Somarama Temple of Gunupudi, Bhimavaram
|Nickname(s): Second Bardoli of India|
|Metropolitan Area||Bhimavaram Urban|
|Founded by||Chalukya Bhima I|
|• Total||25.60 km2 (9.88 sq mi)|
|Area rank||20 (Andhra Pradesh)|
|Elevation||7 m (23 ft)|
|• Density||5,600/km2 (14,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Vehicle registration||AP 37|
Bhimavaram is a town in West Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is the largest urban agglomeration in West Godavari after the district's headquarters Eluru. Bhimavaram is also called the "Second Bardoli of India". Mahatma Gandhi coined the name when he visited the town during the freedom movement in India. It a major pilgrimage centre in Andhra Pradesh, as it is home to one of the five great Pancharama Kshetras, the Somaramam.
Along with much of present-day coastal Andhra Pradesh, Bhimavaram was controlled by the Chola Dynasty. Under Kulothunga Chola I, Bhimavaram was ruled by his sons who served as viceroys. Various stone inscriptions have been found in the town dating from his reign (c. 1096 C.E.).
The name Bhimavaram literally means "the gift of Bhima". According to a legend, in around 890-918 AD, an Eastern Chalukya(తూర్పు చాళుక్య) king named Chalukya Bheema built a Siva temple and laid the foundation to this town. It was originally called "Bhimapuram", but the name gradually changed to "Bhimavaram"; "puram" refers to a dwelling place while "varam" means an endowment in Telugu.
As of 2011[update] Census of India, the town had a population of 1,42,280. The total population constitutes 70,066 males and 72,214 females —a sex ratio of 1031 females per 1000 males, higher than the national average of 940 per 1000. 12,157 children are in the age group of 0–6 years, of which 6,149 are boys and 6,008 are girls—a ratio of 977 per 1000. The town's average literacy rate stands at 83.41% with 1,08,535 literates, significantly higher than the national average of 73.00%.
Bhimavaram is located in the epicentre of the Godavari delta region. It is one of the principal trade centres of paddy in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Agriculture-based businesses like food processing, aqua culture, rice mills etc., are the chief sources of the town's revenue. The town serves as a distribution centre as well as commercial centre to its hinterland. The town is the regional centre for higher education and is known for its specialized health services.
Bhimavaram Municipality was established in the year 1948. Its jurisdiction has undergone several changes since then, which includes the subdivision of the number of administrative wards(divisions) to 39 by the Andhra Pradesh State's Governmental order.
Few major changes from 1948 onwards:
- 1948 April - Constituted as Grade III Municipality
- 1949 August - First elected council
- 1963 August - Upgraded as Grade II Municipality
- 1967 October - Upgraded as Grade I Municipality
- 1980 April - Upgraded as Special Grade Municipality
- 2011 September - Upgraded as Selection Grade Municipality (current) 
Bhimavaram is a legislative assembly constituency in Andhra Pradesh. There were 1,94,488 registered voters in the Bhimavaram constituency by the 2009 elections. The constituency has been the centre of politics in the West Godavari District since its genesis in 1952.
Roadways and Railways:
Bhimavaram is an important commercial centre in the West Godavari District. Buses to the town are operated by Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation(APSRTC) and other private operators. The town is well connected with different places in the country by means of bus and train. There are two bus stands and two railway stations: Old Bus Stand and Bhimavaram Town cater their services to those who live in Two-Town area while the New APSRTC Bus Stand and Bhimavaram Junction serve those living in One-Town area. Bhimavaram Junction Station (BVRM) serves as a the junction point for NS/BZA/NDD division. Buses, rickshaws, auto-rickshaws, and taxis are the primary means of transport. The closest international airports to Bhimavaram are Visakhapatnam International airport , Hyderabad's RGIA and Chennai's MAA while the nearest domestic airports to the town are Rajahmundry Airport and Vijayawada(Gannavaram) Airport.
National Highways: NH 165 (Digamarru-Pamarru) (Old number: NH 214) passes through Bhimavaram. NH 16 (Old number: NH 5) is located around 40-50 kilometers from the town. The construction of a new bridge in Losari village of Bhimavaram Mandal made reaching the town hassle-free for the people of smaller villages (like Lakshmipuram and Matlam of Krishna district's Kruthivennu Mandal).
Somaraamam (Someswara Temple):
Bhimavaram is famous for the Gunupudi Someswara (Somarama) temple, which is one of the five holy Pancharamas. Built during the 3rd century A.D., the Shiva lingam is known for changing its color according to the lunar month; black during amavasya and white during pournami.
Sri Mavullamma Ammavaari Temple:
It is believed that Sri Mavullamma Ammavaru (Universal Mother Goddess) is the incarnation of Mahakali (the goddess of Shakti). It is believed that neighbouring villagers treat her as their own mother goddess, so she is addressed as 'Mavullamma' (Mother goddess of my own village). Sri Mavullamma came to limelight in the year 1880 AD. It is known that she was laid in Motupallivari street, under a pipal and neem tree-couple. Every year in the month of "Jyesta masa" (third month of auspicious Telugu almanac calendar) on "Paadyami" (new slender crescent moon day), devotees celebrate a month-long celebration. There is a festive look every where in and around the town. The Devasthanam Committee (Temple committee) and the local fruit and vegetable trader's committee felicitate artists, actors, actresses, musicians, and great men of all walks of the life.
There are many notable people from cinema industry such as Padma Bhushan Dr. B. V. Raju, Byrraju Ramalinga Raju, M. S. Narayana, Trivikram Srinivas, Sivaji Raja, Penmatsa Subbaraju, Sunil (actor), Krishnam Raju Upalapati, Prabhas, Ravi teja etc. Other notable personalities include Yellapragada Subbarow in Science field, Swami Jnanananda in mystics, Sri Dantuluri Narayana Raju (an academician) and Alluri Sitarama Raju (a freedom fighter).
There are numerous educational institutions in and around Bhimavaram. Some of the renowned institutions are S.R.K.R Engineering College, D.N.R Educational Institutions, K.G.R.L Group of Educational Institutions, Sri Vishnu Educational Society, Bhimavaram Institute of Engineering & Technology, Grandhi Varalakshmi Venkatarao Institute of Technology (GVIT).
- Rao, P. Rajeswar (1991). The Great Indian patriots (2nd rev. ed. ed.). New Delhi: Mittal Publications. p. 94. ISBN 81-7099-288-5.
- "Administration". Bhimavaram Municipality. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- "Cities having population 1 lakh and above" (PDF). The Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
- "About Bhimavaram Municipality.". Bhimavaram Municipality. 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
- "Sex Ratio". The Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- "Chapter–3 (Literates and Literacy rate)" (PDF). Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- Bhimavaram Municipality
- "Municipal Administration & Urban Development Department – Municipal Councils – Bhimavaram Municipality, West Godavari District". Government of Andhra Pradesh. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- http://www.bhimavaraminfo.com/municipality.html Major Changes
- Constituency Election Results
- "BVRM/Bhimavaram Junction Railway Station". India Rail Info. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
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