SRI UMAKOPPESWARA SWAMY TEMPLE, PALIVELA
The temple is located at a distance of 90 km from Kaninada, 50 Km from Rajahmundry and 25 Km from Amalapuram. In the past this pilgrim center became famous as one among the pilgrim centres of Bhima Mandalam. This pilgrim center is at present in the village called Palivela in the Kothapeta Mandal of East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh. The idol installation of the Lord was done by Maharshi Agastya. The Lord here is being called Sri Uma Koppulingeswara Swamy. This pilgrim center is in the route between Rajahmundry and Amalapuram near kothapeta.
Kalyana Mahotsavam of the Lord on Mahasivarathri
The kalyana Mahotsavam of the Lord Sri Uma Koppeswara Swamy takes place on the day of Mahasivarathri (Maga Bahula Ekadasi Day) every year in kalyana mandapam which was renovated by “Raja Raja Narendra” in 11th century. People from far and wide come to see the Kalyanotsavam, Radhotsavam (Chariot Festival) takes place on the day of Mahasivarathri. There used to be 7 Mantapams in the premises of the temple. One can see (1) Somavari Mantapam (2)Mangalavara Matapam (3) Vuyyala Mantapam (4) Nityastana Mantapam and (5) Chiluku Dwadasi Mandapam even to-day. Other Mantapams are in ruin.
The Original name of the village was palvalapuram. The rivulet kowntheyi (kowsiki) started at Surya Kundamu near Gowthami. The Lord is called Mandeswara there. The temple of Lord Sri Koppu Lingeswara is also situated on the bank of Kowsiki. The first name of the lord was Agasteswara. Later he was called as Koppulingesara. The rivers around the village Palivela disappeared in course of time. They are (1) Kowsiki on the East (2) Chandrabhanga on the West (3) Mandavu on the North (4) Kowntheyi and (5) Palvala on the South. The river Palvalamlu is flowing underground unseen. So, the village is called Palvalapuram.
History of the Lord of the Temple
In the past when Maharshi Agastya was performing Tapas on the bank of the river Kowsiki near Palvalapuram, the Kalyana Mahotsavam of Parvathi & Parameswara was taking place for the good of the world. Agastya wanted to witness the kalyana Mahotsavam. Before performing Daksha Yagna Daksha Gods like Indra who were on the mountain of Himavat were afraid that if Agastya came to witness the Kalyanotsavam, pralaya would take place.
So they sent viswabrahma to persuade Agastya not to go to Himavat Parvatha.Viswabrahma told Agastya that the Kalyanotsava of Parvathi & Parmeswara was over and he had seen it. Agastya was surprised and wanted to see the Kalyanotsava with his divyadrishti. Then Parvathi & Lord Parameswara appeared in the divyadrishti of Agastya in the traditional marriage (turmeric-coated) clothes.Agastya prayed the Lord to appear before him. The Lord appeared before Agastya along with Parvathi. Agastya wanted Parvathi & Parmeswara to remain on one peetam in the pilgrim center of Palvalapuram.
The Lord fulfilled the wish of Agastya. No where can the Lord Parameswara be seen on Ekapeetam with Parvathi as here. Later this pilgrim center became famous as Lolla Agasteswara Swamy pilgrim center. The Lord began to be called as Koppulingeswara because he wore hair around his head. In the library of Sri Vidyananda at Pithapuram it was found that there was a lesson on the Talapatras. During the time of Srinadha at Palvalapuram the lord was called Agastewara. Srinadha wrote Sloka also.During the time of Sri Pratapa Rudra (Salivahana Saka) repairs were made to the temple as declared by the Sasanas. In the past the Turks attacked many Hindu temples. They cut off the head of the beautiful Nandi. The head was later deftly installed in its place.
The History how Agasteswara became Koppulingeswara
In the past a Velanati priest was performing daily pujas to Lord Agasteswara installed by Maharshi Agasya with great devotion. The priest had a concubine. The people angered at this, complained to the king. At first the king ignored the complaint. As the complaints grew, the king one day came to inspect the temple at Palvalapuram. The priest was not in the temple at that time. On coming to know of the king’s arrival, the priest hurried to the temple, to greet the king. As there were no garlands (Nirmalya) in the temple, the priest secretly brought the garland in the hair of his concubine and offered it to the king.
The King took the garland and found a long black hair in it. The King immediately questioned the priest about the hair.The priest replied that the hair in the Nirmalya was that of Lord Agasteswara who wore hair around his head. The surprised King asked the priest to show him the hair around the Shivalinga. The priest then said as it was afternoon and the puja was over, the Lord was decorated with Nagabharana which couldn’t be taken away till the next early morning and added that he would show the king the “Jhata Jhuta” of the Lord next day.
The King agreed to this and said that if the priest failed to show him the hair of the Linga, he would order the priest’s head to be taken away. The King stayed there at Palvalapuram. The priest terrified at this, began to pray the Lord all the night. The priest wept before the Lord and confessed his sin. He begged the Lord to protect him by wearing hair around his head. He beat his head on the Linga of the Lord and fainted. Lord Shiva to fulfill the wish of the priest then wore hair around his head at the time of Lingodbhava. The fainted priest regained consciousness and saw the Lord with the hair. He was overjoyed. The next day he showed to the King the Linga of Lord Shiva with hair around.
But the people assembled there, didn’t believe the words of the priest. They said something was fishy. Then the King ordered the priest to pluck a hair of the Lord and show him. The priest did so. The King could see blood on the plucked hair. Immediately the King lost his eyesight. He realised his mistake and prayed Lord to pardon him. The benevolent Lord immediately took pity on the King and restored his eyesight. The Nerjoyed King praised the Lord and immediately offered a village called Juthugapadu under his rule to the Lord as his manya. (At present Juthugapadu is in Ravulapalem Mandal, 1 Km from Podagatlapalli village). Even to-day one can see the magnificent Linga of the lord with hair around it in the sacred temple of Sri Uma Koppulingeswara at Palivela village, Kothapeta Mandal, East Godavari District of Andhra pradesh.
The state Archeological Department registered Five monuments (Rajagopuram, Swamivarimandapam, and some statues on pillars etc) the same was exhibited in front of entrance gate of the temple.
The annual income of the temple is
- Ganapathi Navarathrulu
- Devi Navarathrulu
- Karteeka Masam
- Swamy kalyanam and Sasti
- Kalyana mahothsavam Lord Sri Uma Koppeswara Swamy Kalyanam.
Guest Houses available are
Palivela Dharma Satram. Contact:Person-in-Management, Palivela Dharma satram, Palivela-533 229 kothapeta Mandal, East Godavari District.
Sri Umakoppeswara Swamy Temple,
East Godavari District.
Palivela- 533 229
Phone: 08855 – 243316.