Lord Rama, one of the popular deities of Hindu Mythology, is the seventh Avatar (form) of Lord Vishnu. There are many temples, both petty and popular, in India dedicated to this valorous and legendary king of Ayodhya. One such temple dedicated to Lord Sri Rama is the temple at Ramatheertham in Nellimarla Mandal of Vizianagaram District, Andhra Pradesh. Though the most popular temple dedicated to Sri Rama is in Bhadrachalam in Khammam District, Andhra Pradesh, Ramatheertham is not left behind. Many people visit this temple for its sacredness and serenity it offers.
Ramatheertham is the home to this ancient and famous temple of Ramachandra Swami that is said to be about 1000 year old. Ramatheertham is also said to be famous as Buddhist site as per some evidences found in this region. On a black hill known as Gurubukhata konda near this temple, you can see the remains of a large Buddhist Mahastupa about 19 feet high and 65 feet in diameter. There is also a monastery, Chaitya, Monastic cells, two votive Stupas, a solid stone stupa, an enclosed courtyard and a pillared hall on this hill. Near to this place you can also see the ruins of a brick shrine with images of Jain Thirtankaras and several Jain sculptures at a higher altitude on the same hill under a massive hanging rock. Sri Rama Temple: Sri Rama Temple in Ramatheertham is situated on the hills called Bavikonda with the gracious Champa River flowing at its foot between Bhaskara Lake and Neelachalam Hills. The temple is built entirely on a huge rock. The idols in this temple are installed and worshipped by the Pandavas during their exile for twelve years in the forest. The idols are now covered with silver Kavacham to which daily rituals are performed. Pedda Jeeyar installed a Rama Sthambam in this temple. Annual festivals like Chaitra Sukla Navami or Sri Rama Navami (in the month of April) and Vaikunta Ekadasi (in the month of Marghashirsha as per Tamil calendar) are the grand ceremonial festivals in this temple.
An interesting thing to notice is that you can see tortoise with marks on their back that resembles the Vishnu Namam, roaming in the temple premises.