She is said to be the sister of Goddess Ganga. Legends hold that Goddess Godavari emerged from the ata of Lord Shiva as He was meditating on the mountains. Together with Ganga,
Yamuna, Narmada and Kaveri, Godavari is one o...f the most sacred rivers. The river, its banks
and surrounds are considered holy and a dip in any of these five rivers is believed to wash away sins. It is also a pilgrimage spot. The Pushkaram fair on the the banks of the Godavari is a yearly affair.
Goddess Godavari is also known as Gautami. The background myth is Sage Gautama and his
wife Ahalya living on the Brahmagiri Hills at Triambakeshwar. They stock up rice in a granary and a cow enters and eats it. The maharishi tried to ward off the cow with durbha grass. But it simply fell dead. The rishi has earned ‘gohatya’ or the sins of killing gomata. Another version of this background is that
Parvathi, envying Ganga who always remained in the Lord's matted locks, created
a magic cow with the help of Lord Ganesa and sent her to Gautama to disturb his
penance. An angry Gautama cursed her and she was burnt to ashes.
As such the rishi worshipped Lord Shiva to relieve his sins. He also requested
Shiva to redirect the Ganga river from his matted locks to purify his hermitage.
Lord Shiva was pleased with Gautama’s penance and appeared before hi, as
Triambaka. The Ganga was brought to the hermitage for purification of the place.
Hence the place was called Triambakeshwar. Since the river was brought there at
the instance of sage Gautama, Godavari came to be known as Gautami. Thus
Godavari means the river that helped Sage Gautama to releive of his sins.
The Godavari River originating in the Western Ghats
Trimbakeshwar, in the Nashik of Maharashtra and flowing eastwardly across the
Deccan Plateau through the state of Maharashtra. It enters Andhra Pradesh at
Kandhakurthiin Nizamabad district. While passing through telangana region
of Andhra Pradesh it touches a small village called Dharmapuri, crossing the
Deccan Plateau and then turns to flow in a southeast direction until it empties
into the Bay of Bengal through two mouths. The tributaries of Godavari River are
Pravara, Indravati , Wainganga , Wardha, Pench, Kanhan and Penuganga rivers,
discharge an enormous volume of water into the Godavari system. Its tributaries
include Indravati, Manjira River, Bindusara River and Sabari River.
This festival is of great spiritual significance. Lakhs of
pilgrims from almost all parts of the country make a beeline to the Pushkaram
that takes place once in twelve years. The festival has a legend behind it. Lord
Indra comes in disguise to molest Anasuya, the wife of the sage Gautama. He was
caught and cursed. Indra is the God of the Heavens and could not afford this
reputation. He prays to Brahma to favour him with a sacred tank to wash away the
curse. Brahma let a stream of the Holy Ganges from his kamandala into a tank
created by Him on the earth. This is called it Pushkara and in which Indra
relieved his curse.
Kovvur, popularly known as Goshpada Kshetram,
situated on the western side of the Godavari, is the place where Gautama rishi
performed penance. Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, Indra and other Gods are said to be
present here during the Pushkaram festival and hence, bathing in the Godavari
during these twelve days is considered equivalent to bathing in all the holy
waters in India. Apart from that, giving alms to the poor and performing homam
and last rites to ancestors during the festival is believed to do one immense
RASI – RIVERS:
Another legend states that Brihaspathi or Jupiter
undertook severe austerities. His penance extended to several years and Brahma
was please to grant him a boon. Jupiter smartly asked for Pushkara to be given
to him. The boon was given but Pushkara would not leave Brahma and refused to go
with Jupiter. Now Brahma was in a fix as he had granted a boon. So a compromise
was worked out. They agreed that Pushkara should remain with Jupiter for twelve
days in a year, commencing from the date of Jupiter's entry into each Rasi.
So now we have Pushkara festivals occurring in the twelve rivers
corresponding to the twelve rasis. They are Mesha - Ganges, Vrishaba -Narmada,
Mithuna-Saraswathi, Kataka -Yamuna, Simha - Godavari, Kanya - Krishna, Tula -
Kaveri, Vrischika - Tambaraparni, Dhanus - Sindhu, Makara - Tungabadra, Kumba –
Brimaradhi and Mena - Praneeta.
The banks of the Godavari are
adorned with several holy temples. The temple of Trimbakeshwar located at Nasik
in Maharsashtra is known for its Shivalinga, also revered as one of the twelve
Jyotirlingas. Trimbakeshwar is the only temple, where the lingam is not
cylindrical upwards but is inward like a bowl, which is considered as the unison
of the Trinity. Here Godavari is also known as Gautami Ganga.
In the compound of Kotilingeswara temple, there is a separate temple for Rajarajeswari,
the Supreme Goddess, after whom the town is named — Rajarajeswari Mandiram.
Other well-known temples here are: Anjaneyaswami temple, Venugopalaswamy temple,
Satyanarayana temple, Panduranga temple and Shyamalamba temple. People offer
special worship to Goddess Shyamalamba when there is an outbreak of epidemics
like cholera and small pox, and famine to mitigate their virulence. This is said
to be the place where Markandeya overcame Yama and obtained eternal longevity by
the grace of Lord Siva and the temple of Markandeswara is situated here. Sri
Rama stayed here for some time during His exile and there is a temple called
There are seven sacred ghats, which correspond
to the seven sacred mountains: Kotilinga ghat - Swetagiri), Sesha ghat –
Seshagiri , Pushpa ghat - Pushpagiri, Padma ghat -Padmagiri , Ram ghat -
Ramagiri, Ananda Manikarnika ghat - Anandagiri and Ramapada ghat -Dhavalagiri.
Kotilingeswara ghat, in front of the temple, is visited for it healing powers of
diseases and for fulfilling all wishes.
.Trimbakeshwar, One of the twelve Jyotirlingas and ancient temple of Lord Shiva;
Nashik - One of the four Sinhastha Kumbh Mela; Paithan - Saint Eknath's native
place, famous Jayakwadi dam , and a beautiful garden - Sant Dnyneshwar Udyan ;
Nanded - Takht Sri Hazur Sahib, One of the five most sacred places in Sikhism;
Basar - Sri Gyana Saraswati temple is situated on the banks of Godavari ;
Dharmapuri, Andhra Pradesh - Hindu Temple of Lord Narasimha ; Kaleshwaram - Sri
Kaleswara Mukhteswara swamy Temple on Triveni sangamam of godavari and pranahita
; Bhadrachalam - Hindu Temple of Lord Rama; Rajahmundry - Center for Telugu
Literature; Pattiseema - A village where a Hindu temple is located on a small
hill on an island in the river; Antarvedi - Laxmi Narasimha Swamy temple and
Konaseema - Picturesque delta of Godavari.
Om Namah Shiva
Yogi Ananda Saraswathi...