Srikakulam

Srikakulam district is one of the important districts of Andhra Pradesh bordering Orissa on one side and Bay of Bengal on other side. Srikakulam is a classical tourist destination having Buddhist locations at Salihundam and Danthapuram, Pilgrim Centers like Srikurmam, Srimukhalingam, Arasavalli, Ravivalasa etc besides beach locations like Barua and Kalingapatnam. Srikakulam is part of Kalinga Dynasty having rich historical background. People from Eastern states of India like Orissa, West Bengal may love to visit these places.

Srikakulam is situated in north of AP. In the olden days some part of this district were ruled by Chedidianasti kings, Satavahana kings and Golkonda novabs. Srikakulam district was formed on August 15th, 1950. Srikakulam is also known to many as Uttarandhra and Kalingandhra. Srikakulam, the northernmost district in the Andhra Pradesh, was a part of Vishakapatnam District till it was bifurcated in 1950. Srikakulam town, the headquarters of the district, is located on the east bank of the River Nagavali. 

The district is long 192kms. This is higher than the other districts. Cold climate also is more when compared to other districts. Summer is from February to June middle. Then southwest monsoon enters and continues till the middle of October. The weather is pleasant from December to February.

This district was ruled by Gangarajas, Gajapathis, Vijayanagara Kings, Nawabs and French People. This place used to be a part of the Kalinga kingdom. Forest area occupies 15.6% of the total district area. Tribal Corporation is making every effort in uplifting the Tribal of this area. Bamboo and quality Timber are the products obtained from these woods.Manganese is surplus in these district and Mica in some parts of the district. Graphite and different Clays are also available. Jute Industry is the biggest industry in the district. Cashew nut tree, Orchids are grown with World Bank Aid. AP's first built hydroelectric Project on the Machkand River is the water source and Power sources to the district.

PLACES OF INTEREST

Arasavalli: Arasavalli temple is the only Sun Temple where the Sun God is worshipped. It is 3.5 Km from Srikakulam.The temple dates back to the 7th century and a Kalinga king is said to have constructed it. The image of worship is a 5 ft tall one of black granite holding lotus buds flnked by Usha and Chhaya. Padmapani is the name of this Sun God - padma stands for wisdom usha and chhaya stand for eternity. People believe that eye and skin diseases are cured through Surya Namaskaras and 42 days worship in the temple. Many people throng to this temple for various Poojas. This temple is known for health and wealth. Situated 2 Kms from Srikakulam, this village is the site of the noted Sri Suryanarayana Swamy Temple dedicated to the Sun God. Constructed by the Ganga Kings around the 7th Century A.D., this remarkable temple is built in such a way that the early morning sun’s rays fall on the feet of the deity twice a year, in February and June, even when the 5 main entrance gates are closed. The idol depicts Lord Surya standing on the chariot holding a lotus in each of the raised hands. The head is crowned by fully spread hood of Adisesha serpent. The other temples in the complex include the Shiva Temple, Vinayaka Swamy Temple, Anjaneya Swamy temple, Kala Bhairava Temple, Subrahmanya Swamy temple and Durga Mahalakshmi temple.



Tekkali: This town is located 50 kms far from Srikakulam towards North direction. This is central point to reach Ravivalasa and Telinilapuram. Late Dr. N.T.Rama Rao, The Great Actor and Ex-Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh got elected from Tekkali Legislative constituency once.

Srikakulam: Srikurmam is the only temple in the country where Lord Vishnu is in the form of Tortoise. This magnificent temple of Lord Vishnu is situated at Srikurmam which lies 15 Kms from Srikakulam. It is famed for architectural beauty and the peace of mind it provides. It contains over 200 pillars and many inscriptions in Devenagri script dating from the 11th to the 19th century A.D. It has a huge five storied Gopuram built in typical South Indian style of architecture. The wall paintings resemble those at the Ajantha Caves. Interestingly inside the complex is a small temple wherein the foot prints of Chaitaina of Bengal are worshipped.

Salihundam: This village shot into prominence because excavations revealed the existence of an ancient Buddhist settlement. Situated 18 Kms from Srikakulam on the banks of the river Vamsadhara, a maha stupa, votive stupas, chaityas, platforms and viharas have been unearthed here with inscriptions dating back to the 2nd century A.D. The main stupa on a hilltop measures 46 feet in diameter while the maha vihara salipethaka has an entrance in the shape of Swastika. Significantly, this was the place from where the message of Buddhism spread to Sumatra and other Eastern countries.

Kalingapatnam Beach: Kalingapatnam Beach is situated 30 Kms from Srikakulam. This scenic spot was an ancient seaport and European merchants resided here during the regime of the East India Company. Places of interest include a light house and a Buddhist Stupa.

Srimukhalingam: Sitting on the banks of the river Vamsadhara, 48 Kms from Srikakulam, this is the site of the ornate Lord Srimukhalingeswara (Shiva) temple. Built in the 9th century by the Eastern Ganga Kings, it boasts of supremely elegant and precise sculptures along with the remarkable symmetry in the ground plan as well as the elevation. It is considered to be amongst the finest examples of Kalinga style of architecture. Legend has it that a dip in the river and a visit to the shrine relieves one from the cycle of rebirth.

Telineelapuram: Telineelapuram and Telukunchi are well known bird sanctuaries. Telineelapuram is located 65 Kms from Srikakulam and 7 Kms from Tekkali while Telukunchi is at a distance of 115 Kms from Srikakulam in Ichchapuram mandal. Painted storks and pelicans from Siberia migrate to these sanctuaries every year to nest and breed. Naturally, the place is a favorite of avid bird watchers.

Srikurmam: It is 15kms from Srikakulam. It is in the Gara mandalam on northeast. The only one temple of Srikurmanatha temple in the country is here. The sculpture of the temple is wonderful. The Vishnu temple here is architecturally unique. Here the rock edicts of 11A.D. are available. Sri Simhachala Devastanam adopted this temple for improvement.

Ravi Valasa: It is about 5kms from Tekkali. Sri Endala Mallikarjuna Swamy is the deity. On Maha Sivaratri and Kartika Mondays large gathering devotees worship this deity.

Sangam: It is 56kms from Srikakulam. Nagavali, Swarnam Mukhi and Vegavati confluence takes place here. So it is called Sangam. One of the five lingas Sangameswara is here. On Maha Sivaratri thousands of devotees through here.

Mandasa:

It is 26kms from Sompet and at foot points of Mahendragiri. Mahendra giri is the highest mountain range in South India. Mahasivaratri is celebrated with fanfare here. Here is the temple of Varaha Swamy.

Pondur: It is 21kms from Srikakulam. It is famous for fine Khadi. With eye extracting designs they are women on hand spun spindles.

Rajam: It is 40kms away from Srikakulam. The king of Bobbili Tandrapapa Rayudu at one time stage here. This place is linked with name of the valiant.

Palasa: Located towards the north of the district - close to Orissa. In the entire sub-continent, Palasa is famous for Cashew Nuts.

Baruva: It is 109Km from Srikakulam. Baruva, a fishing and coastal port, is set amidst lush coconut groves and paddy fields. The famous temples are of Sri Kotilingeswara Swamy and Janardanaswamy.

Kaviti: It is 13kms from Ichapuram and Sompet. The coastal belt around Kaviti has extensive plantations of coconut, cashew and jack. The area is delightfully scenic. Here are the deities of Chintamani Ammavaru and Sri Sita Rama Swamy.

This district area is about 5837 km and having population 23,21,000. There is ONE Parliament Constituency and 12 assembly constituencies namely, Palakonda, Vunukuru, Patapatnam, Etcherla, Kothuru ,Ichapuram, Sompeta, Tekkali, Harischandrapuram, Narasannapeta, Amudalavalasa, Srikakulam. There are three revenue divisions in Srikakualm, namely Srikakulam, Tekkali and Palakonda