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Ancient Temples of Telangana_Book

Ancient Temples of Telangana_Book

Extensively Carved Stone Entrance

Stone Carvings on the Temple walls

Being one of the oldest temples of Telangana, Dichapally Ramalayam, which
is perched atop a hillock, is dedicated to lord Rama. The scenic locale has an
ineffable charm. Built of white and black basalt, the temple has an arch at the
foot of the hillock, which beckons visitors. The exquisite carvings on the temple
walls, ceilings and doorframes are a must watch. Towards the south of the temple,
there is an extensive tank amidst which stands a pillared mandapam.
This temple was built around the 16th Century by the Kakatiya kings. It is also
called Indhoor Khajuraho or Nizamabad Khajuraho. It has 105 steps and a
pedestrian subway connecting it to Raghunadha temple in the Nizamabad urban
The temple is visited by thousands of devotees on the occasion of Ram Navami.


Outer Facade of the Temple

Shri Venkateshwara
Swamy Temple

Khammam District

Dedicated to
Lord Shri Venkateshwara

Period: Late Medieval

Main Entrance and the Pillar

Located in Jamalapuram in Khammam district,
this temple is also known as Telangana Chinna
Tirupati, Swayambhoo and Swayam Vyakta.
The temple is believed to be over 1000 years old
and is located in a serene pleasant ambience
surrounded by lush green hills.
This place consists of the historical Suchi Gutta
where it is believed that Jabali Maharishi earned
lord Venkateshwara’s blessings after penance.
The temple is situated at a distance of 80 km
from the district headquarters of Khammam.
An ancient temple in a pleasant environment
is one factor that has made the temple popular
with tourists. The temple witnesses heavy
flux of pilgrims during auspicious occasions
and festivals. Many devotees visit this shrine,
especially on Saturdays.



Medak District

Dedicated to
Lord Shri Veerabhadra Swamy and Goddess Badrakali

Period: Late Medieval

About 40 km away from the city of Hyderabad, there is a
village named Bonthapally, situated in Zinnaram Mandal
of Medak district. The famous and ancient temple of lord
Veerabhadra Swamy, said to be in existence from times
before the Kakatiya Empire, is located here. Just behind
this main temple and to its right is the temple of goddess

According to popular folklore, after King Daksha Prajapati
was killed during the Daksha Yagam, his followers came
to live in the area between river Musi and Manjira. They
began to persecute the devotees of Shiva, who was Daksha’s
staunch enemy. Lord Shiva appeared in the form of lord
Veerabhadra Swamy to end this persecution and decided to
settle down at this place, which was then a dense forest with
many Bilva trees, considered dearest to lord Shiva. As this
place was full of trees and always dark, people felt it was
like a black haired caterpillar, (Bontha purugu in Telugu)
and named this place after the insect as Bonthapally. There
is a dense forest adjacent to Bonthapally spanning over an
area of 40 sq. km known as Narsapur Reserve Forest. It is
the largest forest close to the twin cities of Hyderabad and

According to another story, a long time ago, there was only
the small temple of Shri Veerabhadra Swamy. One night,
a shepherd was passing in front of that temple. He heard
someone calling and turned back and saw lord Veerabhadra
Swamy. It is believed that the lord told him that he wanted
to be shifted to another place. He asked the shepherd to
carry him on his shoulder to another location until he got
tired. The shepherd carried the lord on his shoulder, walked
to about a kilometer, and placed him where the current
temple is located. Then the lord asked the shepherd to go
home without turning back and if he turns, he would freeze
into a statue. The shepherd went accordingly, but after
walking to some distance, due to curiosity he turned back.
A statue, believed to be that of the shepherd is still there in
this village. Lord then came in the dream of a priest and the
village heads and told them to build a temple for him where
the present big temple is located.

Many devotees from Hyderabad and different parts of the
Medak district visit this temple in large numbers. Many
people visit this temple during the month of Sravana and
on Mondays.

Shri Brahmaramba
Mallikarjuna Swamy


Medak District

Dedicated to
Lord Shri Mallikarjuna Swamy

Period: Late Medieval

The temple of lord Mallikarjuna is located close to Ameenpur in a village
called Beeramguda. It is believed that this temple existed since the 13th
Century due to the efforts of two sages named Bhoga Maharishi and
Brugu Maharishi. Devotees can find a Shiva linga on travelling through
an inner route of the temple. The people believe that the inner route
leads to Srisailam. There was a four feet statue of lord Veera Bhadra
earlier due to which the temple was called as Veerappa or Beerappa. Now,
the place is popularly known as Beeramguda. The temple attained great
significance during the reign of Kakatiyas and was developed much in
1980s. During Shivarathri, grand celebrations are held here for five days.

Inside View of the Temple Complex

Chilkur Balaji Temple

ranga reddy District

Dedicated to
Lord SHRI Venkateshwara

Period: Late Medieval

At a distance of about 25 km from Hyderabad and on
the banks of Osmansagar is the picturesque village of
Chilkur having a temple dedicated to Shri Balaji or Shri
Venkateshwara. The shrine is instrumental for the temple’s
popularity as Visa God. Set in sylvan surroundings, the
temple attracts thousands of pilgrims every day and is an
ideal place for retreat and meditation.
Believed to be have been built during the time of Akkanna
and Madanna, the uncles of Bhakta Ramadas, the style,
structure and appearance clearly indicates its antiquity.
According to legends, a devotee who used to visit Tirupati
every year could not do so on one occasion owing to ill
health. It is believed that lord Venkateshwara appeared in
his dream and said, “I am right here in the jungle nearby.
You don’t have to worry.” The devotee at once went to the
place indicated by the lord in his dream and saw an anthill
there. When he started digging, accidentally, the axe struck
lord Balaji’s idol below the chin and on the chest. When
blood started flowing, profusely flooding the ground and
turning it scarlet, the devotee could not believe his eyes and
was greatly perturbed. He heard a divine voice telling him to
pour the cow’s milk in large quantity into the anthill. When
the devotee did so, a Swayambhu idol of lord Balaji, Sridevi
and Bhoodevi were found. They were installed with the due
rights and later a temple was built.
This temple does not accept any money, does not have a
hundi from the devotees. There are no green channels or
privileges for VVIPs. Another similar temple is the Jalaram
temple in Virpur (Rajkot), Gujarat. This temple fought and
won the right to stay out of government control. The only
other such temple is Ramanuj Kot, a temple in Jodhpur,
Approximately 75,000 to 100,000 devotees visit in a week.
Generally, the temple gets heavy rush on Fridays, Saturdays
and Sundays.

shivA Temple at
Shri Vidya Saraswati


Medak District

Dedicated to
Lord Shiva and Goddess Saraswati

Period: Late Medieval

Facade of the Temple

Wargal is at a distance of around 47 km from Secunderabad. This temple
is located on a hillock, which has a unique rock formation and a valley
around. There is an ancient Shiva temple in the more renowned recently
constructed Saraswati Temple Complex. The Shiva temple is in a hollow
below the ground level and one has to crawl for a few feet to reach the
main Shiva lingam. Surrounding this temple were two ancient Vaishnava
temples built before the Kakatiya rulers. There is a big victory pillar
made of granite and is 30 feet high. The victory pillar has the statues
of Sita Rama, Lakshmana and goddesses Lakshmi. Other important
temples in the complex are Lakshmi Ganapathi temple, Shani temple
and Venugopalaswamy temple.
At the Saraswati temple, Dussera and Vasanth Panchami are the major
annual festivals for goddess Saraswati. Special pujas are performed for
Shani on every Shani Tryodhasi (the thirteenth lunar day coinciding with
a Saturday) which attracts people from all over the country. Thousands
of devotees visit the temple.


Top View of the Temple


Karimnagar District

Dedicated to
Lord SHRI Hanuman

Period: Late Medieval

In the lap of beautiful hills, breathtaking valleys and
refreshing water springs, the town of Kondagattu is blessed
by nature and is a very scenic spot. One of the most famous
and ancient temples in Telangana of Shri Anjaneya Swamy
(lord Hanuman) is located on a hillock in this village. It is
among the most frequently visited places in Karimnagar
district tourism itinerary.
As per local legends, the temple dates back to more than
300 years. A cowherd named Singam Sanjeevudu came to
this hillock searching for one of the cattle lost from his herd.
Overcome by fatigue he soon fell into deep sleep after a
tiresome search. It is believed that lord Hanuman appeared
in his dream and told him where to look for his lost animal.
He woke up and started searching in the instructed direction.
He found his lost buffalo and a radiating idol of Anjaneya
Swamy . He then built a small temple for lord Anjaneya with
the help of other cowherds. As per another story, a group of
shepherds led by one Singala Swamyji discovered the statue
of lord Anjaneya about 300 years ago in the hillock. Later,
with the help of his shepherd mates, Singala Swamyji built a
temple for the lord.
Popularly known as the Kondagattu Anjaneya Swamy
temple, the temple has a Dharma Gundam (holy water
tank) where devotees can take bath. The temple is adorned
with sculptures of various gods on its facades and walls. The
16-pillared porch graces the entrance to the temple. There
are three inner chambers housing the idols of lord Shri
Venkateshwara, lord Shri Anjaneya and goddess Lakshmi.
As the devotees approach the temple, they are awestruck
by the huge larger than life statue of lord Anjaneya. Stairs
have been provided to go up to view the statue from close
Hanuman Jayanthi is the most popular festival celebrated
here and more than 4 lakh people visit this temple
during that time. Many young men of Telangana perform
Hanuman Deeksha Mala for a period of 41 days by reaching
Kondagattu Hanuman temple by Padayatra and completing
their vow on the day of Hanuman Jayanthi.
Apart from the temple, the fort of Kondalaraya and the near
by. Bojjapotana caves are worth seeing at Kondagattu.

Offerings of Wooden Footwear with Vermillion to the Lord

Shri Lakshmi
Narasimha Swamy


Medak District

Dedicated to
lord shri Narasimha Swamy

Period: Late Medieval

Located at about 50 km from Hyderabad, Nacharam Gutta is the abode
of the most revered Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy in Medak district.
Believed to be more than 600 years old, it is a cave temple, situated on a
beautiful hillock.
As per legends, after Shri Narasimha Swamy killed the Asura King
Hiranyakasipu, he was in a very angry mood and roamed around in
this area. As no one was able to pacify him, Shri Lakshmi Devi met him
here and calmed him down. Inside the sanctum sanctorum, Swayambu
Narasimha Swamy, along with his consort Lakshmi are beautifully
carved in the rock can be seen as a testimony to the above episode.
This place got its name as Nacharam from a local devotee named Nachar.
It is also known as Nacharam Gutta and Yeluru Nacharam. In ancient
times, it was known as Swethagiri and Gargeva Thapovanam. The temple
is along river Haridra across which there is a dam now. There are few
other temples around the sanctum sanctorum including that of Shri Sita
Ramachandra Swamy, Shri Anjaneya Swamy, lord Shiva, Shri Dattatreya
Swamy and Navagrahalu.
There are a number of Sevas conducted here every day and utsavas from
time to time. Shri Sathyanarayana Swamy Vrathams are performed here
every day by a large number of pilgrims.

Shikharam of the Temple



A Orthodox Arya Vaishyas follow rituals C
prescribed in the Vasavi Puranam, a
Abhishekam religious text written in the late Middle Chakra
Abhishekam is a ritual conducted Ages. Their kuladevata is Vasavi. The A wheel weapon or force field and as
by priests, by pouring libations Arya Vaishya are divided into two a Symbol of lord Vishnu, its name is
on the image of the deity, amidst sub-sects, the Gavara Komatis and the Sudarshana. It is believed to be made
the chanting of mantras. Usually, Kalinga Komatis. by lord Shiva and gifted to lord Vishnu.
offerings such as milk, yogurt, ghee, Asuras Chalukyan
honey, Panchaamrutam, sesame oil, Asuras are mythological lord beings Name of the dynasty who ruled in the
rosewater, sandalwood paste may who competed for power with the early Medieval period, the temples
be poured among other offerings more benevolent Devas (also known built during their period are termed as
depending on the type of abhishekam as suras). Asuras are described in “Chalukyan”.
being performed. Indian texts as powerful superhuman Chalukyas of Vemulawada
creatures and are considered “enemy of Name of the Dynasty that ruled from
Abdar Khana the gods” or demons. Vemulawada as their capital.
Name of the structure (where drinking Avatara Chatusthala
water is provided). Incarnation of Gods. Type of structure / house or palace.
Abhaya B Shadow.
Protection offering posture. Chouribarers
Balipeetam Fly-whisk bearers (Female or Male
Adhishthana It is the place close to the attendants).
Basement of a Vimana/Mandapa. Dwajasthambam located outside
the main sanctum sanctorum where D
Alwars offerings are made to the main deity.
Vaishnavite saints (they are 12 in Baradari Dandakaranya
number). Platform having twelve gateways. Dandakaranya is a spiritually
Bhadrakali significant region in India covering
Amalaka Bhadrakali is one of the fierce forms a large tract of land, which includes
Indian gooseberry fruit. Crowning of goddess, she is supposed to have the Abujhmar Hills in the west to the
member of the temple in the shape of taken this incarnation to kill the Eastern Ghats in the east, including
Amalaka. demon Rakthabija as per the Devi parts of the Telangana, Chhattisgarh,
Mahatmiyam. Orissa and Andhra Pradesh states.
Anjali Mudra Brahmahatya Dosham Dandakaranya roughly translates from
Folded hands posture. The sin of killing Brahmins (Brahma Sanskrit to “The Jungle (aranya) of
hatya) and is considered to be most Punishment (dandakas).
Antarala heinous. Dargah
A small chamber in between Brahmi Tomb of a Muslim saint (Holy place).
garbhagriha and mandapa of a temple. The earliest known script of India. Darshan
Brahmotsavam Darshan or Darsana is a term meaning
Aradhanam Festival celebrated in Hindu temples “auspicious sight”, in the sense of an
Aaradhanam derived from generally once a year. As per belief, the instance of seeing or beholding and
Aaraddhana, a Sanskrit word, means festival is conducted by lord Brahma being seen or be held at the same
acts of glorifying god by various means himself to glorify the main deity of the time. It is most commonly used for
like chanting his names, singing in his temple. It is generally the grandest of “manifestation / visions of the divine”
praise etc. all festivities and attended by many in Hindu worship of a deity or a very
devotees. holy person or artifact.
Ardha Mandapa
Small pillared hall in front of

Arya Vaishyas
Arya Vaishya is an Indian caste.

Darwaza The significant ones are given an Hundi
Door. adjectives such as of Maha (great) , In a temple Hundi is the receptacle for
Dayagajakesari Mukha (important), Simha (Lion), receiving offerings from devotees.
Elephant- Lion motif and also a title of Gaja (Elephant) etc.
Kakatiya kings. Dwarapalakas J
Deepam In the temples of South India, the
Deepam or Dipam means lighted lamp gates of the inner sanctum sanctorum Jagathi Or Jagati
in the temple. are guarded by side idols. These are Basement of a temple; also, a Jagati is
Deepasthambha the divine gatekeepers known as the a raised surface, platform or terrace
Pillar meant for placing lamp (generally dwarapalakas. upon which some of the Hindu
seen in temples). temples are built. The Jagati allows for
Devanagari E circumambulation, i.e. the walking of
Writing script. devotees around the shrine.
Devas Epitaphs
In the earliest vedic literature, all Inscriptions. Jatra
supernatural beings are called Asuras. Jatra or Yātrā in Hinduism and other
By late vedic period, benevolent G Indian religions generally means
supernatural beings are referred to pilgrimage to holy places such as
as Deva-Asuras. In post-vedic texts, Gadha confluences of sacred rivers, places
such as the Puranas and the Itihasas Club (A type of weapon). associated with Hindu epics such as
of Hinduism, the Devas represent the Gadi the Mahabharata and Ramayana and
good and the Asuras the bad. In some Residence of a village head. other sacred pilgrimage sites.
medieval Indian literature, Devas are Gandaberunda
also referred to as Suras and contrasted Powerful mythical animal that can Jyotirlingas
with their equally powerful, but carry elephants. A Jyotirlinga denotes the radiant
malevolent half-brothers referred to as Garbhagriha sign of lord Shiva. There are twelve
the Asuras. Garbhagriha is the sanctum sanctorum, traditional Jyotirlinga shrines in India
Dhwajasthambam or Dwajasthamba the innermost sanctum of a Hindu where the Lingam is believed to have
The flagstaff of a temple. This is temple where resides the murti (idol manifested on its own. The twelve
constructed as per Agama Sastras or icon) of the primary deity of the jyothirlinga are Somnath in Gujarat,
in between the main entrance of the temple. Literally, the word means Mallikarjuna at Srisailam in Andhra
temple and the garbhagriha. The “womb chamber”, from the Sanskrit Pradesh, Mahakaleswar at Ujjain
temple flag is hoisted to mark the words garbha for womb and griha in Madhya Pradesh, Omkareshwar
yearly festivals or important occasions. for house. Only priests are allowed to in Madhya Pradesh, Kedarnath in
Digambara sect enter this chamber. Himalayas, Viswanath at Varanasi
A sect of Jainism. Garuda Pillar in Uttar Pradesh, Bhimashankar,
Dravida style Pillar where Garuda image (Eagle) is Grishneshwar, Triambakeshwar,
There are three styles of architecture kept. Vaidyanath temple and Aundha
i.e., Nagara,Vesara and Dravida. The Gopuram Nagnath in Maharashtra, Rameshwar
style that was followed in Southern Main gateway of a temple or city. at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu.
India is called Dravida. Gunfoundry
Durgam Place where guns (canons) are K
Fort. manufactured.
Dwarams Kakatiyas
Translated from Sanskrit it means H Dynasty which ruled from Warangal
entrances. A temple may have many as their capital during 12-14th C.A.D.
significant Dwarams or entrances. Hemadpanthi Style
Style of temple architecture in the Kakshasana
Maharashtra state. Stone seat for resting in the temples.

See Bhadrakali.

Kalyana Mandapa
A type of Pillared hall where marriage
or rituals are performed.

Kalyanotsavam Linga ritual marriage celebration of the lord
Kalyanam means auspicious Stone shaft. God Shiva is worshiped in with goddess.
wedding and utsavam means festival. the form of Linga. Mandir
Kalyanotsvam refers to the symbolic Lingayats Temple .
celestial wedding of the main deity Lingayatism is a distinct Shaivite Masjid
of the temple with his consort. These denomination practiced in India. Prayer place for Muslims (Mosque).
utsavams are performed keeping all It makes several departures from Minarate
the traditional procedures of actual mainstream Hinduism and propounds Slender type of pillar of a Mosque.
weddings of humans. It is believed that monotheism through worship centered Mithuna
performing these auspicious festivals on lord Shiva in the form of Ishtalinga. Couple/pair.
bring prosperity to the people at large. The adherents of this faith are known as Moharam
Khatvanga Lingayats. Lingayats are also identified Period of mourning.
A weapon of remote antiquity (club and referred as Veerashaivas. Mukha mandapa
made up of bone - to the end of which Entrance of a temple.
human skull is attached). M Mulavirat
Koneru Principal deity of a temple.
Step well found in the temples. Mahotsavams Murthi
Kostas Combination of two words ‘maha’ A murthi, vigraha or pratima typically
Niche. and ‘utsavams’, these refer to major refers to an image that expresses
Koti and important festivals conducted in a Divine Spirit (murta). Meaning
One Crore. various temples. literally “embodiment”, a murti is a
Krutha Yuga Makara Sankaranthi representation of a divinity, made
Yuga in Hindu philosophy is the name Makar Sankranti marks the transition usually of stone, clay or pottery, wood,
of an epoch or era within a four age of the Sun into the zodiac sign of or metal, which serves as a means
cycle. According to Hindu cosmology, Makara rasi (Capricorn) on its celestial through which a divinity may be
life in the universe is created and path. Makara Sankranthi is a solar worshiped.
destroyed once every 4.1 to 8.2 billion event making it one of the few Indian
years. The Krita Yuga in Hinduism also festivals, which fall on the same date N
called Satya Yuga is the “Era of Truth”, in the Gregorian calendar every year
when humanity is governed by gods i.e. 14 January, with some exceptions Naga Muchilinda
and every manifestation or work is when the festival is celebrated on 13 Muchilinda is name of the Naga king
close to the purest ideal and humanity or 15 January. It is also a festival of the who protects Buddha.
will allow intrinsic goodness to rule farmers as a thanks giving to Surya, the Nagabhanda motif
supreme. It is sometimes referred to as Sun God and the cattle, which form the It is a type of decorative motif (Snake).
the “Golden Age”. The Satya Yuga lasts back bone of agricultural operations. Nagara
for 1,728,000 years. Mandapam There are three styles in architecture
A mandapam also spelt as mantapa i.e., Nagara, Vesara and Dravida. The
L or mandapam in Indian architecture style followed in Northern India is
is a pillared outdoor hall or pavilion called Nagara.
Lakshmi for conduct of rituals of the deities Nagari
Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of in public. It is a porch-like structure Nagari is script used for Sanskrit and
wealth, prosperity (both material and leading to the temple. It is used for Hindi languages.
spiritual), fortune and the embodiment religious dancing and music and is part Nagini
of beauty. She is the consort and active of the basic temple architecture. If a Female Snake form.
energy of Vishnu. Her four hands temple has more than one mandapam,
represent the four goals of human life each one is allocated for a different
considered proper in Hindu way of life function and given a name to reflect
- Dharma, Kāma, Artha and Moksha. its use. Examples: Artha Mandapam
Lalatabimbha - intermediary space between the
Figure carved on entrance or door temple exterior and the garbhagriha
lintel. (sanctum sanctorum) or the other
mandapas of the temple. Asthana
Mandapam denotes assembly hall.
Kalyana Mandapam - dedicated to

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