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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.
After entering the temple, sat down to hear the sthala puranam from the Panditji. And casually looked up and saw Nataraja with the Asta Dikpalas on the ceiling.
Panditji has a commanding voice and had us listening to him with interest.
To one side we have Mahishasura mardini in the temple with latticed windows and another side we have Vidya Ganapati and Saptamatrikas.
The Saptamatrikas Brahmani, Vaishnavi, Maheshwari, Indrani, Kaumari, Varahi & Chamundi are the 7 Mother Goddesses, diff forms of Aadi Parashakti.
After the darshan and Archana of eswara, concentrated on the pillars.
The middle carving of the 1st pillar is Narasimha slaying Hiranyakashipu.
2nd pillar is a 10 century inscription
1st pillar - Sita Devi being taken away in a chariot, Hanuman, Rama beside a fallen Jatayu. Down last image is of Rama.
3rd pillar - middle carving is of a chariot with a man with bow & arrow and a charioteer. It looks like the Gitopadesam. I am not sure.
1st pillar - top line middle is worshipping the Shivalinga, below is Shiva.
2nd pic - top - Shiva in middle, Parvati on Nandi. Below are musicians & dancers.
Kirtimukha is on almost all pillars.
1st pic - top line, Shiva Gajasura episode. Bottom middle is Lingodbava Murthy with Brahma & Vishnu on either side.
2nd pic I can't decipher.
3rd pic top middle is worshipping of Shivalinga.
4th pic again cannot decipher.
1st pic, top middle is Nataraja
2nd- need help in deciphering.
3rd - bottom row are cows
4th - middle in top line is Rama, Lakshman talking to Hanuman mostly. Last is Sita Devi in Asokavan.
The temple on the left of the main temple is called Girulingeshwara. This temple also has a sculpted pillared mandapam and a garbagriha.
The entrance has dwarapalakas on either side.
Note the difference in the stone in the 2nd pic on top.
While the garbagriha is of the same type of reddish stone as the main temple. The Mandapam and pillars have blackish stone and the carvings on these pillars are better preserved.
Another beautiful panel on the ceiling, Nataraja surrounded by Ashta Dikpalas.
Beside Nataraja is Agni Deva on his vahana the Ram.
Beside him is Yama on his vahana the buffalo, holding the staff.
Beside him is Indra on his Iravata, the elephant, holding the thunderbolt.
Left of Nataraja is Isana, on his vahana the Bull.
Beside him is Lord Vayu on a deer.
Left is Niruthi, on his vahana the ghoul.
Beside him is Lord Varuna, on his vahana the Makara.
Beside Varuna is Lord Kubera, on his vahana the goat.
Help me to decipher these carvings
The 1st pillar depicts a war scene with two warriors on chariots. I think it is the Rama Ravana Yudh.
1st pillar is a beautiful depiction of Shiva Parvati Kalyanam, with Brahma Vishnu on one side and rishis on the other. Below you can see dancers.
2nd pic, Mahadev in center, I think with Deva's on 1 side & Gana's on the other. Below we can see scenes of Tapasya on one leg.
1st pic, story of Trivikrama
2nd pic is Sagara manthan.
3rd pic could be of Sita Devi in Asokavan.
1st pic is of 10 headed Ravana fighting Rama. We can see the vanaras too.
1st pic, looks like the incident of going to kill the golden deer.
3rd pic, Shiva Parvati with Ganesh on one side.
4th pic, Ravana abducting Sita Devi, Jatayu telling about it to Rama & Lakshman.
This is an entrance to a smaller temple, with Gajalakshmi on the doorway and I think Ganga & Yamuna below.
After doing pranam in all the small temples, finished the Papanasi Temples visit.
Finished Alampur visit too.
Blessed to have seen these wonderful temples.

For anyone interested in ancient temple sculpture, do not miss Alampur, if you are nearby.

Hope you have enjoyed. 🙏
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