Sri Kurmam Temple (or) Sri Kurmanadha Temple is located at Srikurmam village of Srikakulam district, State of Andhra Pradesh and also dedicated to Lord Sri Kurmanatha (Kurma avatar), the second incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is said that the temple was built and dedicated in the holy name of Yoganandha Narasimha, and the temple of Lord Yoganandha Narasimhan is found in the entrance of Sri Kurmanadha temple. And the improvement works of Sri Kurmanadha Temple is managed by the Simhachalam Devasthanam. The mythology was that during Krita Yuga or Satya Yuga (Era of Truth), all the devas and asuras churned the Kshirasagara, the ocean of milk using serpent Vasuki, and using Mandara parvatha as churning stick to obtain Amrutha (a fluid which makes life immortal). Unfortunately the churning stick fell inside the nectar and got submerged.
The steps taken by devas to obtain nectar was ended up in vain. Then Lord Vishnu took the avatar of Kurma (tortoise) and lifted up the churning stick Mandara parvatha on His back to fulfill the desire of devas. And there are some more stories from epics which depicts the manifestation of Lord Vishnu as Kurma (tortoise). The temple was believed to be renovated and reestablished by Sri Ramanujacharya, a Hindu theologian, philosopher, and scriptural exegete, under the authority of Jagannath temple, Puri. Sri Ramanujacharya is respected by the Vaishnavas as the most important Acharya, the teacher of Vaishnava tradition.
The deity Kurmanatha was worshipped by the Vaishnavas of Madhvacharya Sampradaya, the disciplic succession of gurus starting with Brahma in Hinduism. Sri Kurmam Temple is built in an Orissan temple style of architecture and the temple has some Oriya inscriptions which are believed to be written by Sri Narahari Teertha, the disciplic succession of Madhvacharya Sampradaya. And also the king of Kalinga Province.
The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Kurmanatha, the Kurma avatar of Lord Vishnu. Kurma refers to Tortoise, which is called as Sri Kurmam. The head of the presiding deity is found in the form of Kurma and it is represent by the sacred Vishnu Namam. The bottom or tail part is again represented in the form of Saligrama, which was said to be presented by Adi Sankaracharya, the philosopher and theologian, from India who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta and he established the main current of thoughts in Hinduism. The Moolasthanam (central place) of Sri Kurmam Temple is considered to be the large Saligrama, a fossilized stone used to invoke God, which is used to represent god. The image of Kurma is not a hand worked image instead it is a complete Saligrama image.
The special feature about the temple is that the deity of the temple faces towards west direction. And hence the temple has Dhwajastambams (Flagpole) in both front and back side of the temple. The architectural excellence of the temple convey the skills of the artists who delivered such a magnificent architecture. The temple contains 210 pillar, where each pillars has individual identity. And the temple has a total of 127 inscriptions in four different languages. The main Vimanam (the temple above the sanctum sanctorum) of Sri Kurmam temple is called Padma Vimanam (Gandarava Vimanam) and the region around the temple is called Swethachalam, the white soil mountain region.
The temple remains open from morning 4.30 AM to 11.00 AM and in the evening from 3.00 PM to 7.00 PM. Poojas offered are listed below:-
- Akhanda Deeparadhana
- Nitya Bhogum for Lord (Prasadam)
- Dolotsavam (Holi) – March
- Kalyanotsavam – April/May
- JanmaDinam Jayanthi – May/June
- Mukkoti Ekadasi (Vaikuntha Ekadashi) – December/January
Sri Kurmanadha Swamy Temple is well connected by road to all places in Andhra Pradesh and to other states of India.
The nearest Railway Station is Srikakulam station, which is about 20 km from Sri Kurmanadha Swamy Temple.
The nearest airport is Visakhapatnam Airport, which is about 120 km from Sri Kurmanadha Swamy Temple.
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