Srikakulam ( Andhra Pradesh , South India)
Srikakulam region was ruled by the Eastern Ganga kings of Kalinga from the 5th century till the 15th century. This is perhaps the only dynasty in the Indian history which ruled for an unbroken record period. Many fine temples were built during that time and some of them can be seen even to this day. There are many places of tourist interest in Srikakulam region.
Arasavalli: Arasavalli, 5 kms from Srikakulam, has an ancient temple dedicated to Surya Narayana, the Sun God. This is the only temple of Sun God in the Andhra Pradesh. As the place is situated amidst beautiful surroundings away from the town, a large number of pilgrims and devotees visit the temple, particularly on Sundays when special worship is done to the Sun God.
Mukhalingam: Mukhalingam, 42 kms from Srikakulam, is an ancient sacred place situated on the banks of lovely Vamsadhara river. The temple was renovated by the Eastern Ganga king Kalinga. It is built in the Panchayatana style, which means that it is a complex of five types of shrines. Four shrines occupy the four corners of the vast area around the main shrine in the centre. The towers of some of the temples around are in the Orissan style of architecture. The outer walls of the main temple and other temples are profusely ornamented with panels of finely executed sculpture. Many of the deities are in rare poses not found in other temples. This temple is considered to have Decorative sculpture.
Srikurmam: Situated 24 kms from Srikakulam, Srikurmamam is one of the few places noted for the Kurma Avathar (Tortoise incarnation) of Lord Vishnu. Dedicated to Kurmeshwara, it is a Vaishnava temple attracting many devotees from Andhra Pradesh. The temple is located within a mini forest with plenty of shade water which has enabled to develop a fine garden around the shrine. There are a number of sacred ponds around the temple, which the Swetha Pushkarini is considered very sacred as it is used to immerse the ashes of the dead relatives.
How to reach Srikakulam:
Srikakulam is connected by rail and road with Visakhapatnam on the main trunk route. Non-stop luxury buses run from the main bus stand at Visakhapatnam to this place. Local buses are available to visit all the interesting places. Good lodging facilities are available at this place with auto-rickshaws for local transport.