Small town with an ‘epic’ tale

Parnasala in Khammam district played a crucial role in Ramayana

By Author   |   Saurabh Chatterjee   |   Published: 12th Nov 2017   12:02 am Updated: 11th Nov 2017   3:56 pm
Parnasala
Boating in Godavari river. Photos by: Saurabh Chatterjee

Whenever someone speaks of Parnasala, it is always for religious reasons. I hadn’t seen many pictures of the place so I thought why not head there and see it for myself. Located in the Dummugudem mandal in the Khammam district, we took the train from Secunderabad station at 11: 45 pm and reached Bhadrachalam at 5:30 am. From there, we took a bus to Parnasala.

The ride was a very interesting one, more so since it was in the countryside. It was like travelling in the interiors of the country where modernisation is just a word and not a reality. Most of the houses we saw were made with natural materials rather than brick and mortar.

After quick breakfast of steaming idlis followed by tea, we went exploring the place. On the way, I saw this lambada lady with striking eyes and left my tea to take her picture. Her family members encouraged her not to be shy and I got a decent shot. Later we went to the small temple. There was no crowd so we had a quick darshan.

Parnasala
Lord Rama and Lakshmana depicting an instance from Ramayana.

Mythological significance


Parnasala has great importance in the events related to the Hindu epic Ramayana. It is believed that this one of the places where Lord Rama along with Lakshmana and Sita spend some time during their exile. The name Parnasala translates to a hut made of leaves, and might in reference to their house. A stream runs nearby the river which is called Sita Vagu, it is believed that Sita used to take bath here. Many instances from the epic are said to have taken place here, like the story of golden deer which led to Sita’s abduction.

However, the most significant event of the epic which is the seeta haran (the abduction of Seeta) by Ravana also happened here. One sees statues of Ravana, Sita and Lord Rama depicting the event at the temple.

After visiting the temple, we spend some time beside the river which is surrounded by hills with dense forests. There were boats taking passengers. Apparently, pilgrims take a bath here and throw coins in the river. Not surprisingly, some enterprising local kids used magnets to fish out the coins from the water.

After enjoying the peaceful atmosphere, we travelled to Bhadrachalam to see the Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy Devasthanam before heading home.

Parnasala
Entrance of Parnasala, statues of Sita.

How to reach


It’s best to take the overnight 17026 Secunderabad Manuguru express to Bhadrachalam. Parnasala is 32 kms away and can be reached by taxi or bus.


Tips


The best time of the year to go is from September to March. After that it gets really hot in these places. Bhadrachalam has lot of options to stay for all budgets. The State government run Haritha hotel is a reliable option.


Nearby places


There are some places near Parnasala which can be visited in the same trip. The Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy Devasthanam is the most famous temple in Bhadrachalam and is a must visit. Bogatha Waterfalls which are 85 kms away are also worth visiting provided one goes when there is enough water.