Vijayawada Kanaka Durga, Panaa Nrisimha, Kuchipudi, Movva, Keera Pandaripura

Sage Indrakila was stated to have perfomed severe Tapasya to Devi Durga to ward off the obstacles for his regular penances by demons and she responded positively by dwelling at the hill top as ‘swayambhu’ and eventually killed even Mahishasura and followers. Subsequently Arjuna of Pandavas did tapasya on Indrakiladri to Maha Deva for accomplishing Pashpatastra which he succeeded.In response to the locals of the typically rocky surroundings, Maha Deva directed the hills to move over somewhat and the river Krishna likewise and as a result the entire region has become a land of fertility and greenery.To day, Kanaka Durga as an eight-armed Goddess of prowess and victory carrying weapons of defence with pleasant and cool face assuring protection and security as a four feet high Idol, bedecked with glittering  jewellery of Kanaka or gold stands atop the Indrakiladri, ready to fulfill the desires of thousands of devotees every day, especially during Nava Ratri and other festival days.During different days, she is portrayed in differe nt manifestations as Swarna Kavacha Durga, Bala Tripura Sundari, Annapurna, Lalitha Tripura Sundari, Saraswati, Maha Lakshmi, Kanka Durga, Mahishasura Mardini, and Raja Rajeswari- all to bestow auspiciousness and fulfillment. Panakaala Nrisimha: Some 8 km from Guntur on a hill top connected by 450 steps lead to Rama Kshetra, popularly known as Panaka Nrisimha worshipped by coconut breaking, fruits, flowers and Tulasi leaves or garlands but what is special is to offer Tirtha of jaggery mixed sugarcane juice to drink, as half of the quantity offered as Naivedya is poured into his throat which is a Sacred Salagram. The pujari administers the offering into the salagram and half of whatever quaitity of the Tirtha is poured in half of the quantity is returned as ‘Prashad’. Most intriguingly, there is not even a sign of an ant or fly anywhere around in remote corners of the Temple! Kuchipudi: The small township of Kuchipudi some 35km from Vijayawada is the mother of one of the world renowned classical dance forms popularised by Kuchipudi Classical Dance Academy; just as Bharatanatyam is famed from Tamilnadu, Odissi in Odisha, and Kathak from Varanasi, Kathakali in Kerala, Mohini Attam in deep South,  the classical dance form specialising in Andhra has the stamp of world wide renown. Movva: In the Divi Taluk of Krishna Dt. Movva is not only the birth place of the  immortal Lyricist named Kshertrayya specialsing on Lord Krishna’s romance with Devi Radha and on the subject of Krishna Rasa Leelas, but is more importantly the popular Movva Gopala Temple where devotees throng during Vasanta Nava Rarthas and during Krishna Janmashtami Celebrations.Keera Pandari pura: Right on the shores of Bay of Bengal at Machilipatnam is the Temple of Keera Pandari Pandu Vithala. An intensely devoted Pandaripura Bhakta of Pandaripura in Maha Rashtra named Narasimha Daasa who was a native of the town got the inspiration of building a sprawling Temple on the then marshy shore of the Sea which has since emerged as a Pandari Kshetra with the assistance of like minded devotees by raising door-to-door individual donations and of large contributions from educational and industrial all over Bharat especially of the then combined Madras and Bombay.The Sanctum is a fantastic and life-like prototype figure of Pandaripura. In the huge Hall extending some hundred metres plus at the very end as a Lord Anjaneya Temple and around the built up expanse are 108 Shrines of Deva-Devis in two corridors; an independent Mandir of Sahasra Shiva Lingas installed was added subsequently. Bi-annual Utsavas at the Complex attract lakhs of visitors from nearby villages and town -ships in the massive surroundings of the beach area with tented accommodation and free dining facilities with day-night congregations of bhajans and spiritual entertainment of dramas, Hari Kathas, Musical and dance concerts and Pravachanas, enlivening the township with shops and shows. Not far from the Keera Pandari pura in the large Township which is also the Krishna district Hqs of the harbour town- some 60 km from Vijayawada- has a Temple named Nageswara Swamy with a large Nageshwara Linga stated as a Swayambhu and this township happens to be the native of this Script writer.

Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager, India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India The author can be contacted at