Kumararama is one of the five important and popular Pancharama Kshetras that are sacred to the Hindu God Siva. This temple is located in Samarlakota near Kakinada around 10 kms, in the East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh in South India. The other four temples are Amararama at Amaravati (Dist. Guntur), Draksharama at Draksharama (Dist. East Godavari), Kshirarama at Palakollu and Somarama at Bhimavaram (both in Dist. West Godavari).
Lord Siva is known as Kumara Bhimeswara Swamy here. The consort of Lord Kumara Bhimeswara Swamy is Goddess Bala Tripurasundari. On hearing the pitiable plea of the devas, Siva killed the asuras with His infallible Pasupatastram (a spiritual Arrow of flame), which reduced them and their kingdoms to ashes. This is better known as Tripurantaka. However, a huge stone linga, worshipped by Tripuras, remained intact after the encounter. This was cut into five lingas by Lord Himself and distributed for the purpose of installing at five different places which came to be locally known as Pancharams. As per Skandhapurana one of those five lingas (Bhimeswara Swamy)was installed (Prathishthapana) by lord Kumaraswamy, second son of Lord Siva and Goddess Parvatidevi at Samarlakota and hence the temple is called KumaraRama. During November-December (Karthika and Margashira masam) months daily Abhisheka is carried out. There will be Kalyana Mahotsam during February-March (Magha Bahula Ekadashi day) time. Till Maha Shivarathri grand celebrations in the temple can be seen. There will be a car festival during Sivarathri. Temple timings are from morning 6.00am to 12.00 noon and afternoon 4.00pm to 8.00pm.
In its long history the place was under the yoke of several ruling houses from Nandas of Pataliputra to Asaf Jahis of Golkonda. Among the various dynasties that ruled over this region the Eastern Chalukyas had a greate share in developing the temple and town. And they had the privilege of exercising greater control and conspicuous influence than other dynasties. According to the inscription in temple, it was constructed by the famous Eastern Chalukya king Chalukya Bhima-I towards the end of the 9th century AD and the presiding God Siva, in the form of tall Sivalinga, was named after the monarch as Chalukya Bhimesvara Kumararama. The inscription states that Chalukya Bhima, the son of Vikramaditya having been victorious in three hundred and sixty battles ruled for thirty years.
There is a legend on the origin of these Pancharamas which is also found in bhimesvarapurana written by Srinatha (AD 14th -15th Century). According to it, Lord Vishnu, in his charming and fascinating incarnation of Mohini started distributing the nectar or divine honey (amrita) obtained after the hazardous churning of the (kheera sagaram) ocean of milk to both the demons (asuras) and divined (devas) Dissatisfied with the injustice meted out to them in the manner of distribution of nectar, the asuras lead by the lords of Tripuras resorted to severe penance on the advice of the celestial sage Narada and were blessed with boons by Lord Siva. Thus with the power newly acquired through the boons, they inflicted atrocities on the devas, who sought refuge with Lord Siva.
The temple premesis is almost resemblance the other Pancharama temple at Draksharama which is also called Bhimeswara Alayam. The temple is surrounded by two prakara walls built of dressed sand stones. The outer prakara wall is pierced by gopura - entrance on all the four sides. The main entrance to the temple is called Surya Dwaram.There are carvings of Apsaras on pillars in the temple. A mantapam supported with one hundred pillars can be seen.The four gopura - dvaras have ardha - mandapas on either side. The inner enclosure wall is divided horizontally into two sections separated by a cornice. It has a two storeyed pillared mandapa running all the inner side. To the East side, there is a mantap called Koneti. Pushkarni (Koneru) lake can be seen here.
The main shrine is a free standing monument lying at the center of the inner enclosure. The temple is a rectangular structure and has two storeyd. Darshan of Sivalingam is at the first floor. Steps are available at both the side. The lime stone Linga, installed in the shrine, is so tall that it rises from the pedestal on the ground floor and enters the second floor by piercing the roof, where the Rudrabhaga is worshipped. Goddess Shri Bala Thripura Sundari statue can be seen at temple premesis. Eka Sila Nandi is kept at the temple entrance opposite to Sivalingam.The present Vimana of the main shrine has been renovated and is covered with thick plaster. It consists of flat pattas, row of geese kutas, salas, simhalalatas, lotuses and kalasa. It is a dvitala vimana of the dravida order with regional variations.