Temples in Pithapuram | Road map from Kakinada to Pithapuram
Pithapuram is one of the famous historical pilgrim and devotional place. There is a historical story behind the name of that place where, the death of Dakshayanai under the Peetha Bhagam due to the non bearance of the insult from the paternal family, the place got the name Pithapuram. The name of the goddess in this place is Goddess Puruhuthika Devi who is getting the prayers in the form of Humkarini from the devotees.
In order to know the background of the place, there is a story which is the base and it is about the ardent devotee Gaya Sura. Gayasura is a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. He worshiped Vishnu for a long time. Lord Vishnu appeared before him and asked to take the required boon. Gayasura asked to make his body so pious than the entire sacred temple on this earth so that everyone who sees him will attain salvation immediately. Vishnu accepted it and disappeared. Later on Gayasura used to perform many good deeds and secured the Indra position. In return to that the throne seeker, Mahendra used to visit the earth and prayed Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara for nearly ten thousand years for the securing of the throne for him. As soon as the lords appeared before Indra, he prayed them to control the bad and irrecoverable deeds of Gayasura where the yagnas are been disturbed and canceled and the goddess becoming weak in their powers, lack of rainfall, no growth in the crop and the human beings are facing a number of problems and the fertile land is becoming barren. So immediately the Gayasura is to be killed and save the world from all the distractions.
In order to fulfill the wish if Lord Indra, the trimurtis changed their appearance in the form of Brahmins and reached Gayasura and they said that they are planning to perform Yagna for the purpose of peace on the earth and for that the body of Gayasura best suits to perform the action. On hearing that news, Gayasura without any fear accepted their wish but the trimurtis had put a condition to Gayasura. The condition is if Gayasura had left the place where the yagna is been conducted for seven days in between the yagna is performed, he will be killed in the spot. Gayasura even accepted even for that condition. The yagna has been started and as the Gayasura is not at all responding for the actions the goddesses became worried and visited Lord Shiva and urged before him. Then, Lord Shiva on the seventh day came in the form of a cock and cried so that Gayasura thought that it has become morning and so he wake up. As soon as Gayasura wake up according to the condition, the trimurtis had assassinated him. According to the wish of Lord Vishnu, his parts of the body like head is in Bihar in the form of Sirogaya, Boddu part in Jazpur district of Orissa in the form of Madhya Gaya and the foot part in Pithapuram in the for m of Pada Gaya and have become the famous sacred places for the devotees. There is a historical belief that the Lord Shiva who came in the form of a cock to wake up Gayasura had become Lord Kukkuteswara Swami in Pithapuram.
If seen historically, many kings used to make Pithapuram as a capital for many places and ruled them. Based on that, it is known that the Pithapuram is called as Pishta puram, Sreepitham, Puruhutikapuram and peethikapuram. Sreenadha Kavi Sarvabhouma had described about this temple in Bheemakhandam. The goddess in this temple is Raja Rajeswari Devi. There appears a Tatakam in front of the main temple and it is called as Padagaya. The people used to believe that by taking bath in that Padagaya is equal to taking bath in the sacred river Ganga.
According to Hindu mythology, Lord Indra in order to get away from the sin that he has committed by killing Vruttasura, he constructed Vaishnava temples in five places. They are called as Pancha Madhava Kshetralu. Among them, the first one is the Bindhu Madhava Swami temple in Kasi. The second is the Venu Madhava Swami temple in Prayaga, the third is the Kunti Madhava temple in Pithapuram, the fourth is Sethu Madhava temple in Rameswaram and the last one is the Sundara Madhava temple in Ananta Padma Nabham. The Kunti Madhava Swami is been treated as the kshetrapalakudu. The priests say that, as the trip of Kasi is incomplete without the darshan of Bindhu Madhava Swami, in the same way the trip of Pithapuram is incomplete without the darshan of Kunti Madhava Swami. There is another version and belief that this lord has been worshipped like that of the Kunti Devi.
The Datta Devotees used to say that among all the sacred places the Sri Padavalla Temple is famous. The people used to believe that Lord Dattatreya had born in the form of Trimurti Swarupa in the Kali yugam. Devotees from many places like Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Gujarat come to visit this temple. Besides this temple the places like Sree Pada Sree Vallabha Maha Samsthanam and Anagha Datta Peethas are also been visited by the devotees. The people used to believe that the Lord Sree Pada Vallabha Swami come to the devotees in any form and accept the offerings from the devotees.
Road map from Kakinada to Pithapuram: