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Published by janakiram.leadwinner, 2017-03-30 00:18:02

Ancient Temples of Telangana_Book

Ancient Temples of Telangana_Book

TelanganaAncient Temples of

GOVERNMENT OF TELANGANA


vvz

Ancient Temples of

Telangana

Government of Telangana


...where there is One, that One is me;
where there are many, all are me;
they see my face everywhere.

- The Bhagavad Gita


Statue on the Shikharam of Shri Sita Rama Chandra Swamy Temple, Bhadrachalam


Acknowledgements

Sri. B.Venkatesham, IAS
Secretary to Govt. YAT & C Department
Govt. of Telangana

Smt. Sunita M. Bhagwat, IFS
Director, Department of Tourism
Govt. of Telangana
K. Mahesh, Assistant Director
D.S. Om Prakash, Tourist Information Officer
P. Shashedhar, Tourist Information Officer
Department of Tourism, Government of Telangana

S.S. Rangacharyulu, Dy. Director (Rtd.)
P. Brahmachary, Dy. Director (FAC)
Dr. K. Padmanabha, Asst. Director
Department of Archaeology & Museums, Government of Telangana

Visual Quest India Production Team

Creative Director - Birad Rajaram Yajnik
Project Manager - Deepa Gunti & Vaibhav Kumar Modi
Editor - NN Pasupathy, Simran Lamba
Design - M. Kishore, G. Anil Kumar, T. Ramesh Babu
Accounts - K. Sridhar
Photography - G. Anil Kumar, T. Deepak Kumar
Fine Art - G. Gangadhar, R. Rahul, R. Rakesh

Ancient Temples of Telangana
Copyright 2015

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be
reproduced or used in any form or by any means - graphic,
electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording,
taping, or information storage and retrieval systems - without
written permission of the publisher.

ISBN No. 978-93-85511-02-8

Co-Published by:
Department of Tourism
Government of Telangana
www.telanganatourism.gov.in

&

Visual Quest Books

VISUAL QUEST BOOKS
(A Division of Visual Quest India)
Email: mail@visualquestbooks.com
www.visualquestbooks.com

Disclaimer:
The details provided in this book are purely informative, and the publishers assume no responsibility for any controversy that may arise from the interpretation of the facts given here. The
publishers claims no originality for information drawn from other sources. It does not claim that this book is an exhaustive compilation of information about Ancient Temples of Telangana.
However, honest efforts have been made to provide comprehensive information for the benefit of all. The publishers will not be liable for any damages arising in contract, tort or otherwise,
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introduction

The land of spiritual bliss, splashed by the waters of are attended by the devotees in huge numbers. Indians
holy rivers, Telangana is the place, which was once are enormously deep-rooted about their religion
inhabited by the lords themselves, who left behind and quite evidently, these temples are thronged by
their imprints and a sense of their divine presence. pilgrims, owing to the rich heritage and cultural
This region exhibits a number of holy temples that significance these places carry.
are known for their architectural magnificence and Historically, early temples start from the Gupta Period
intriguing historical tales. (5th - 6th C.A.D.) and in the Deccan region particularly
The temples, like rest of India seem to have been in Telangana, temple building activity was traced from
constructed according to Vastu-Sashtras on the banks 6th C.A.D. during the period of Chalukyas of Badami
of rivers, on mountain tops or in forests and in the and continued during the period of Rashtrakutas,
towns. Strong mythological beliefs have rendered this Chalukyas of Kalyani and Vemulawada, Kakatiyas,
place as one of the religious hubs of the country. Shri Kanduru Chodas, Velama Chiefs, Mansuri Nayakas and
Laxmi Narasimha Swamy Temple, Yadagirigutta, Shri Vijayanagara period. Though many dynasties ruled
Sita Ramachandra Swamy Temple, Bhadrachalam, the state, most of the temples are constructed during
Saraswati Temple, Basara, Bhadrakali Temple, the period of Kakatiyas. The Kakatiyas who were the
Hanamakonda, Navabrahma Temples, Alampur, first independent rulers of the region established new
Thousand Pillar Temple, Hanamakonda, Ramappa towns, constructed irrigation tanks and built temples
Temple, Palampet, Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Temple, for the economic development and welfare of the
Vemulawada and Ghanpur Group of Temples etc. are people. Hence, they are fondly remembered by the
some of the famous temples in Telangana. Number of people even today.
festivals and fairs organized near these temples which

Ramappa Temple, Palampet


According to canonical texts, the temples are divided into Nagara,
Vasara and Dravida which are further classified as Ekakuta (single
shrine), Dwikuta (double), Trikuta (triple), Chatushkuta (quadruple)
and Panchakuta (five). Most of the temples face the east though some
Trikuta temples face south but the main deities i.e. Shiva Lingam face
east only, thus receiving the morning sun rays.
Generally, the temple consists of garbhagriha or womb-chamber,
where the primary idol or deity is housed, antarala, mandapa, mukha
mandapa (porch) with openings on one or three sides, separate Nritya
mandapa, Nandi mandapa and pillared mandapa are also constructed
in the same complex. Most of the temples are built within stone prakara.
The temples were built on an upapitha and high adhistana with inner or
outer pradakshinapatha. The upapitha which is a typical feature of the
Kakatiya temples served as an additional support on which the votary
could walk around the temple and enjoy the exterior beauty of the
temple and its sculptures.


Shaft Four Square Bracket
Abacus
Circular Projection
Circular Section with a Sloping Top
Central Square Block

Octogonal Section

Lower Square

Asvapadam

Sections of a Kakatiyan Temple Pillar


Legends 1
2
1. Garbhagriha
2. Antarala
3. Ranga Mandapa
4. Dwara (Entrance)

12 3 2 1

4

Layout Plan of Triple Shrine (Trikutalayam) Temple
14


Legends
1 Garbhagriha
2 Antarala 1
3 Mandapa
4 Pradakshina patha
4 4

2

Entrance 3 Entrance

44

Entrance

Layout Plan of a Single Shrine Temple


Most of the trikuta temples built during the Kakatiya period are dedicated to Lord Shiva,
Vasudeva and Surya, but sometimes all the three garbhagrihas are enshrined with Shiva
Lingas only. Temples like Pachala Someshwara Swamy temple at Panagal, Ramappa temple
at Palampet are constructed with beautifully polished ornamental door jambs, lintal, pillars
and beams with Puranic scenes. The Ramappa temple which is termed as the “brightest star
in the galaxy of Medieval Deccan temples” is famous for its bracket figures - Madanikas (i.e.)
graceful dancing female figurines, naginis etc. arranged in pairs under the eaves.
Some of us often visit these temples without knowing about their historical significance.
However, it is important to acquaint ourselves with the mythology behind a temple along
with the stories that relate to it, and the architectural beauty. The ancient temples of Telangana
are a perfect blend of history, architecture and beauty.

Sangameshwara Temple, Alampur


Shri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple

Yadagirigutta, Nalgonda District - Page 18

Shri Hemachala Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple

Mangapet, Warangal District - Page 30

Shri Sita Ramachandra Swamy Temple

Bhadrachalam, Khammam District - Page 34

Shri Ramalingeshwara Swamy Temple

Keesaragutta, Ranga Reddy District - Page 42

Jogulamba Temple & NavaBrahma Temples

Alampur, Mahbubnagar District - Page 48

Shri Bhadrakali Temple

Warangal, Warangal District - Page 54

Shri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Temple

Vemulawada, Karimnagar District - Page 60

Kulpakji Jain Temple

Kolanupaka, Nalgonda District - Page 68

Shri Someshwara Swamy Temple

Kolanupaka, Nalgonda District - Page 74

Shri Chennakesava Swamy Temple

Gangapur, Mahbubnagar District - Page 78

Shri Padmakshi Temple

Hanamkonda, Warangal District - Page 80

Shri Chaya Someshwara & Pachala Someshwara Swamy Temples

Panagal, Nalgonda District - Page 84

Shri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple

Dharmapuri, Karimnagar District - Page 88

Shri Lakshmi Narayana Swamy Temple

Jainath, Adilabad District - Page 94

Thousand Pillar Temple

Hanamkonda, Warangal District - Page 100


The main Shikaram or Sanctum Sanctorum Facade


The origin of this temple is mentioned in the Skanda Purana and it is
reputed to be a Rishi Aradhana Kshetram (Center of worship for sages).
The Aradhanam and puja in this temple are performed according to
Pancharatra Agamam. The puja vidhanam (procedure) was set by Late
Shri Vangeepuram Narasimhacharyulu, who served as Sthanacharya of
this temple.
Major festivals celebrated at this temple include - Brahmothsavam,
which is performed during the months of Falgun (February-March) for
eleven days and Jayanthi Mahotsavam, performed for three days from
Vysakha Sudha Dwadasi to Chathurdashi every year. Apart from these
major festivals, there are routine festivals conducted as per the temple
timetable. Every day, many pilgrims visit this temple for performing of
pujas, Saswata Kalyanam, abhishekam, tonsuring and completing other
vows. On weekends, public holidays and festival days, the congregation
goes up many folds.
The Government of Telangana has chalked out a grandiose plan to
develop Yadagirigutta as a comprehensive spiritual centre.

27


The Water Tank at the Temple


Statues on the Temple Facade


Shri Hemachala
Lakshmi Narasimha

Swamy Temple

Mangapet
Warangal District

Dedicated to
lord shri Narasimha Swamy

Period: Ancient


Facade of the Temple


Shri Hemachala Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy, one of the
most ancient temples, is located in the Mallur Ghats in the
Mangapet Mandal of Warangal district. It is about 130 km
from Warangal and 70 km from Bhadrachalam. The hillock,
in the shape of a crescent moon, is adorned with many
temples and is known for its herbal and medicinal plant
protection centre.
According to legends, these hills were gifted by Ravana, the
demon king, to his sister Shurpanaka. Lord Rama, along
with Lakshmana killed all the demons headed by Khara and
Dushana, who inhabited this area. It is also believed that the
great sage Agastya established the shrines and named this
place as Hemachalam. There are many stories of miracles
associated with the deity and the temple. It is believed
that the devotees who offer their prayers to the deity and
visit the other temples are saved from all troubles and
tribulations. The Chintamani flows through the forest area
of the Hemachalam as a stream all through the year and is
the source of water for the people. It is believed that its water
has medicinal properties.
Every day at around 12 noon, the traditional abhishekam
takes place, after which, the temple priest decorates the idol,
which is carved on the hill wall with special oil brought
by the devotees or the priest himself. The priest shows
something very amazing. He presses his forefinger on to the
chest of the idol and one can see the finger literally pressing
into the rock without resistance. As he takes out his finger,
the trough formed by pressing slowly, fills up, leaving an
impression on the chest. The navel portion (boddu) of the
idol secretes a fluid (cheemu) at regular intervals of time,
which is distributed to devotees on specified days. It is
considered as an elixir to treat various ailments including
infertility and mental imbalance.
Other temples in this area are Shri Veeranjaneya, Shri
Bhavani Shambhu Lingeshwara Swamy, Shri Ramalayam
and Shri Venugopala Swamy Temples.
The Thirukalyanam and the Brahmotsavam of the presiding
deity are celebrated on Vaishakha Shuddha Chaturdashi,
(April-May) every year with great devotion and fervor. The
temple is thronged by devotees throughout the year.


Shri SITA
RAMACHANDRA SWAMY

TEMPLE

Bhadrachalam
KHAMMAM District

Dedicated to
Lord Shri Rama

Period: Ancient


Exterior View of the Temple Facade


The Shri Sita Ramachandra Swamy temple, one of the most famous
temples in the country, dedicated to lord Rama, is situated on the banks
of river Godavari at Bhadrachalam in Khammam district. It is about
300 km east of Hyderabad. Attracting lakhs of devotees from all over
the world, this temple town has a documented history of construction
of lord Shri Rama temple during the 17th Century CE.
The name Bhadrachalam is derived from Bhadragiri or the mountain
of Bhadra, a rishi born to mount Meru and Menaka. According to
legends, Bhadra Maharishi undertook intensive tapa in this area, which
was known as ‘Dandakaranya’ and wanted lord Rama to reside on the
hillock. Lord Rama, who was in search of his consort, Sita, promised to
fulfill the rishi’s desire upon his return, after finding Sita. However, he
flew back to Ayodhya after annihilating Ravana and never returned to
Dandakaranya. The sage, however, continued his severe penance even
after the culmination of Treta Yuga. As the promise made to his devotee
during Ram avatara was not fulfilled, Maha Vishnu manifested himself
as Vykuntha Rama for his devotee, signaling his arrival by blowing
‘Shankh’, accompanied by Sita and Lakshmana. Thus, the idol of lord
Rama has four hands - Shankh on the right, Chakra on his left and bow
and arrow in the other two hands. The place where the deities rested is
Bhadra - achalam (hill of Bhadra).


Inscription of Bhakta Ramadas, 19th Century A.D


There is another belief that Pokala Dhammakka found the deities
Vykuntha Rama, Lakshman and Sita. She was an ardent devotee of lord
Rama and was an inhabitant of Bhadrireddypalem, a mile away from
this holy place. One night, she saw lord Rama in her dream and was told
by the lord that, ‘the saints and sages are worshiping my embodied deity
settled on Bhadragiri.’ He asked her to trace them, perform puja and
attain salvation. The next morning, she started searching for the deities
- peeped into an anthill and found the deities hidden in it. She poured
hundreds of pots filled with Godavari water on the anthill, which tardily
dissolved it and gave way to show the hidden deities. Since then, she
used to perform puja daily while offering naivedyam with fruits fallen
from near Palmyra tree and constructed a mandapam with the help of
local villagers.
Kancherla Gopanna, popularly known as Bhakta Ramadas was the
Tasildar of Bhadrachalam. A staunch devotee of lord Rama, he
constructed the temple using the revenue collected from the public. He
was imprisoned in a dungeon at Golconda Fort for misappropriation
of government funds. Lord Rama and Lakshman are believed to have
appeared before the Sultan and paid the money due from Gopanna and
got him released from the prison. His compositions in praise of lord
Rama are very popular.
Rama Navami and Kartik Purnima are the major festivals celebrated
here. This holy town with beautiful landscapes provided by River
Godavari attracts several devotees throughout the year from all parts of
the country. Launch trips, on the scenic route, between Bhadrachalam
and Rajahmundry on the river Godavari are breath taking.

41


The Stambha or the Pillar


Apart from this famous temple, there are other places nearby which one can visit:
Parnasala: About 35 km from Bhadrachalam, this is supposed to be the hermitage
selected by sage Agasthya for lord Rama to stay during his exile.
Jataayu Paaka: Located just 2 km away from Bhadrachalam, this is where Jatayu
obstructed Ravana and fought with him while he was proceeding on the chariot
after kidnapping Sita.
Dummugudem: It is believed that lord Rama killed 14,000 demons headed by the
brothers Khara and Dushana here. As the village was said to be built upon the ashes
of these demons, the place is named after as Dummugudem.
Shri Govinda Raja Swamy Temple: It is one of the most ancient temples of
Bhadrachalam dedicated to Shri Govinda Raja Swamy. It is located in one of the
main centers of the town known as Tatagudi Centre.
Mothe Gadda Veerabhadra Swamy Temple, Mothe Patti nagar: Located on
an island in river Godavari (visible form Godavari bridge) dedicated to Shri
Veerabhadraswamy built during 14th C.A.D.

43


SHRI
RAMALINGESHWARA

Swamy TEMPLE

Keesaragutta
Ranga reddy District

Dedicated to
Lord Shiva

Period: 3rd-4th C.A.D


Sanctum Sanctorum of one of the different Shiva Temples in the Temple Compound


Located on a small hillock and dedicated to lord Shiva at
Keesaragutta, about 40 km from Hyderabad, this temple
traces its antiquity to Treta Yuga.
Legend has it that Shri Rama installed the Shivalinga here
to atone for the sin of killing Ravana, a Brahmin by birth.
He selected this beautiful valley surrounded by hills and
verdant greenery for the purpose and ordered Hanuman
to bring a Shivalinga from Varanasi for installation. As
Hanuman got late, lord Shiva himself appeared before Shri
Rama and gifted a Shivalinga for installation. Hence, this
manifestation of lord Shiva was named Ramalingeshwara as
lord Shri Rama had installed the lingam.
When Hanuman returned with 101 lingams from Varanasi
for lord Rama to choose the most appropriate one, he felt
aggrieved that a lingam was already installed. It is said that
he scattered them all over the area. To mollify Hanuman,
Shri Rama ordained that preference be given to him for
worship at the temple. He also said that the hillock where
the lingam was installed would bear his name Kesarigiri to
denote Hanuman, the son of Kesari. Over a period of time,
due to regional language influences the name is now known
as Keesara and the hill as Keesaragutta. Keesaragutta was
once the capital city of Vishnukundin dynasty.

Maha Shivarathri, Shiva Parvathi Kalyanam Shri
Rama Navami, Hanuman Jayanthi, Ramalingeshwara
Brahmotsavam and other auspicious days of the Karthik and
Magha months are important festivals celebrated here.
There is also a temple of lord Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy
built during the time of Qutb Shahi period. There is a
Veda Pathasala run by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams
established here.
Certain exploration and excavation missions conducted
by the Archaeological Department in and around the
Keesaragutta temple brought to light number of brick
temples, cells and other structures encompassed by brick
prakara wall along with coins, beads, stucco figures,
garbhapatra, pottery, Brahmi label inscriptions datable to
4th – 5th C.A.D. On top of one of the rock-cut caves, an early
Telugu label inscription reading as ‘Thulachuvanru’ can be
noticed. On the basis of palaeography, the inscription is
dated to 4th - 5th century A.D.


Statues outside the Garbhagriha of the temple


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