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
Tulsi, named Vrinda (Brinda), was the wife of Jalandhar who sought a boon with the Gods, of invincibility as long as his wife is chaste.
Vrinda was a devout wife, who upheld chastity. Jalandhar, owing to the boon that he acquired, began to traumatise people that it became a difficult task for Gods to handle.
Gods took refuge in Lord Vishnu, who came to their resort, by disguising Himself as Jalandhar and living with Vrinda to break her chastity.
Vrinda who lost her chastity to Lord Vishnu, on discovering the truth cursed Him to become a stone. She further cursed that at one point in time, He would also suffer the pangs of separation of His consort;she then immolated herself.
Lord Vishnu, acknowledging Vrinda’s purity, transformed her into a Tulsi plant, to be worshipped in all homes. He then became a stone (Shaligrama). In the Ramavatar, the Lord, as the result of the curse, suffered separation from His consort, Sita.
Tulsi Vivah festival-a Tusli pooja is observed in all households as a mark of reminder of the divine relationship between the Lord and Tulsi.
Tulsi is also said to be a form of Mahalakshmi. It is also referred as Vishnupriya, the beloved of Lord Vishnu.
Daughter of Vasudeva and sister of Lord Sri Krsna. She was not only a very dear daughter of Vasudeva, but also a very dear sister to both Krsna and Baladeva. The two brothers and sister are represented in the famous Jagannatha temple of Puri, and the temple is still visited by thousands of pilgrims daily. This temple is in remembrance of the Lord’s visit at Kuruksetra during an occasion of solar eclipse and His subsequent meeting with the residents of Vrndavana. The meeting of Radha and Krsna during this occasion is a very pathetic story, and Lord Sri Caitanya, in the ecstasy of Radharani, always pined for Lord Sri Krsna at Jagannatha Puri. While Arjuna was at Dvaraka, he wanted to have Subhadra as his queen, and he expressed his desire to Lord Krsna. Sri Krsna knew that His elder brother, Lord Baladeva, was arranging her marriage elsewhere, and since He did not dare to go against the arrangement of Baladeva, He advised Arjuna to kidnap Subhadra. So when all of them were on a pleasure trip on the Raivata Hill, Arjuna managed to kidnap Subhadra according to the plan of Sri Krsna. Sri Baladeva was very angry at Arjuna, and He wanted to kill him, but Lord Krsna implored His brother to excuse Arjuna. Then Subhadra was duly married with Arjuna, and Abhimanyu was born of Subhadra. At the premature death of Abhimanyu, Subhadra was very mortified, but on the birth of Pariksit she was happy and solaced.