History of Lord Someswara Temple- Shrine (Sthala purana of Lord Someswara Temple)
Someswara or Bheemeswara temple, Gunupudi Bhimavaram in West Godavari District is one of the five famous 'Aaramas' (five famous Holy shrines of Lord Shiva) in Andhra Pradesh.. It is now known as Someswara. Here Lord Shiva manifested himself as Lord Someswara. The legend is that once the Devathas (good spirits) were defeated by the Rakshasas (demons or evil spirits) by the name 'Tarakasura'. The Devathas (good spirits) then got frightened and went to Lord "Maha Vishnu" for help. Lord Vishnu told them that Taarakasura was a great Shiva bhaktha (worshipper of Lord Shiva) and a devoted worshipper of Lord Shiva.
Lord Vishnu advised the Devathas (good spirits) to go and pray to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva heard the pray of Devathas,(good spirits) also told them, that it would not be possible him to kill Tarakasura. Because he was a great Shiva bhaktha (worshipper of lord Shiva). Finally Lord Shiva deputed "Kumaraswami" (Murugan or Karthekeyan, one of the sons of Lord Shiva) lead the army of Devathas (good spirits) for a fight with Tarakasura. Kumaraswami (Murugan or Karthekeyan, is one of the son of Lord Shiva) also found himself unable to deal with Tarakasura (demon or evil spirits). Once again they go back to Lord Shiva and pray to him for Succor. Lord Shiva then told the Devathas (good spirits) that Tarakasura being a great bhaktha (great worshipper) that carried "Shivalinga" (Lord Shiva in the form of small statue). In his own throat and his very life was in the Shiva Linga. Hence he suggested that if they could break that Shiva Linga, Then Tarakasura would die.
This temple is situated in side walled compound and faces the East. In front of the temple there is a tall stone pillar surmounted by "Nandi" (the bull, the means of transporter of Lord Shiva) and behind it a big tank with another Nandi (the bull, the means of transporter of Lord Shiva) pillar in its centre. The temple is two storeyed structure, like those of "Draksharama" (another holy shrine of Lord Shiva situated in East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh- Chalukya Bheemarama) and "Amaravathi"( another shrine of Lord Shiva in Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh- "Amaravathi" is a well-known Buddhist pilgrim centre also). The interior of the temple consists of an open mantapa (dais) and a narrow corridor.
The Garbha .gruha (Sanctum sanctorum) beyond containing an image of Annapurneswari (the wife of Lord Shiva, goddess of poor feeder ). There are a few other shrines with in the courtyard of the temple, dedicated to minor deities like Kumaraswami (Murugan or Karhikeyan), Hanuman, (the Lord of power and disciple of "Lord Rama") Surya (the Sun God) and these seems to be modern sculptures.
The notable thing of Lord Someswara temple (Holy shrine of Lord Someswara) is the holy statue of Lord Shiva changes according to the Lunar rays. In "Poornima" ( In Full Moon) days it changes into white in form (Statue brightens) and in "Amavasya" (New Moon) days it turns into black in form. (i.e.) In a month the statue changes in to white (brightens) for 15 days gradually day by day. And turns (changes) into black gradually for another 15 days.