srichakra below Manikyamaba mata idol. Manikyamaba devi will see left side, suggesting us she was worshiped previously in Vama marga (Left route). Sun god and Saptarshis worshiped Lord Bhimeswara swamy and Manikyamba devi here.
A Brahmin widow made a golden idol to remember her ďied daughter. But after some time, the idol got talking power. This idol was decorated with Manikyas(gems), hence the name Manikyamba or Manikyeswari. Bhimadeva, a new king came to this area taken that idol and worshiped her as his Kula devata. Some stories also tells us that Manikyamba name comes from a word Mainakamba, That means she was the daughter of Menaka devi, wife of Himavanta. Gradually the word Manikamba turned as Manikyamba in time period.
There is another important story regarding Manikyamaba devi. Manikyamba devi is a daughter of a prostitute. One day she saw Lord Bhimeswara in her dream, and decided that she will marry Lord Bhimeswara only. She showed great devotion towards Lord Shiva, and finally got Lord Bhimeswara swamy as her husband. A great Poet Srinatha, belonging to 14th century also mentioned this story in his great work, Bhimakhanadam. From there onwards Manikyamba devi was worshiped as Mother goddess. Manikyamba devi also considered as Kula devata of vesyas.