More Temples of Andhra Pradesh

by V.A.Ponmelil (All rights reserved by the author)

Warangal Temple, Andhra Pradesh

The Warangal temple is the Thousand Pillar Temple which is situated at 4-km from Hanumakonda crossroad in Warangal district.

It is a fine specimen of Kakatiya architecture and sculpture built in the style of Chalukya temples. It is built by Rudra Devi in 1163 AD.

The temple has the star shaped architecture with three shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Surya. There are also perforated screens, exquisite icons and rock cut elephants.

The temple is built on a 1m high platform on the slopes of the Hanumakonda hill. It has a majestic six-foot monolithic Nandi carved out of granite with a smooth finish. Many small lingam shrines can be seen in the surrounding gardens of the temple.

The temple is world famous for its richly carved thousand pillars, screens and detailed sculpture. There is another famous temple of Bhadrakali near this temple. It is popular for the 2.7 meter tall stone image of Goddess Kali, depicted in a sitting posture. Even this temple is built in the Chalukyan style of temple architecture.

At Palampet, there is another impressive temple called the Ramappa temple.

Veerabhadra Temple, Andhra Pradesh

The Veerabhadra temple is located at Lepakshi, a small village located in the Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh. It is an example of the Vijayanagar architectural style and art was built in the 16th century. It is renowned world over as one of the 108 Saiva temples of India.

The temple with presiding deity as Veerabhadra has a wealth of magnificent sculpture in its intricate mandapams. There are beautiful sculptures on the Prakaram which include fourteen forms of Shiva. The hall of creepers has an excellent art work providing perennial inspiration to textile designs over the years.

The dance hall or the Natyamandapam has hundred pillars of life-sized images of dancers, musicians and other sculptures. A dome of twenty one feet in height reminiscent of a giant lotus reaching out to heaven emerges from the middle of the hall. There is huge granite Nandi Bull idol carved in single stone measuring about 8.25m long and 4,60m high.

The ceilings have enchanting beautiful mural paintings. The south walls have narrative illustrations representing Shiva’s legends including Arjuna’s penance. The main sanctuary has the life-size idol of Veerabhadra decked with skulls, carrying weapons depicting the angry form of Shiva.

The legend says that Lord Rama in search of Sita came to this place where the bird Jatayu lied in the pool of blood waiting for Rama. Rama commands the bird to rise by saying “Le Pakshi” which later became Lepakshi.

Undavalli Caves, Andhra Pradesh

The Undavalli caves are located in the village of Undavalli. These caves are the fine specimens of the rock cut architecture of the Buddhist period. The high hill overlooking the Krishna River hosts these caves. They were excavated between 4th-5th centuries A.D. These are four storied caves with a 5m long reclining statue of Lord Vishnu sculpted from a single block of granite. It is one of the best and earliest sculptures.

 

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