Vontimitta is a mandal head quarters in Kadapa District of Andhra Pradesh. The village is famous for Sri Kodandarama Swami Temple, a shrine dedicated to Lord Rama, which is situated towards the south-west of the village. This is said to be the place where the Kishkinda kanda, one the 18 parvas (chapters/sections/divisions) of Ramayana, has happened. The Vontimitta temple is famous for its architecture and for the idol of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana, which is carved out of a single rock. The idol is said to have been installed by Jambavantha, a mighty warrior, who resembled the animal bear, and helped Rama find his wife Sita, in the epic Ramayana.
The origin of the village name has many tales behind it. According to one version of the chronicle, the village is named after the names of two persons- “Vontodu and Mittodu” who helped a king named Kampana, who was supposed to be the son of Bukkaraya I (Vijayanagaran King). These two people quenched the King’s thirst who camped with his army at this place. The king was so pleased with them that he built a village after their name, “Vontodu-Mittodu”, which later came to be known as Vontimitta.
In another legend, the village is so called because of the deities of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana that are carved out of a single stone. Another tale goes that, as the village is situated on the high level ground by the side of a small hill, it got the name as Vontimitta which means “Single Hill” (Vonti- Single and Mitta- Hill). This is the place where the Kishkindakanda, one of the 18 parvas of Ramayanam happened.
The temple of Sri Kodandarama Swami is a well-known pilgrimage center in Vontimitta. The temple, built during the time of Chola and Vijayanagar Empire, is a beautiful shrine dedicated to Lord Rama, his consort Sita and Lakshmana. The uniqueness of this temple is the absence of Lord Hanuman’s idol with Lord Rama. It is noticeable that to the east of the eastern gopuram of this temple, there is a temple of Sanjeevaraaya (Lord Hanuman), who is facing west to the main temple. Also, the crown of the idol of Lord Hanuman is on the same level as the foot of Lord Rama in his temple.
The temple has two small perennial pools. It is said that Lord Rama and Lakshmana shot an arrow into the earth, to quench the thirst of Sita, through which sweet water sprang out. These water pool are called as Ramatirtham and Lakshmanatirtham. It is also said that the Rishis (Sages) requested Lord Rama to free them from the violence of the demons, to which Rama blessed them. Thus, the idol of Lord Rama, in the temple, is said to be in “Anugraha” (Benign) form.
This holy place was also called as Dandakaranya Kshetra, meaning, spiritually sacred region. The pillars of the temple are carved with great sculptures and carvings. The scene of Bhagavatha, the episode of Sri Krishna killing the demon Poothana and Kaliya - the serpent with hundred heads, Gopika vastrabharanam, Lakshmana moorcha and the episode of Ramayana where Sri Anjaneya (Lord Hanuman) flies with Sanjivani hill are some of the master pieces of art and skills of those times, all of which still adorn the temple.
It is said that the great poet Bammera Pothana spent his life at Vontimitta and dedicated his Mahabhagavatham to the deity. Vavilakolanu Subba Rao, known as Andhra Valmiki for translating Valmiki’s Ramayana into Telugu, also dedicated his work to the deity in Vontimitta.
Another poet Ayyala Thipparaju, the court poet of Proudha Devaraya, who wrote 'Sree Raghuveera Satakam’ was a native of Vontimitta. Ayyalaraju Ramabhadra (grandson of Thipparaju) and one of the Astadiggajas of Sri Krishnadevaraya, had close association with Vontimitta.
Vontimitta being a small town, finding a luxurious accommodation is not easy. Good accommodation is available in Kadapa as there are many hotels and budget lodges.