Filed under Locations
Palakol, also called by some as Palakollu or the Anglicized Palacole, is one of the nine coastal towns of Andhra Pradesh. It is part of the West Godavari district, located on the northeastern part of the country. It is considered to be an important trading town in the district and is also in close proximity to West Godavari’s other trading towns, such as Eluru, Tanuku, Bhimavaram and Narsapur. The 2001 Indian census puts the town’s population at 57,171, although if Palakol’s mandal (village subdivisions) are included, the population is about 80,000. Palakol is recognized quite well for the fertile lands that surround it. Telugu and the English language are spoken in the town.
The place is famous for several temples, of which the main attraction is the Sri Kshira Rama Lingeshwara Swami Temple, a 15th century temple built for the Hindu God Shiva. It is one of the five Pancharamas, or ancient Hindu temples of Lord Shiva situated in Andhra Pradesh. Legend has it that these temples house the five pieces of the Sivalinga, or holy symbol, owned by the demon king Tarakasura. It made him nigh invulnerable until Lord Kumaraswamy broke the symbol into five pieces and killed the Rakshasa king. The five pieces were placed on five temples located located at Amaravathi, Draksharamam, Bhimavaram, Samalkota and Palakol.
Other temples that are also known in Palakol include the Ashtabhuja Lakshmi Narayana Swami Temple, which is widely known by the religious for its tradition and festivities. These include the Bhramostavam, generally held in May every year, which draws a large number of devotees from around the area. Another festivity is the Dhanurmasam, which is celebrated in remembrance of the love of Andaal for Lord Krishna. It is held in the month of December.
Palakol is also said to be the region which the word Telugu originated from. Palakol is located in the area subtended by the temples of Shiva at Draksharamam, Kaleswaram and Srisailam, in what is called as “Trilinga Desam”, meaning “the region bounded by three lingas”. Across the centuries, the term became Telugu Desam, and the language that was spoken by the people around these locations was called Telugu.
Like most of the lands in the state, Palakol’s soils are fertile and rich, with paddy fields and coconut grooves being a common fixture. It is said that when the Dutch came to India, they started plantations of lemons and oranges here. Palakol is also famous for its pomelo fruits. During Saturdays, people from in and around the town come to the weekly market to purchase and trade goods, giving off a festive air.
The town can be reached via National Highway 214, which is located in the interior of Andhra Pradesh. It starts from Kathipudi on National Highway 5 and ends at National Highway 9, located between Machilipatnam and Vuyyuru. Buses ply these routes from all parts of the state. Those who travel from Kolkata and Orissa needs to reach Visakhapatnam and proceed to Ravulapalem, turning left until the board that points to Narsapur. Palakol is just 45 minutes from there. Unfortunately, not all trains reach Palakol. Tourists can just go by train and step off Bhimavaram. From there, a private vehicle or bus will take them to Palakol.