The Godavari River is sacred river and has several Pligrimage centers on its banks. It has been held as a special place of pilgrimage for many thousands of years. Many famous personalities, including Baladev (5000 years ago) and more recently Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (500 years ago) have bathed in her waters as an act of worship.
Godavari is considered the Dhakshin (Southern) Ganga and Draksharama Dhakshin Kasi. Every twelve years, Pushkaram fair is held on its banks of the river. Crores of people have a holy dip in the sacred waters of the river to purify themselves of all their sins.
Legend has it that Sage Gautama lived on the Brahmagiri Hills at Trayambakeshwar with his wife Ahalya. The rishi kept his stock of rice in a granary. Once, a cow entered his granary and ate up the rice. When the rishi tried to ward the cow away with Durbha grass, it fell dead. The rishi wanted to relieve himself of the sin of ‘Gohatya’. He worshipped Lord Shiva and requested him to bring the Ganga to purify his hermitage. Lord Shiva pleased with the rishi appeared as Triambaka and brought along the river Ganga. Since the Ganga was brought down to Triambakeshwar by Sage Gautama, it is known here as Gautami. It is also known as Godavari because the river helped Sage Gautama to relieve his sins.
The banks of Godavari river has many pilgrimage sites.
* Trimbakeshwar, One of the twelve Jyotirlingas and ancient temple of Lord Shiva .
* Nashik – One of the four Sinhastha Kumbh Mela
* Paithan – Saint Eknath’s native place, famous Jayakwadi dam , and a beautiful garden – Sant Dnyneshwar Udyan.
* Nanded – Takht Sri Hazur Sahib, One of the five most sacred places in Sikhism
* Basar – Sri Gyana Saraswati temple is situated on the banks of Godavari.
* Dharmapuri, Andhra Pradesh – Hindu Temple of Lord Narasimha
* Kaleshwaram – Sri Kaleswara Mukhteswara swamy Temple on Triveni sangamam of godavari and pranahita.
* Bhadrachalam – Hindu Temple of Lord Rama.
* Rajahmundry – Center for Telugu Literature.
* Pattiseema – A village where a Hindu temple is located on a small hill on an island in the river.
* Antarvedi – Laxmi Narasimha Swamy temple.
* Konaseema – Picturesque delta of Godavari.
The tributaries of Godavari River are Pravara, Indravati , Wainganga , Wardha, Pench, Kanhan and Penuganga rivers, discharge an enormous volume of water into the Godavari system. Its tributaries include Indravati, Manjira River, Bindusara River and Sabari River