SRIKAKULAM is a town, municipality and headquarters of Srikakulam district in the north-eastern Andhra Pradesh, India. It is part of Srikakulam Assembly constituency and Srikakulam Parliament Constituency. Srikakulam was formerly called as Gulshanabad (Garden city) during Muslim rule and was headquarter of Muslim fauzdars. It was renamed as Chicacole by British colonial rulers and after independence, it was renamed as Srikakulam.
This region of Andhra Pradesh was part of Kalinga region at first and later a part of Gajapati kingdom of Orissa up to mediaeval period.It was in the 'Bendi Shilpa' ruling in 1687 Srikakulam (Gulshanabad) was a village and formed as fauzdhari-center for their money transactions for the areas of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Vishakhapatnam, and some parts of Orissa. The word Gulshanabad derives from Persian words Shilpa that means Rose garden and Bendi(Bending). It was developed as town in the Muslim ruling, even today you can find more than 10,000 Muslims living in this town following their culture,tradition and values. Srikakulam has also been head quarter for revenue collection under Nizam state of Hyderabad since 1707. Nizams of Hyderabad assigned Gulshanabad (Srikakulam), Rajahmundry, Eluru and Mustafanagar (Kondapalli) districts to French India in 1753. French imperialists were driven out from these districts by British imperialists in 1756 during Anglo-French wars.
In 1759 the Fauzdhari ruling was ended and British ruling started, and Srikakulam town has been made part of Ganjam district and Palakonda and Rajam areas were included in Vizag district in the undivided Madras province. In 1936 the combined Madras-Orissa state was divided to Madras and Orissa and Parlakimidi Taluk was separated from combined Madras state, hence the Srikakulam was remained as Srikaklam taluk, Srikakulam town as Srikakulam municipality since 1857 under British rule. In 1947 after Indian independence, many including Potti Sriramulu fought for separate Andhra State. In 1948 many demanded for Srikakulam district as it was in combined vizag district. First 'chintada' village was proposed as district head-quarter by some central leaders. It was on 17 July 1950, a representation was given by Challa Narasimhu naidu, an eminent leader, Pullela Vemkataramanayya (P.V. Ramanayya), who was an Eminent Advocate and Public Prosecutor and also a Freedom Fighter to the then Revenue Minister H. Sitaramareddy on his visit to this area, and requested to select Srikakulam as District head-quarters at his camp office in Vizianagaram. Minister H. Sitaramareddy personally saw some places in srikakulam for selection. Then MLA of this area Garemalla Kumaraswami gave a speech on the dias of the meeting arranged on honour of the minister indicating that many important towns and capitals in the world were situated on the banks of rivers like England (Thames River), Srirangam (Kaveri), Agra (Yamuna), Kashi (Ganga), Rajamundry (Godavari), Vijayawada (Krishan) etc., and for Srikakulam it is Nagavali and convinced the minister Sitaramareddy. Along with Rokkam Ramamurty, Pullela Venkataramanyya (P.V. Ramanayya), Pasagada Suryanarayana, Baratam Venkataramanayya, Mangu Raghavarao followed Garemella Kumaraswami as group to convince and represent the request memorandum. The minister decided and selected Srikakulam as head-quarters after reaching Madras then state capital. Kimidi Kalavenkatarao ex-revenue minister in the combined Madras state had done a lot for formation of this District, who was the grandfather of present Vunukuru MLA Kalavenkatarao. On 15 August 1950, at about 4.00 p.m. the district was announced with Srikakulam town as headquarters and with three revenue divisions Palakonda, Srikakulam and Tekkali. At first, Parvatipuram revenue division was part of Srikakulam district and later transferred to Vizianagaram district. Mr. Night was the then collector in the combined Vizag Srikakulam and Mr. Janab Shek Ahammadh appointed as first district collector for separated Srikakulam. On 3 January 1951, the first District Board was formed and Rokkam Laxmi Narasimha Dora was elected as president.
Important temples and places of worship
SRI KURMAM (famous place for the temple Kurmavatara of Lord vishhnu)
SRIMUKHALINGAM A famous temple of Lord Shiva.
Sri Endala Mallikarjuna Swamy in Ravivalasa
Shiva temple (Sangamaya konda) Famous for Sankranthi
VISWAMBHARA PARAMPARA a famous place for lalitha parameswari(visakha A colony, opposite water tank, srikakulam)
Koteswara swamy Alayam (Gudiveedi)
Shirdi Sai Baba Temple (Mondeti Street, Kalyani Thetare Back Side)
SANTHOSHI MATHA ALAYAM (Patha Srikakulam)
NARAYANA TIRUMALA a famous temple of Lord venkateswara at Gujarathipeta.
Kodanda ramaswami Alayam (Krishna park)
Ayyappa swami Alayam (Aidvaaram peta)
Ragavendra Swami alayam (Aidvaaram peta)
Sri Vaasudeva perumal temple.(Mandasa)
SHIRDI SAIBABA temple at Visakha 'B' colony.
VENKATESWARA SWAMY ALAYAM (it is located at the bank of the nagavali river near collector's Bunglaw'
SALIHUNDAM is a famous historical place of gowthama buddha located near Gara.
NEELAMANI DURGA TEMPLE is a famous temple at pathapatnam.
DANTHAPURI is a famous historical place of gowthama buddha.
Places to Visit
Arasavilli - The Temple of Sun God is located at Arasavilli(old name Harshavalli) which is 3.5 km away from Srikakulam town. Dating back to 7th century, the temple is the only Sun God temple in Southern India and was constructed by a Kalinga dynasty king. The Sun God "Sri Suryanarayana Swami" is most worshipped in Andhra Pradesh and tourists from all over the world visits the temple every year. The Historic Temple at the Arasavilli, built 3000 years ago, is where the Lord Sri Suryanarayana temple is located, resembles the rich cultural heritage Srikakulam holds. Popularly called the God of Health.
Srimukhalingam is another temple in Srikakulam which is believed to have been built in the 9th Century. This holy place resides on the left bank of Vamsadhara. This is a group of 3 temples built by the Eastern Ganga dynasty Kings in the 10th century AD. The deities are Mukhalingeswara, Bhimeswara and Someswara. All these temples show evidence of the Orissa style of architecture Indo - Aryan style. The Mukhalinga temple is a veritable art gallery. The temple entrances are marvels in themselves. There is a plethora of sculptural work and perforated windows. The Bhimeswara temple lacks such grand splendour. Someswara temple is rich in sculptural work.
Srikurmam: It is located at a distance of 15 km from Srikakulam town. It is in the Gara mandalam on northeast. The only one temple of Srikurmanatha temple in the country is here. The sculpture of the temple is wonderful. The Vishnu temple here is architecturally unique. Here the rock edicts of 11 A.D. are available. Sri Simhachalam Devasthanam adopted this temple for improvement.
Salihundam: On the right bank of the river Vamsadhara, about 16 km from Srikakulam town, there are a number of Buddhist stupas and a huge monastic complex on a hillock amidst scenic surroundings. You can see a mahastupa, votive stupas, platforms and viharas. There is distinct evidence of the presence of the Vajrayana cult. The statues of Tara and Marichi were discovered at this site. From here, Buddhism spread to Sumatra and other Far-eastern countries. Salipataka and Salipetaka appear to be the early forms of the name of modern Salihundam.
Kalingapatnam: Shrine of a famous Sufi saint lies in Kalingapatnam. It also has a old light house. At present weather research center, Cyclone warning center are working here. The confluence of Vamsadhara is an attractive site. Kalingapatnam is 25 km from Srikakulam
Ravi Valasa: It is about 5 km from Tekkali. Sri Endala Mallikarjuna Swamy is the deity. On Maha Sivaratri and Kartika Mondays large gathering devotees worship this deity. It is believed that the linga is growing from an inch every year.According to scripts it was about a foot when it was first seen and went on growing by an inch every year.now the height of the linga is around 12feet.
Teli Nilapuram: It is in Tekkali division, 65 km distance of Srikakulam. There is a bird sanctuary here. Winter migration birds from Russia, Siberian cranes, flock here. They build nest on the tamarind trees here and migrate to Russia in summer.
Sangam: It is 56 km from Srikakulam. Nagavali, Swarnam Mukhi and Vegavati confluence takes place here. So it is called Sangam. One of the five lingas Sangameswara is here. On Maha Sivaratri thousands of devotees through here.
Sri Viswambhara Parampara is a centre for Spiritual Studies and practices in Sri Vidya, Tantra, Kriya Yoga.which is located at visakha’a’ colony,opposite water tank, srikakulam.The programmes were conducted by Smt. B.Rama,Resigned Judge and B.Dhanunjaya baba by the grace of Guruji Ananda Ghana(Alipirala viswam).
PONDURU: A small village in Srikakulam is known as the land where the finest khadi is woven. Khadi from Ponduru is famous among Khadi lovers of the entire country. Mahatma Gandhi is also said to have been surprised at the finesse of the Khadi produced here and he always preferred khadi from this village. Khadi from this region is exported to various countries like America, Denmark, Japan and Sweden.], India, about 20 kilometers from Srikakulam Town.
Rajam: It is 40 km away from Srikakulam. The king of Bobbili Tandrapapa Rayudu at one time stage here. This place is linked with name of the valiant. The famous GMR group started their business here.
Palasa: Located towards the north of the district - close to Orissa. Palasa is famous for Cashew Nuts. These cashew nuts are exported to different parts of the country and abroad.
Baruva: It is 109 km from Srikakulam town. Baruva, a fishing and coastal port, is set amidst lush coconut groves and paddy fields. The famous temples are of Sri Kotilingeswara Swamy and Janardanaswamy.
Kaviti: It is located at a distance of 13 km from Ichapuram and Sompet. The coastal belt around Kaviti has extensive plantations of coconut, cashew and jack. The area is delightfully scenic. Here are the deities of Chintamani Ammavaru and Sri Sita Rama Swamy.