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

Ancient Temples of Telangana_Book

Ancient Temples of Telangana_Book

Jogulamba Temple And
Navabrahma Temples

Alampur
Mahbubnagar District

Dedicated to
Goddess Jogulamba and Lord Shri Balbrahmeshwara

Period: 7th-8th C.A.D


Known as the “city of temples”, the town of Alampur is a revered religious refuge. It is located
at a distance of about 90 km from Mahbubnagar and 200 km from Hyderabad. The principal
deities at Alampur are goddess Jogulamba and lord Balbrahmeshwara. Alampur is also referred
to as Dakshina Kashi since it is the confluence (sangam) of the rivers Krishna and Tungabhadra,
another popular name of this place is Nava Brahmeshwara Theertha.
The Jogulamba temple is located in the southeast corner of the village on the banks of river
Tungabhadra. The old temple of Jogulamba was destroyed by Bahamani Sultans in the 14th
Century. The idols of Jogulamba and her two shaktis - Chandi and Mundi were hidden in
Balbrahmeswara Swamy temple until 2005. The new temple was constructed at the same place
and the goddess was reconsecrated. The temple is surrounded by a water pool. The local people
of Alampur attribute an interesting reason for it. It is believed that goddess Jogulamba is an Ugra
rupa (highly energetic form) and this water pool keeps the atmosphere cool so that people can
easily worship her.

Navabrahma Group of Temples


Shakti Peethas are the most divine seats of the mother goddess. The Jogulamba temple is one of
the Ashtadasa Shakti Peethas (18 holy abodes of mother goddess). Here, Shakti is worshipped as
Jogulamba Devi or Yogamba Devi and lord Shiva as Balbrahmeswara Swamy. It is believed that
Oordhav Danta Panki (upper jaw with tooth) of Shakti fell here. Jogulamba is derived from the
word ‘Joginula Amma’, which means - Mother of Joginis/Yoginis. The term Jogini/Yogini refers
to a woman, who has given up all material pleasures. Yogini also means a dancer, whose life is
dedicated to god.
The idol of goddess Jogulamba is in a sitting position. She has a huge amount of hair with
lizard, scorpion, owl and human skull depicted on it. Panel of Saptamatrikas, Vighneswara and
Veenapani Veerabhadra are also present in the temple.


Differently carved Shikharam


NAVABRAHMA TEMPLES
As the name indicates, nine temples are dedicated to lord Shiva in this
town. These temples date back to the 7th century A.D. Badami Chalukyas,
who ruled for about 200 years beginning from the middle of the sixth
century, built these temples.
The Navabrahma temples are Bala Brahma, Taraka Brahma, Swarga
Brahma, Padma Brahma, Garuda Brahma, Kumara Brahma, Arka
Brahma, Vira Brahma and Vishwa Brahma. These temples are all
enclosed in a courtyard on the left bank of the river Tungabhadra. The
Bala Brahma temple is the principal shrine of worship. It dates back
to the year 702 CE as per the inscriptions found here. Shivaratri is
celebrated in great splendor here. The Taraka Brahma temple is partly
in ruins and has no image in the sanctum. It bears Telugu-Kannada
inscriptions from the 6th-7th century CE. The Swarga Brahma temple
with an imposing tower is considered to be among the finest in Alampur
and is an excellent specimen of Chalukyan architecture and sculpture.
It contains several sculptures in bas-relief and dates back to the end of
the 8th century. The Padma Brahma temple too is partly in ruins and
contains a Shivalinga of clear stone with mirror like finish. The Viswa
Brahma temple is among the most artistic of the Navabrahma temples.
The sculptural work here depicts scenes from Hindu epics.

55


SHRI BHADRAKALI
TEMPLE

Warangal
Warangal District

Dedicated to
Goddess Bhadrakali

Period: 7th-8th C.A.D


Outer View of Shri Bhadrakali Temple


Statues of Shiva and Parvati in the temple


Considered to be one of the oldest temple dedicated to goddess
Bhadrakali, this temple is located on a hilltop against a picturesque
setting on the banks of the Bhadrakali Lake between the twin towns of
Hanamkonda and Warangal.
According to a folklore, Pulakasi II (AD 609-654) of Badami Chalukyas,
on his expedition to Vengi, along with his brother Kubja Vishnu Vardhan,
halted at Warangal and worshiped goddess Bhadrakali for success in
the war. He constructed a temple, as he was victorious over the Vengi
Kingdom in 625 A.D. It is believed that the goddess is self-manifested
and later on the temple was renovated during early Kakatiya period.
Two inscriptions recorded on the pillars of Mukha mandapa mention
Erra, probably the son of Mantri Vitthana and Panchakshari (Namah
Shivaya) and Meesaraganda son of Vittalmatya. The existence of temple
was recorded in the post-Kakatiya literature as well. After fall of the
Kakatiyas, the temple lost its importance and was disturbed by the
treasure hunters. It came into focus again in 1950 with the munificence
of Shri Manganlal Samej who planned to re-develop the temple inspired
by the deity in a dream. It was thus re-dedicated on July 29, 1950.
The temple is a sandhara type of temple having inner pradhakshina
Patha consisting of garbhagriha and pillared mandapa facing west.
The goddess is seated in padmasana on a corpse having eight hands
carrying khadga (sword), churi, rosary, damarukam in the left side and
bell, trisula, severed head of a demon and pana pathra in right hands.
Other attractions include an artificial lake of 2 ½ km radius near the
temple and a number of natural rock formations in the surroundings.
These add to the spiritual charm of the temple. Some of the unique
shaped rocks are said to possess immense spiritual powers.
The best time to visit the famous Bhadrakali temple in Warangal is
the Telugu month of ‘Sravana’ (August-September) during which a
festival is organized and the deity is aesthetically decorated in various
forms. People who visit Bhadrakali temple also visit Hanamkonda
Fort, Siddeshwara temple inside the fort, the Thousand Pillar Temple,
remnants of Swayambhu Shiva temple and the Keerthi Toranas in
Warangal fort.

61


Shri Raja Rajeshwara
Swamy Temple

Vemulawada
Karimnagar District

Dedicated to
Lord Shiva in the form of Raja Rajeshwara Swamy

Period: 9th-11th C.A.D


Exterior View of the Temple


Shri Raja Rajeshwara temple at
Vemulawada village, about 40 km from
Karimnagar, is one of the ancient and
famous temples of Telangana. In the
inscriptions, Vemulavada is referred
to as Lembulavataka, Lembulavade
and Lembalavada. It was the capital
of the Chalukyas of Vemulavada who
ruled from 750 AD to 973 AD. This
place is closely associated with famous
Kannada poet Pampa, the author
of Bharatha or Vikramarjunavijaya
during the period of Arikesari II.


Carved Statues on Temple Walls


Drawing a large number of devotees throughout the year, it is popularly
known as Harihara Kshetram. Though the presiding deity is lord Raja
Rajeshwara in the form of Neela Lohitha Shivalingam, there are two
Vaishnava temples dedicated to Shri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy and
Shri Sita Ramachandra Swamy within the main complex.
A unique feature of this temple is the presence of Dargah of Bagsawar, a
tomb of Muslim saint within the precincts of the temple, which speaks
volumes on the blend of different cultures and religions. Both the temple
and the dargah are visited by all devotees. Standing majestically on the
bank of a large tank, Gudicheruvu, the temple structure was renovated.
The antiquity of the temple is visible only in a few places around the
main shrine. The garbhagriha has Shri Lakshmi Ganapathi, lord Raja
Rajeshwara in the form of Neela Lohitha Shiva Linga, goddess Shri Raja
Rajeshwari and Nandi facing the lord. Many pilgrims take a sacred bath
in the holy tank, Dharma Gundam, before proceeding for darshan.
Another unique practice at Vemulawada is the Kode Mokkubadi. People
perform puja to a bull, representing Nandiswara for fulfilling their
wishes as token of thanksgiving to the lord. As per Bhavishyothara
Purana, lord Surya recovered from disability by praying at this shrine.
It is therefore referred to as Bhaskara Kshethram also. Indra, the King
of Devas was cured of Brahmahatya Dosham by worshipping here. Raja
Narendra, the grandson of Parikshit, who in turn was the grandson of
Arjuna, is believed to have been cured of leprosy, by taking bath in the
Dharma Gundam (sacred tank). It is said that lord Shiva with his consort
appeared in a vision to bless him and directed him to retrieve a Shiva
Lingam buried on the banks of the Pushkarni and construct a temple for
its installation.

67


Main Entrance of the Temple

Mahashivarathri is a major and notified festival celebrated
in this temple. Lakhs of pilgrims from all corners of the state
and also from other states visit this shrine during the festival.
Shri Rama Navami is another major festival during which
Kalyanotsavam is performed for Shri Sita Ramachandra
Swamy. Elaborate arrangements are made during these two
festivals for the convenience of pilgrims.
Another important monument in Vemulawada is the
Baddegesvara temple now known as Bhimeswara temple built
by King Baddega (850-895 A.D).


The Dargah of Bagsawar, a Muslim saint

Devotees performing the Kode Mokkubadi Ritual

69


Kulpakji Jain Temple

Kolanupaka
nalgonda District

Dedicated to
Lord shri Mahaveer, Lord Shri Neminath and lord shri Rishabha

Period: 11th C.A.D


Entrance Gate


Outer Facade of the Temple


Kolanupaka temple, also known as Kulpakji,
is a Jain temple located at the village of
Kolanupaka in Nalgonda district. It is about
80 km from Hyderabad on the Hyderabad-
Warangal Highway. The village was also
known as Kollipaka in the inscriptions of
10th -13th Century A.D and ruled successively
by Rastrakutas, Chalukyas of Kalyani and
Kakatiyas of Warangal. During the 11th
Century A.D, this village was a prominent
religious centre for Jainism just like Ellora and
Patancheruvu.
The temple houses three idols: one each of lord
Rishabha, lord Neminath and lord Mahaveer.
This temple is said to be more than two
thousand years old. In its present form, it is
more than eight hundred years old. It is believed
that Jainism was prevalent in Telangana before
the 4th Century and Kolanupaka was one of the
prominent centers of Jainism from early times.
There are eight idols of the other Tirthankars
on both sides of the main temple. The statue
of lord Mahaveer is 130 centimeters tall and is
said to be made of a single piece of jade. Idols of
lord Simandar Swamy and goddess Padmavati
are installed on either side of the main temple.
The temple was recently renovated by
employing more than 150 artisans from
Rajasthan and Gujarat. It is an important
pilgrimage center for Svetambara Jains.


Shri Someshwara
Swamy Temple

Kolanupaka
Nalgonda District

Dedicated to
Lord Shiva

Period: 12th C.A.D


The Someshwara Swamy temple is located in Kolanupaka village very
close to the Kulpakji Jain temple. Adorned with beautiful carvings and
sculptures the temple is built in Chalukyan style and is a treat to the eyes.
Inscriptions found here date the temple back to the 10th-11th Century
and narrate the stories of it being patronized by the Chalukyan kings.
The main deity of the temple is lord Shiva in the form of Swayambu or
Someshwara Swamy and his consort goddess Shakti or Chandika. It is
believed that, this is the birth place of ‘Renukacharya’, the great ‘Veera
Saiva’ saint, who was born from the ‘Swayambu Linga’ at this village and
absorbed into it after preaching Veera Saivam. A statue of Renukacharya
is present in the garbhagriha along with Swayambu Linga.

Shri Sahasra Linga Swamy


Shri Chennakesava
Swamy Temple

Gangapur
Mahbubnagar District

Dedicated to
Lord Vishnu
Period: 12th C.A.D


Gangapur is a village situated in the Mahbubnagar district,
about 5 km from the Jadcharla. Gangapur is an important
religious centre from the Kalyani Chalukyan times. Of the
several inscriptions found here, one belongs to the time
of Somesvara, four belong to the time of Vikramaditya VI
and three to the time of Bhulokamalla Somesvara III. The
inscription of the time of Vikramaditya VI dated 1091
A.D gives information about the existence of the temple
and also refers to the gods Sagaresvaradeva, Kesavadeva,

Komaresvaradeva, Somanathadeva, Salesvaradeva,
Bhimesvara and Shri Pojjisvaradeva.

The principal deity in the Chennakesava temple is lord
Vishnu, standing in samabhanga posture. The deity has four
hands, carrying Padma, Shankh, Chakra and Gada. This
form of Vishnu, according to iconographical texts is known
as Keshava. Since this image is so beautiful, it is known as
Chennakeshava Swamy.

The temple has entrances on the east, south and north. Each
entrance is preceded by a porch and leads into the hall of
the temple. The temple consists of a hall, an antarala and a
garbhagriha. The superstructure is of the stepped pyramidal
variety with a dome like crowning member and finial.The
style of the temple is Kalyani Chalukyan. In the temple
complex, there is a beautiful step well (Koneru) along with
four minor shrines on four corners of the main temple.

81


Shri Padmakshi
Temple

Hanamkonda
Warangal District

Dedicated to
Goddess Padmakshi

Period: 12th C.A.D


Located in the heart of Hanamkonda town in
Warangal district the Padmakshi temple is on
top of a beautiful hillock. According to a stone
inscription pillar (A.D. 1117) Mailamma, the
wife of the Minister Beta of the Chalukya king
Vikramaditya VI built a Jain temple named
‘Kadalalya Basadi’ and made endowments of
land for its maintenance. This Jain basadi is the
Padmakshi temple of the present day.
The main deity of this temple is goddess
Padmakshi, who is fondly called as “Amma”
by local people. The meaning of Amma in local
language, Telugu is mother. She is considered as
mother of mothers.
On the boulder of the hillock Jain
Theerthankaras, Mahaveera and Parshvanatha
are depicted in different postures. Beta and his
wife Mailamma Devi are depicted by the side of
lord Mahaveera.
The carvings of book-rests (Vyasa Pithas) on
the hillock prove beyond doubt that Padmakshi
(Hanamkonda) hillock was a place of learning
and sacred Thirtha for Jains like Shravana
Belagola.
A stone pillar inscription, stunning
quadrangular column made with granite black
stone, is located at the entrance of this temple.
The four faces of the pillar are marvelous and
impressive. There are four gateways to the
temple, one at the entrance and three at the
end. These toranas or gateways are very old and
inspired the later Kakatiyan kings to construct
the Kirti Toranas at their fort in Warangal in a
magnificent way.


Shri Chaya
Someshwara &
Pachala Someshwara
Swamy Temples

Panagal
Nalgonda District

Dedicated to
Lord Shiva

Period: 12th C.A.D


The Shadow formed behind the Shiva Linga in the
garbhagriha of the Chaya Someshwara Swamy Temple


Carved Wall of the Pachala Someshwara Swamy Temple


Panagal is a village situated close to
Nalgonda town. In the inscriptions, the
village has been referred as Panugallu
and Panungallu. The place has been
important from the time of Chalukyas
of Kalyani. The Chodas of Kanduru
ruled over Kandurunadu with Koduru
and Panugallu as their capitals from
1060 to 1160 A.D, it continued to be an
important place under Kakatiyas also.
There are three important temples in
Panagal namely - Pachala Someshwara
temple, Chaya Someshwara temple and
Venkateswara temple.
Pachala Someshwara Temple
According to a stone inscription the
Pachala Someshwara Swamy temple
can be dated back to 1124 A.D. It is a
unique temple in Telangana as it has
four shrines with excellent sculptures
on walls and pillars, depicting
stories from the Ramayana and the
Mahabharata. Some of the erotic
images on the walls are similar to the
ones found in Khajuraho among other
important pillar sculptures such as
Shiva as Gajasamharamurthy, Ravana
shaking Kailasa, Narasimha killing
Hiranyakasipu and battle scenes of
the Mahabharata and Ramayana.
The outside walls are decorated with
carvings of the gods. Besides, one
can also see a huge Nandi, the Ashta
Dikpalakas, a dancing Ganesha and
Lord Vishnu in the form of a boar.
Chaya Someshwara Temple
This temple is a triple shrine
(Trikutalaya) derived its name because
of the mystifying shadow of a pillar
shape falling on the Shivalinga all
through the day. On architectural and
stylistic grounds this temple may be
assigned to second half of 12th Century
A.D.


SHRI LAKSHMI
NARaSIMhA SWAMY

TEMPLE

Dharmapuri
Karimnagar District

Dedicated to
Lord Shri Laxmi Narasimha Swamy

Period: 12th C.A.D


Situated on the banks of river Godavari, Dharmapuri is an important
religious place, owing to the temple dedicated to Narasimha Swamy. The
river flows North to South at Dharmapuri as opposed to its East-West
flow at all other places, thereby earning the name of Dakshina Vahini.
The name of the village Dharmapuri is mentioned in the Kurkiyala
inscriptions of Jinavallabha datable to 945 Century A.D. as Dharmavura
or Dharmapuramu. There are two temples of lord Shri Laxmi Narasimha
Swamy namely Pata and Kotta.
Old Narasimha Swamy (Pata) temple consists of a garbhagriha and 48
pillared mandapa. The idol of lord Narasimha Swamy in the yogi form
is housed in the garbhagriha. The new temple (Kotta) has two Simha
Dwarams (main entrances). The main entrance of the temple complex is
the Pedda Gopuram or Pedda Devalaya Simhadwaram.

92


Imposing Entrance of the Temple


Tank of the Temple


Though all the villages surrounding Dharmapuri have regular dialect of
Telangana accent of Telugu, Dharmapuri has a typical Telugu accent spoken
by local vedic Brahmins, which is very peculiar to this ancient vedic village.
Dharmapuri has produced some of the best Sanskrit scholars.
All major festivals are celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion. Shri
Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Brahmotsavams in March/April and the Karthika
Mahotsavams-Karthika Deepam in October/November attract a large number
of devotees.


SHRI Lakshmi
NARAYaNA SWAMY

TEMPLE

Jainath
Adilabad District

Dedicated to
Lord SHRI Narayana Swamy

Period: 12th C.A.D


Exterior View of the Temple


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