Temples of Alampur, Telangana

  • By Sudha Raju
  • January 21, 2023
  • 246 views
  • Know about the Sangameshwara Temple and Papanasi cluster of temples in Alampur, Telangana.

Alampur is a town in Telangana state of India that has historical and spiritual importance. It was previously in the Mahbubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh and became part of the Gadwal district of Telangana post the bifurcation of the state of Andhra Pradesh. It is on the bank of the River Tungabhadra.

It is primarily a Shaivite pilgrim center with Shaktism also worshipped. Historically, Alampur was under the rule of Shatavahana Ishvakus of Nagarjunakonda, Badami Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Kalyani Chalukyas, Kakatiyas, Vijayanagara Empire and Qutb Shahis of Golconda.

Alampur is well known for the Jogulamba Temple. Surrounding the Jogulamba temple are the beautiful Nava Brahma temples. What many people who go there do not know, is that there are two more fantastic temples that are only a five-minute drive from Jogulamba temple. This article is about those two temples.

To read part 1 on Jogulamba and Nava Brahma Temples of Alampur

Sangameshwara Temple

Nandi in a mandapam opposite the steps to the temple.

The Sangameshwara temple was first located at the Sangam of Krishna and Tungabhadra rivers at a village called Kudavalli, 16 km 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. Due to the Srisailam hydro power project, the temple was at risk of submerging, so it has been relocated to the outskirts of Alampur by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

ASI did a fantastic job of replanting the temple, without disturbing the architecture. They took pictures, removed the stones layer by layer and rebuilt it. The interior has twelve carved pillars in and space around the garbagriha for a pradakshina. It has flow of air and light through the latticed windows of the stone walls.

All around the temple, the walls have alcoves filled with sculpture.

Yamuna standing on her vehicle, the turtle. Makaras carved above.

Mahadev slaying asuras. Ganesha beside him.

Though this window design looks like a flower, it is a matsya yantra, 8 fish converged together. Kinnaras above the window.

Windows with makaras above.

All the stone windows have different designs. These latticed windows made enough light and air to pass through to the interior.

The temple is on an elevated platform which is richly sculpted all around. The pujari who does the worship of Deva is the descendant of the family of archakas who have been attached to the temple for the past many centuries. They have shifted to Alampur, along with the temple from Kudavalli. The architecture of this temple is similar to the temples of Pattadakal and Aihole which also showcase the splendor of the Badami Chalukyas.

Papanasi cluster of temples

From the Sangameshwara temple, we went to the Papanasi Temple, which is a cluster of 23 temples. The Papanasi Temples were also relocated to avoid damage by the Srisailam hydro power project.

These temples were built between 7th & 11th century CE. Some started at the time of early Chalukyas but completed during the time of Rashtrakutas and later Chalukyas. The site has two main temples with carved pillars, the rest are small temples.

The largest temple is the Papanaseshwara temple. It consists of a pillared mandapa, antarala and garbagriha. The Shiva linga of Papanaseshwara is a 1400 years old markata lingam. It is greenish in colour and shining. After entering the temple, we sat down to hear the sthala puranam from the Panditji. And casually looked up and saw Nataraja with the Asta Dikpalas on the ceiling.

Mahishasuramardini

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.

The temple on the left of the main temple is called Gurulingeshwara. This temple also has a sculpted pillared mandapam and a garbagriha.

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. The pillars are beautifully carved with depictions of Samudra manthan, Shiv Parvati kalyanam, Trivikrama and the Ramayana.

This is an entrance to a smaller temple, with Gajalakshmi on the doorway and I think Ganga and Yamuna below.

After doing pranam in all the small temples, we finished the Papanasi Temples visit.

For lunch we stopped at AP tourism, Haritha Hotel which is nearby. If we have a Haritha Hotel or Resort in any tourist destination, we can be assured of decent washrooms, which is an issue during travel in India, especially for women. Sadly there was nothing much to eat.

Though we went to Alampur during December ending, it was pretty hot over there, which we did not expect.

Thus, ended my Alampur visit.

I am blessed to have seen these wonderful temples. Anybody going to Alampur must not miss visiting these beautiful temples.

Author Sudha Raju is a teacher by profession, freelance writer and Author of book Ancient Temples My Travelogue. She is a seeker of knowledge and believes that there is much to learn from our ancient heritage and temples. She utilises her free time travelling to ancient temples and learning more about them. 

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