Having missed the festivities of Sri Rama Navami Brahmotsavams in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by the low-profile celebrations in 2022, the temple of Lord Sri Pattabhi Rama Swamy in Valmikipuram town is gearing up for a grand celebration of the festival this year on March 30, followed by Kalyanotsavam, the cynosure of devotees, on March 31.
Unique to Valmikipuram
The annual Brahmotsavams of this 9th-century temple are currently in full swing, with the processions of the deities riding on the ‘vahanas’ (celestial vehicles) on the temple streets. Unlike the other temples where the ‘Kalyanotsavam’ of Lord Rama and Goddess Seetha Devi is celebrated on Sri Rama Navami, at Valmikipuram, it is observed on the next day, in tune with the birth star of Goddess Seetha, “Aslesha Nakshatram”.
One of its kind
Located on the busy Tirupati-Madanapalle highway, the mandal headquarters draws its name from the sage Valmiki. It is the only temple with the idols of Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata, Shatrugna, and Sita Devi consecrated as a cluster in its sanctum sanctorum.
Sri Rama Navami is a household festival here. The locals here insist that the visitors do not leave the town without getting a darshan at the temple.
History of a thousand years
The temple’s recorded history dates back a millennium and was a witness to the royal visits of Chhatrapati Sivaji, Tippu Sultan, Krishna Devaraya, and several Vijayanagara kings. Inscriptions and the temple records also refer to the visits of saint-poet Tallapaka Annamacharya and many British officers. The temple’s glory is also mentioned in one of the sankeerthanas of Annamayya.
The temple was brought under the ambit of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) a few years ago. Immediately after the bifurcation of the united Andhra Pradesh in 2014, the people of Valmikipuram undertook a vibrant campaign to win the ‘State temple’ status for the Pattabhirama Swamy Temple to celebrate Sri Rama Navami on the lines of Bhadrachalam but the Vontimitta temple of Kadapa district was given the honours.
The local elders said that the ensuing three events of Sri Rama Navami, Kalyanotsavam, and Rathothsavam are prominent.