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Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple - Korukonda


Korukonda is a village in the Korukonda mandal of East Godavari district of AP.

Here lies the divine gudi of Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy. There are 2 gudis. 1 atop the hill & 1 at the foot of hill
The gudi at the foot of the hill is old but not ancient. The pillars of the temple signify its age.
There is a mandapam in the Prakaram. It has been cemented around parts of the pillar.
Besides this prakaram lies the way to climb the hill. Steps to the gudi on the hill.
At the bottom is a Peetam with garuda carved on the side and paadam on top. Bcs it has been worshipped with flowers, the padalu cannot be seen in the pic.

Then starts the difficult part.
Read 24 tweets
Kunti madhava temple - Pithapuram


Kunti Madhava Swamy temple is one of the Pancha Madhava temples.
The other 4 Madhava temples being - Bindu Madhava of Varanasi, Venu Madhava of Prayaga, Sethu Madhava of Rameshwaram & Sundara Madhava of Tiruvananthapuram.
The Pancha Madhava temples were consecrated by Indra to rid himself of the Sin of Brahmahatya.

Acc to the purana, Prajapati Twasta had a devout and pious son named Vishwarupa. He had immense spiritual power. The king of Devas, Indra became insecure and killed Vishwarupa.
An enraged Twasta creates another son Vritasura, born of the yagna fire to take revenge on Indra. Vritasura first performs penances by which he is granted boons that make him very strong. He attacks Indra, defeats him & takes Indralok.
Indra meanwhile takes the help of Trimurtis
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MAGNIFICENT and STUNNING Nellaiappar Temple is. 😱 it took me 3.5 hours to go around once. Again 2 hrs in the evening. Built by pandya king Nidraseer Nedumaran. A padalpetra sthalam. While the gopuram isn't tall, the area it covers is 14 acres. #WalkToTemple so overwhelmed. 😍
Apart from Shri Nellaiappar and Kanthimathi sannidhi, we have nellai govindar, Kuberalinga, Agni Sabapathi, Thirumoola mahalingam, Gananatha Dakshinamurthy, Agasthiyar, Kapila, Suradeva, Nayanmars and several others.
The beauty of TN temples is that, from Early Pandya to Late Nayakas, every dynasty through history have contributed and protected these temples. The magnificent mantapas & corridors.
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Pancharama 1 - Somarama


Sri Someshwara Janardhana Swamy temple also known as Somarama is one of the Pancharamas.
Located at Gunupudi, at Bhimavaram, the present temple with Gopuram & Prakaram was built in 9th century by Eastern Chalukya Bhima.
The history of Pancharamas is thus.
Tarakasura was a powerful Asura who had the boon that he would die only at the hands of a child of Shiva. He had after penance to Shiva acquired an atmalingam which he wore & became invincible.
It is for Tarakasura samhaara that Karthikeya+
+ was born. Karthikeya as a child fought against Tarakasura and cut him up into pieces. But no matter how many times he did that, Tarakasura joined again & became alive. Lord Vishnu tells Karthikeya that this is happening bcs of the atmalingam that Tarakasura has. He tells +
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Sri Bhimeswara Swamy temple - Bhimavaram

Sri Bhimeswara Swamy temple of Bhimavaram, which is more than 1000 yrs old, is often confused with another illustrious temple of Bhimavaram, the Soma Rama, which is one of the Pancharamas.
As soon as we enter through the gopuram, we are in the Mandapam of the Rama temple which is in the complex. The Sri Bhimeswara Swamy temple is straight ahead. This temple has many more gudis constructed in later years in the same complex.
The Sita Rama aalayam that we see as soon as we enter the complex.
Read 10 tweets
The #Bonalu celebrations kicked off in Hyderabad today with the Golkonda Jagadamba Mahankali Jatara. #Bonalu is specific to Telangana and is dedicated to the worship of Shakti in the form of various Grama Devatas.
Though celebrated all over Telangana, it is the #Bonalu celebrations in Hyderabad that are really well known. It is celebrated in the month of Ashada, usually in last week of June or first week of July.
#Bonalu is more a corruption of the word Bhojanalu( meals or a feast) where devotees offer cooked food to the Ammavaru. The women carry earthen pots containing rice cooked with jaggery, milk, decorated with Neem,Haldi
Read 26 tweets
Located on the banks of the Malaprabha river in Karnataka, Pattadakal was the place where the coronation of the Chalukya Kings took place. It was earlier known as Kisuvolal or valley of red soil. It finds mention in Ptolemy’s Geography. #WalkToTemple @LostTemple7 @ReclaimTemples
A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1987, the ten temples here are a blend of different northern and southern Indian architectural forms with interesting architectural features. Nine of these temples are Hindu while one is a Jain temple. #WalkToTemple
Four temples exhibit Dravidian features, four of them exhibit the Nagara or North Indian features while the Papanatha Temple is a beautiful fusion of both. #WalkToTemple
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The Ishvara Temple at Arasikere in Karnataka is a must visit if you love Indian heritage, & especially Hoysala Temples. Make sure you visit this temple…within 15 years. It’s on its last legs & YOU BETTER HURRY. @ReclaimTemples @TheIndianTemple @TeamGSquare #WalkToTemple
Dedicated to Mahadeva, it is considered to most complex among surviving Hoysala monuments because of its ground plan: a 16-pointed star shaped mantapa (hall), in addition to an asymmetrical star shaped shrine, whose star points are of three different types. #WalkToTemple
The open hall, with its 16-pointed star plan is most unusual design built by Hoysala architects. The central ceiling in the closed mantapa and the vestibule are decorated elaborately. #WalkToTemple
Read 10 tweets
20 Km from Hassan and 24 km from the famous Belur Chennakesava Temple is a small temple. It’s practically approached by a dirt road from the main road. It’s named as the Lakshmi Devi Temple at Doddagaddavalli. #WalkToTemple
@ReclaimTemples @LostTemple7 @TeamGSquare @DrShobha
One of the earliest known temples built in the Hoysala style, it dates back to 1113 AD. The temple itself is believed to have been commissioned by a merchant and his wife. Entry to the temple is through a mandapa with 9 (not sure) pillars. @TheIndianTemple #WalkToTemple
This temple is possibly unique among the many Hoysala Temples as it has four shrines placed around a common centre. Note the Hoysala Lion atop the temple.
Read 10 tweets
Jagannath Swamy temple - Vizianagaram


Right in center of Vizianagaram, lies a beautiful ancient temple. Ignored & neglected, this temple went into a sorry state, but was restored & brought back 2 glory in past couple of years.
Old pic Google
The temple considered 2 b a replica of Puri Jagannath temple, was constructed acc 2 rules of Pancha Ratra Agama Sastras. Along with Jagannath, Balabhadra & Subhadra, there are smaller temples 4 Venugopal Swamy & another for Mahalaxmi ma in the temple.
Dasavataras on the new walls
Devotees & locals formed the Sri Jagannath Seva Samithi 2 improve condition of the temple. Once they took steps 2 clean the temple, they were shocked to see the sculpture hidden behind thick tough coatings of paint or whitewash. They contacted ASI & endowment dept.

New entrance
Read 17 tweets
On the occasion of #NarasimhaJayanti today, taking a look at some of the well known Narasimha temples in the Telugu states of AP and TG. Narasimha is one of the most worshipped deities down South, the Telugu states by themselves have around 30 odd temples dedicated to him.
Some of the Narasimha Temples like Simhachalam, Ahobilam, Yadagirigutta, Penchalakona, Antarvedi have become major pilgrimage centers in the Telugu states. And like most temples there is a lot of history, culture, tradition associated.
One of the most famous Narasimha Kshetras in Telugu states is Simhachalam near Vizag, where he is worshipped as Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha, and colloquially referred to as "Appanna", this temple is visited not just by Telugu people, but large number of Odiyas too.
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Alampur Temple Diaries 4

Papanasi Temples

From the Sangameshwara temple, we went to the Papanasi Temples which is a cluster of 23 temples. The Papanasi Temples are also relocated to avoid damage by the Srisailam hydro power project.
These temples built between 9th & 11th century CE. Some started at the time of early Chalukyas but completed during the time of Rashtrakutas & later Chalukyas. The site has two main temples with carved pillars, the rest are small temples.
The largest temple is the Papanaseshwara temple. Built by the Badami Chalukyas around 9th century, it consists of pillared mandapa, antarala and garbagriha.

The Shiva linga of Papanaseshwara is a 1400 year old markata lingam. Greenish in colour and shining.
Read 23 tweets
Alampur Temple Diaries 3

Today I will share with you a temple showcasing the splendor of the Chalukyas.
The SANGAMESHWARA temple was first located at the Sangam of Krishna & Tungabhadra rivers at a village called Kudavalli, 16km from Alampur.
Though the board mentions that it was built during the time of Vikramaditya I (655-81CE), it is believed to have been built by Pulikeshin.
Dwajastambham stamba and Nandi in a mandapam opposite the steps to the temple.
Due 2 Srisailam hydro power project, the temple was at risk of submerging, so it has been relocated 2 outskirts of Alampur by ASI.
ASI did a fantastic job of replanting the temple, without disturbing the architecture. They took pics, removed the stones layer by layer & rebuilt it
Read 23 tweets
Alampur Temple Diaries -2


Continuing with the Nava Brahma temples, the next one was
4. Garuda Brahma Temple
Built between 848-891 CE during the time of Vijayaditya.
Pillared mandapa leading into the temple.
The dwara palakas at the entrance.
The board says Ganga and Yamuna are on either side. But if it is Ganga & Yamuna, y r they holding a vinjamara like an attendant? Correct me if I am wrong experts.
I liked the Gandharvas floating above and the latticed windows.
Garuda above the Garbagriha doorway.
The wonderful layered sculpture and Gandharvas on either side of an elephant.
These blocks below the niches also are carved. Here Yakshas and Kinnaras are carved.
Read 25 tweets
Alampur Temple Diaries - 1

Alampur is a jewel in the state of Telangana. Situated in the Gadwal district near Kurnool district of AP. It is a temple town with Divinity, history and architectural beauty.

First we shall speak of Jogulamba Talli.
Jogulamba is one of the 18 Shakti Peeta's. It is where Sati Devi's Upper jaw with tooth fell. It is on the bank of Tungabhadra river.

The old temple was destroyed by Bahamani sultans and the idol of amma was safeguarded in the Bala Brahma temple. A new temple was built in 2005.
Jogulamba is in an Ugra Roopa. She is fearsome with a scorpion, lizard, frog, owl and skull in her hair. The new temple has a water pool around it, 2 cool the atmosphere and make it easier to worship her.
She is surrounded by Shiva as Brahmeshwara Swamy in the Nava Brahma temples
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There is no better place than the Sivananda Ashram in Nassau, Bahamas to study the Tale of Two Birds from the Mundaka Upanishad while the Govt and the City Shuts down #WalkToTemple Yoga Vacation 2019
the whole ashram with 99% non-desis but teaming with shraddha and saadhana, just took my breath away with the fabulous art work depicted at unexpected corners, walls, nooks...first day was sheer serendipity
all the participants who come for Teacher Training Courses and those doing Karma Yoga (free boarding / lodging in lieu of seva) have to attend the morning and evening dhyaana, bhajan, and satsang sessions. very humbling
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AHOBILAM - Part 3.

We had planned to have darshan of 5 Narasimha out of the Nava Narasimha temples. Had darshan of Karanja, Ugra and Kroda Narsimha by then. Then had the darshan of Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy. By then it was afternoon closing time.
Yagna's were being conducted by a Tamil spiritual trust at that time. So went to see the place. They had made beautiful arrangements.
It would have been a blissful sight seeing all the yagna fires burning. But the Yagna's had been conducted that morning.
In between the yagna ground, Bhagvan was placed beautifully. We were lucky that we went during the time that Yagna's were being conducted. Saw the wonderful arrangements.
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Lakshmi Narasimha temple in lower Ahobilam is a sculptural beauty.
The present temple is built in 15th century by Vijayanagar rulers & later expanded by Kakatiya kings, mainly Pratapa Rudra.
Temple and carving on outer walls.
The deity here is said to be installed by Venkateswara Swamy as he wanted to take the blessings of Narasimha Deva before marrying Padmavati Devi. The Koneru or pushkarini of the temple. The dwajastambham in the outer prakara.
The temple in the inner prakaram has exquisitely carved pillars. Pillars carved in each pillar. A sight to behold.
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Part 1.

As soon as we entered Ahobilam, to the left of the road, saw this beautifully carved Mandapam. I thought 'Aha, emi Mee bhagyamu' (how fortunate you are). Common people relaxing in a piece of history & beauty. Pillars with Yali.
Ahobilam is the abode of Narasimha Deva. Located in Nallamala forests of Kurnool dist, it is 60 km from Nandyal. It has 9 forms of Narsimha. Divided into Eguva (upper) Ahobilam & Diguva (lower) Ahobilam, it has 4 temples apiece & a temple on the way up called Karanja Narasimha.
Karanja Narasimha is so called as he is installed under a Karanja tree. It has a stone tortoise beneath a tree. It has pieces of carved pillars at the entrance with carvings of Ganesh, Balakrishna, Gajalakshmi, Vishnu & Hanuman.
The atmosphere is very peaceful & divine.
Read 12 tweets

The abode of Umamaheshwara Swamy, situated in Erramala hills of Kurnool district, AP.
Yaganti, is a well known temple of AP, which has the growing Nandi. The shrine is supposed to have been worshipped from the time of Agastya Maharshi.
As we enter, we see the famous Pushkarini. It is beautiful and though no one knows the source of water, it is with water throughout the year. People believe that the water here is healing in nature. We can walk all around the pushkarini in the pillared mandapam.
The pushkarini has carved panels all around, which was a delight to see. By the time we reached, the light was fading and maybe that is why my pics are not so crisp.
Read 15 tweets
Srikakulam Temple diaries 3

Today I will share some pics of SRI MUKHALINGAM temple of Jalumuru Mandal of Srikakulam.

Sri Mukhalingam temple built on the banks of the Vamsadhaara river is also known as Dakshina Kaashi. It is very near 2 Someshwara temple.
Built in 8th century CE by Kamarnava II of Eastern Ganga dynasty.
Mukhalingam Swamy is also called Mandukeshwara as the idol has self manifested from the Manduka tree. The Shiva lingam has a face like quality of Lord Shiva so is called Sri Mukham (means face in Telugu)
According to Skanda purana, Lord Shiva appeared here in Manduka tree to release Gandharvas, who were born as tribals, from a curse.

Main entrance of the actual Mukhalingam temple.
Each pic has to b enlarged to view the intricate designs.
Read 26 tweets
Srikakulam Temple diaries 2.

Today I will share the beauty of a Lord Shiva temple located in Jalumuru Mandal of Srikakulam.

It is the Someshwara temple.
Right now it is undergoing some restoration work by ASI.
Built in the 11th or 12th century AD by the Eastern Ganga dynasty kings, it has great sculptural beauty.

Entrance to the sanctum. Each pic you can enlarge to see its beauty.
This is Lakshmi Devi. The elephants on either side of her make her easily recognisable.
Notice the meditating Devas above her.
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@gurichopra @Telugutalli
@GabbarSanghi @wiavastukala

Srikakulam Temple diaries 1

Suryanarayana Swamy (Sun) temple, Arasavalli.

Built in a way that the sun rays touch the feet of Surya Deva inside the Garba gudi, twice a year, even when the 5 entrance gates r closed.
This happens in March when sun moves from Uttarayanam to Dakshinayanam & in October when it moves from Dakshinayanam to Uttarayanam.
Believed to have been built in 7th century AD by Kalinga king Devendra Varma, it is considered one of the oldest Sun temple in India.
Sri Kurmanatha Swamy temple popularly known as Sri Kurmam.

It is the only Swayambhu temple in the world where Lord Vishnu is worshipped in his Kurma avatar. Main shrine is said to be million years old and is mentioned in Kurma, Vishnu, Padma & Brahmanda puranas.
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Today with my #WalkToTemple trip, I realise that I have completed a unique milestone.

In the list of top 10 tallest Gopurams in India (possibly the world), I've covered the 8 that are in Tamil Nadu.

Once I visit Hampi (10th) and Murudeshwar (2nd), I'd have covered all 10. 🙂
9. South Gopuram of Meenakshi Amman temple.
Height: 170 feet tall.
8. Ammani Amman Gopuram, Annamalaiyar temple, Tiruvannamalai.
Height: 171 feet tall.
Read 9 tweets

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