Draksharamam – A Popular Pilgrim Place
Situated on the eastern banks of holy River Godavari in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, Draksharamam is a popular pilgrim place, popularly and commonly referred to by the name Draksharama—which means the abode of Prajapati Daksha, who was the father in law of Lord Shiva and the father of Sati.
The most famous temples in this pilgrim place are the Bhimeswara Swamy temple and the Sri Manikyamba Temple—which happens to be the 12th among the 18 Ashta Dasha Peethas. According to legend, the story goes like this: Long ago, Sati’s father Daksha made his mind to perform a yaga at his place. For the same, he visited Kailash in order to invite all the gods and goddesses. When he reached out for Lord Shiva, his son in law, the latter was busy in his own musings in a state of trance. However, unaware of his trance, Daksha misunderstood it for his indifference. As a result, he left the place and returned home without inviting Lord Shiva or his daughter Sati.
Although feeling insulted, being a rooted woman, Sati thought she should pay her father a visit during the event of the sacrifice. She asked for her husband’s permission for the same, but he told her that she may only face insults after to her parental home and asked her to do what she wished to do. Sati decided to visit her maiden place for the event, and when she did so, she faced a lot of humiliation from everyone present there and her presence was nothing less than completely unacknowledged. Deeply hurt and shattered, she thought it was only better to end her life rather than going back to her husband’s place with such an insulted and crestfallen demeanor.
She sacrificed her body and ended up falling dead, shocking everyone. When Lord Shiva came to know about this tragedy, his hysteria knew no bounds and carrying Sati on his shoulders, he performed his dance of trance—popularly known as the Tandava.
Nobody was able to stop him until Lord Vishnu showed up and in order to put an end to the misery of Lord Shiva on his beloved wife’s death, he sent his chakra forward, that cut Sati’s body into 18 pieces, all of which fell on the holy grounds of earth at different places. These 18 places came to be known as the Ashta Dasha Peethas, becoming the most popular pilgrimage places in the country.
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