Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Trip to Jogulamba temple,Pushpagiri, Vontimitta

Day 1

We visited some of the ancient temples in Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh long time back.I just want to share some of my experiences here. We started our journey early in the morning i.e at 6:30 a.m( it s early for me :-) ) in the car from Hyderabad.Alampur is 230 kms from Hyderabad. It is on the left side  of the road, road is a bit confusing we asked some guys about the route. We traveled for 15 to 20 mins on a small road. We found many auto rickshaws and bullock carts in this way.We passed through a small railway station on our left side.Name of that station is Jogulamba halt. Then we confirmed that we were in a correct route. We reached Alampur in 2 hours. There are 3 temples to see in Alampur.

  1. Navabrahma temple
  2. Sangameshwara temple
  3. Jogulamba temple

First we went to Navabrahma temple. There are nine small temples with Siva shrine in different colours

Nava Brahma Temple
  1. Taraka Brahma.
  2. Swarga Brahma. 
  3. Padma Brahma
  4. Garuda Brahma
  5. Bala Brahma
  6. Kumara Brahma
  7. Arka Brahma,
  8. Vira Brahma 
  9. Vishva Brahma. 

We were unable to find which one is which temple and there was no one to explain at that time. We touched the god's shrine and prayed. You will see some of idols are kept like that in the temple compound. There is a museum at the entrance of the temple.We can see some other idols here.

Then we went to Sangameswara temple.Badami chalukyans built this temple in 7th century.The actual location of this temple  submerged during construction of Srisailam dam. Then government reconstructed that temple in Alampur.First they studied the old temple, marked each stone with numbers and reconstructed. You can see the numbers on the stones.

I don't remember the priest name exactly, he explained all the sculpture on the walls of the temple very well.He has been a priest in this temple before the construction of Srisailam dam. We were so excited after listening to the prominence of those idols. There are nearly 3 crores of gods in Hinduism. According to the Hindu beliefs each direction is associated with a god. We have eight gods who is taking are of these 8 directions. We call them as Ashta Dikpaalakulu in telugu (rulers of the eight directions).Most of the Hindu houses built in such a way that, we should keep kitchen on the side of god Agni(fire) and water storage on the side of Varuna(water) etc;  There is a nice idol on the top left corner of the temple. It appears in three different ways from different sides, as a young lady from one side, middle age lady from other and the old age lady from the another.The sculptor wants to explain the different stages of human life with this idol. Another nice idol is Man and Woman idol. One side of the idol is male and the other side is female. The sculptor took care of the even small parts of human body like toes,fingers etc; We can feel the fineness of that stone by touching it. There is a Sri chakra on the ceiling of the temple.

Jogulamba Temple
Jogulamba temple, Alampur
Jogulamba temple and sangameshwara temple are side by side.The temple closed when we reached it. Temple will be closed from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m.Krishna river is on the front side of the temple. We just washed our legs in the river, didnot go deeper because it may be deep.We could not believe that only tip of the Gopuram of main temple was visible during the floods in september 2009.Thanks to the endowment department of AP and the workers who worked hard to get the temple back to it s original state after the floods.
The temple opened by 3:00 p.m. August is not a season for the pilgrims at this place. So it took only 15 to 20 mins for us to see the goddess. During Dassera time it may take 2 to 3 hrs for the darshan. Every one of us was hungry. We didn't have anything from the morning,  we just had tea. We bought 2 packets of lemon rice for every one.Some thing is better than nothing :-)

 It took nearly 3 hrs for us to cover  the two temples in Alampur. Actually we planned to reach Kadapa by 7:00 pm but it was already 4:30 pm while we reach Kurnool. We did not get any food at that time so we just had an ice cream in Raj Vihar restaurant of Kurnool, it was so good.

Then we went to Sangameshwara temple in Kurnool. This is on the way to Nandyal. It is on the right side of the road. The temple is on a hill .There is a big lake on the way to back to the temple the water was so clear.
Sangameshwara Temple in Kurnool

There is a APTDC resort on the right side of the road after crossing Kurnool.It is built below the hills. We had some snacks there. Only snacks available at that time. There is a dairy on the right side of the road after we crossed Nanadyala, may be after 10 to 15 mins. That is  S.P.Y.Reddy's  dairy.We stopped to have some sweets and badam milk. The sweets were so good and badam milk was OK. Fresh ghee available here. We were in a hurry to reach Kadapa because it s already 7:00 p.m at Nandyala. We reached Kadapa at 10:00 p.m. Sreekanth's mother prepared yummy yummy dinner for us.
That is the day one of our journey.

Day 2

Woke up at 8:00 a.m in the morning. We had a nice breakfast (dosa with red chilli powder famous in Rayalaseema). Guys went to Ameen peer dargah of Kadapa leaving us, bad boys of course they took us in the evening. At 2:00 p.m we started from Kadapa to Vontimitta. It took 30 mins for us to reach Vontimitta. The temple is very close to the main road. So anyone can easily find that. Kodandarama swami temple is at a height of 100 ft from the ground. It was the first time I saw such big walls. One of the priests was applying his "Namam"( white colour powdeer on fore head)at that time. He told us the Rama mantra and explained some history of that temple. The pillars of the temple are carved with good sculptures. One of the best is a lion and horse sculpture. From one side it appears as a lion and from the other side it appears as a horse. There is a lord hanuman temple opposite to the main temple. Then we proceeded to Nandalur.
Nandalur temple

Nandalur is famous for Lord Venkateswara temple.The main idol of the god is very good.The temple constructed with 108 pillars. There is a belief that if any one make a wish and do 11 pradakshinas(going around the temple) The god will fulfill that wish then we should do 108 pradakshinas with in one year.The temple built in such a way that one can see the deity clearly with out any artificial light.On a particular day of the year, the sun rays touch the feet of the main deity in this temple. It is said that on a full moon day if a water vessel is placed at the entrance of the sanctum sanctorum, the image of the Lord is reflected in the water even at a distance of 100 feet. Annamacharya( a famous telugu devotee of Venkateswara) visited this temple.

Then we went Siddavatam fort.

Siddavatam fort
Kings preserve their wealth in the forts in olden days. Siddavtam fort comes under those forts. It is a very huge fort with an area of 50 to 75 acres but most of the fort is ruined. It was built in such a way that no one can enter without the permission of king. There were water pools around the fort and there were crocodiles in that water in order to prevent anyone entering in to the fort with out permission. We can understand the wisdom of old people with this one. The next halt is Devuni Kadapa in Kadapa.

Devuni kadapa temple
Devuni Kadapa, people say that this is the first foot step of Lord Venkateswara on his journey to Tirumala.We missed the darshan in this temple. We reached temple at 8:30 p.m but the temple closes by 8:00 p.m. Then we proceeded to Ameen peer dargah.

Ameen peer dargah, is a famous dargah in Andhra Pradesh. Many of the celebrities come here to fulfill their dreams. People can go in to the dargah irrespective of their caste and religion. Girls should cover their head with dupatta and guys should wear a cap to enter into dargah.
Our day 2 journey ends with that. We should  sleep early because we planned our day 3 to trek one hill.
good night :-)

Day 3

The name of hill is PalaKondalu.  This is an unexplored place only the locals know this one. This is on the back side of the RIMS building.We went along with one professor he has good idea about that hill and the plants on that hill. He told us so many things about the nature and the herbs available in the forests and hills. It was a nice trek where there is no pollution, no noise and only the nature. There is a small Venkateswara temple above the hill. There are so many monkeys on the way so he warned us not to carry any bags. If you carry any, there is no doubt that they will snatch it from you. We were safe because we didn't carry any. There is a lake beside the temple. Water was so clear and there are lotuses in that water. It took an hour for us to explore that hill. Then we reached home at 11:00 a.m. We were already behind the schedule. So we just went around RIMS(Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Science) in the car.  Then we started from Kadapa to Pushpagiri.

Sculpture inside Pushpagiri temple
Pushpagiri is famous for Chennakeshava swami temple. Chennakeshava means Lord Vishnu.The sculpture of the temple is very good. You will see the mouth of all the idols cut because these idols created much of noise during the night. So people cut the mouths. One has to go there to enjoy the beauty of this temple. There is no words to explain. There is small temple in the temple complex. People believe that if any one dropped three of five stones while watching the goddess face their wish should be fulfilled. You can find many people doing this one.
For complete information about this temple click here Pushpagiri temple

Then our next halt is Kurnool. One of us wanted to eat pepsi chicken( available only in a particular dhaba at particular time). The chicken was so tasty I never had that type of chicken. It was so crispy and spicy too.

At last we reached Hyderabad at 10:00 pm.
It was my first and wonderful trip with my colleagues.

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