Srikurmam Shrine, as per Puranas, is encircled by Pancha Linga Kshetras (5 Shiva Temples) and Ashta (8) Tirthas spread over a distance of about 20 miles. This Triangular area between the Two rivers & Sea – Nagavali , Vamsadhara and the Bay of Bengal is praised to be the Kali Yuga’s Vaikuntham. It is said that Bala Rama (Elder brother of Sri Krishna), when he visited the Shrine during his Southern Pilgrimage, ordained that Srikurmam be the only Kurma Kshetra in the World and that no imitations be built for Kurmanadha anywhere else. He dug the earth and made a river to flow. This river is called “Nagavali” and flows around the Western periphery of Srikurmam Shrine alongwith the River “Vamsadhara” flowing on the Northern Periphery.
The Shiva Temple on the western periphery of Srikurmam Shrine is – Sri Uma Rudra Koteswara Temple on the banks of Nagavali river in Srikakulam Town (about 12 km from the main Srikurmam Temple). The Temple on the eastern border of Srikurmam Shrine is located at kalinga patnam (about 15 km from the main Srikurmam Temple).Similarly, the Northern & Southern border Temples of Shiva are located at Singupuram and Ippili Villages.The fifth Shiva Temple is located adjacent to the main Temple complex of Sri Kurmanadha.
The Ashta Tirthas (8) are -Narada Tirtham, Sudha Kundam, Chakra Tirtham, Madhava Tirtham, Kautilya Tirtham, Vakra Tirtham, Narasimha Tirtham & Mahodadhi located around the 20 mile Srikurma Kshetram. All these are worth a visit.
There are a few more prominent Temples around Srikurmam
1. Sun God Temple at Arasavalli : This is one of about 27 Sun Temples in India and is believed to have been built around the 7th Century AD., though there is no trace of ancestry now. The Temple underwent major renovations recently and has become one of the prominent Temples in Northern AP. It is located at about 2 Km from the Srikakulam Town and is between the main Srikurmam Temple Complex and its Western border Temple of Sri Uma Rudra Koteswara. Legend says that once, Indra came for Darshan of Sri Uma Rudra Koteswara Swamy after the closure of the Temple, but insisted on reopening the Doors. Angered at this, Nandeeswara, guarding the Shiva Temple, kicked him off and Indra fell at a distance of about 2km at Arasavalli. Repenting on his ignorance of Supreme Power of Shiva & Sri Kurmanadha, Indra did tapas for many years. Sun God appeared to him and advised him to dig a lake at this place, which later came to be known as Indra Pushkarini. While digging, Indra found an idol of sun God for which he built a Temple and the same has now become the famous Sun God Temple at Arasavalli. Please view www.arasavallisungod.org for details on Temple Timings etc
2. SriMukha Lingam Shiva Temple : This Sculptural masterpiece is about 50 Kms from Srikakulam Town and is dedicated to Lord Shiva, known as Sri Mukha Lingeswara. It is on the banks of River Vamsadhara. It takes about 1.5 hours by road as the approach roads pass through the interiors. It is under the protection of Archeological Department.
3. Sri Venkateswara Temple – Narayana Tirumala : This Temple is in the District Head Quarters Town of Srikakulam and is about 50 years old. Though recently built, the maintenance of the Temple is said to be very good and it is already on the path to become a prominent Temple in Northern AP. It is about 15 Km from the main Temple complex of Srikurmam., and is very close to the National Highway leading to Visakhapatnam.