Sarpavaram is a village in Kakinada Rural mandal in East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh State. The village has connectivity through Sarpavaram Junction to Madhavapatnam, which is a commercial area junction situated near Kakinada city. The famous ancient Bhava Narayana Swamy Temple is located in the village.
The temple is located at a distance of 5 Km from Kakinada. The story of Sarpavaram is narrated in the Brahma Vyvarta Purana. The great saint Agastya narrated this story to Saunaka and other saints of the Nymisha forest.
Sri Bhavanarayana Swamy
The great saint Kashyapa married Kadru, to whom thousand serpents were born. Kadru asked here sons to go and embrace to tall of Uchai Srava, the white horse of Lord Indra so that the she would make Vinata the second wife of her husband, her servant maid. But they disobeyed their mother as they did not like to dupe Vinata. Kadru cursed that her sons should die in the fires lit in the serpant sacrifice to be performed by Janamejaya. Of the thousand sons of Kadru, Ananta being pious and noble, went round in search of a suitable place to do penance in honour of Lord Vishnu, by whose mercy he wanted to save himself. He found this place holy, and did his penance here. Pleased at it Lord Vishnu appeared before him and accepted him to serve as a comfortable bed for him. He declared that this holy place would ever since take its name after him as Sarpapura and that He with His spouse Lakshmi would be there duly installed by the sage Narada.
Thus the name Sarpapura is derived from the great serpent, Ananta, or Sesha. One day saint Narada went to Brahma, and heard in his discourse that the world was all shrouded in Lord Vishnu’s illusion and from which none could escape. Immediately, Narada asserted that he could. Thereupon Brahma admonished him for his arrogance, and asked him to get away. Narada going round the world on pilgrimage came to Sarpapura and finding a beautiful lake there, wanted to take a bath. But Lo: the moment he got a dip in it he became a damsel.Forgetting the past, and being then a lady, she was looking for a mate. At that time, Nakunda, the young prince of Pithapuram came there for hunting. The lady and the prince fell in love with each other. He married her and took her to Pithapuram. There in course of time she gave birth to sixty sons named Prabhava, Vibhava, etc., (Telugu years names) who grew up and became famous heroes.
Later on, another King Ripunjaya invaded Pithapuram and the battle that ensued, all the sons of the lady with her husband died. As the conqueror was marching victorious towards that place, the lady hearing the tragic news was with grief and wanted to end her life. The Lord Vishnu appeared before her in the form of holy Brahmin, and hearing her tale of woe asked her to take a bath in the lake. She had a dip and this time she became Narada again. Then, Narada could know this all. He prayed to Vishnu to forgive him. The Lord then declared ” Let this lake be known as “Mukti – Kasara” the lake of Salvation I command that all holy places in all the three worlds should stay on here.
Those who take their bath here will wipe of all their sins of all months, Karthika Margasira and Magha, and of all days, Saturday, and Sunday are most auspicious for the bath. I shall remain her along with my consort Lakshmi. Please install me in with all Vedic rites”. Saint Narada installed the Lord here.
Sri Bhavanarayana Swamy Temple Gali Gopuram:
He has come to be known as “Bhavanarayana” meaning thereby the God that bestows salvation on those that think of his, at least thought they may not go there in all flesh and blood. Then all the saints, including the Gods Brahma and Siva came there and sang in praise of the Lord Bhavanarayana who declared “I shall always remain here with Lakshmi, Neela and Bhudevi”. Of the hundred and eighty holy places, of my worship on the Earth, this is the best. Those who reside in places then miles around this place are all my devotees. One who stays here for three days will reap the good of a hundred horse – sacrifices.
This, in brief, is the significance of Sarpa – Pura. From time immemorial, it has been acclaimed as the best ‘Punya Kshetra’ Saints like Agastya and Vyasa visited this places. The Rajas and Maharajas of Pithapuram rendered worship to the deity by spending lavishly on the sacred festivities of the Temple.