MONUMENTS IN EAST GODAVARI

 

 

Monument No: 1

Monument Name: MOUNDS CONTAINING BUDDHIST REMAINS SUCH AS STUPAS

Location:Adurru

Brief History:
The Buddhist remains cover an area of 3200 square m (appeoximately 2.04 acres) with a 4m high mound. The excavation revealed a sprawling stupa built on a plan of spoked wheel within a wheel together with its components. Out of the concentric circles the outer consisted of twenty-four spokes and twenty-four cells and the inner sixteen spokes and sixteen cells. The diameter of the hub was 5.30m. The dome raised over the outer concentric circle left a lime-lpastered 1m wide space on the drum as an offset. The circumference of the stupa was 64m with a diameter of 20.40m with an extant height of 3.45m from the plinth level. Below the plinth level, it had eight brick courses, the last one resting over the natural sand. On all the cardinal directions, the stupa was provided with projected platforms, a salient feature of the Andhra stupas. There is no evidence for the existence of a railing around the stupa. But there exists a brick wall, 0.60m in breadth, at a distance of 6m from the eastern platform, its function could not be ascertained due to limited excavations. Towards the nortern side of the stupa an apsidal chaitya-griha, measuring 16.10m in length and 6.55m in width, was exposed. The nave portion measures 8.80m in length and 3.45m in width. Within the chaitya griha, there is a provision for a miniature stupa with a diameter of 2.35m. The chaitya has an entrance doorway measuring 1.00m in width. The longitudinal brick wall of the chaitya has ten brick courses. Towards the north eastern side of the stupa a circular shrine in brick was exposed. The shrine had an entrance porch measuring 2.45 x 1.30m. The diameter of the shrine was 6.30m. The circular wall of this shrine, which was 1.04m in breadth, had eight extant brick courses. It was enclosed within a broad brick wall of 6.20m in length on the northern and southern sides functioning probably as the bopundry wall for the entire complex. Pottery was recorded in limited quantity. Sherds of jars, troughs, dishes and bowls of red and kaoline potteries were recovered. On the basis of the pottery types and stupa architecture the structures are datable to second-third cnetury AD.

Monument No:2

Monument Name:GOLINGESWARA GROUP OF TEMPLES, NAKKALAGUDI,KANCHARAGUDI,VEERABHADRA TEMPLE

Location:Biccavolu

Brief History:
There are six out standing temples in this village. The village name Biccavolu is a corruptive of Birudankana Vrolu, derived from the title of Birudanka Bhima the famous Eastern Chalukyan king, Gunagavijayaditya III (circa 846-892 century AD) who built the temples. The first group consists of three temples, all facing west in the heart of the village within a single compound wall, which has a gopuradvara with open porticos at the main entrance. The temples go with the names Golingesvara, Rajarajesvara and Chandrasekhara. The god enshrined within Golingesvara temple is known as Vijayasvara Mahadeva, interestingly the proper name of the donor king. They are under worship and revered by the locals. The second group consists of deserted temples away from the village proper. They are known by the names Virabhadra (east of the village on Vulapalli road), Nakkalagudi (south of the village and Kansaragudi (west of the high school). All the six examples are structural temples of sandstone and form a coherent group. The adhistanas (basements) are interestingly of the vrittakumuda type with pranala chute having simha-mukha. The lay-out consists of a garbhagriha in a square shrine, a narrow ardhamandapa, a transept of closed portico as is the case of Rajarajesvara. The mahamandapas are later additions and so also other smaller shrines within Golingesvara temple. In elevation, the vimanas are generally of the samachaturasra (square) with a maximum of four tiers (chatustala). The wall spaces are embellished with niches decorated with ganas riding makara-torana or rarely mayura toranas and contained various images, either set within bhitti (wall face) or carved in bold relief over the stone mouldings. The vimana talas carried koshthas over the haras. The central face of the sikhara has an elaborate kudu with simha-lalata gable with images inside. This uniform pilastered sala decor gave a look of a subdued triratha elevation, markedly in Golingesvara and Chandrasekhara temples. Interesting evolution could be seen in the valabhis - from simple hamsa (geese) to hamsabhuta latest to mithuna couples. There was rudimentary pradakshina arrangement over each tala. The temples of the second group, each being separate units, and located admist the green field wear a picturesque look. Their original character is unaltered. Among the several interesting and fine specimens in the bhadrakoshthas, mention should be made of Ardhanari, Ekapada Dakshinamurti, Bhikshatana, Surya, Kumara fondling with Kukkuta, Kubera on human mount, Mahishamardini, Chamunda, Gomata etc., from Golingesvara group; Vishnu, Nataraja and Surya from Kansaragudi, besides Ganga-Yamuna figures at the base of the door sakhas as well as in separate niches occasiona

GOLINGESVARA TEMPLE:
Brief History:

The name 'Gandikota' is comprised of two Telugu words 'Gandi' a gorge and 'Kota' a fort and in these lie the interest and importance of the place possesses. Tradition asserts that the fort as well as some Hindu temples inside, were first built by a chief called Kapa Maharaja who preceded the Vijayanagara kings in 13th century A.D. The Vijayanagar sovereign Harihara is credited with the construction of the fort as it now stands and founded the temple of Vishnu. After the Vijayanagara rule, it went into the hands of Golkonda Kings. In the time of Meerjumla the fortifications were greatly enlarged and strengthened. The beautiful Juma Masjid here was also built by him. Early in the 18th century it passed on to the hands of Cuddapah Nawabs. In 1780 the fort presumably fell into the hands of Haidar Ali or Tipu Sultan. Finally in 1800 A.D. it was ceded to the British by a treaty with the Nizam. The fortifications are extensive having nearly 5 miles circumference, contains a number of both residential and religious buildings. Regarding one of the Hindu temples inside the fort, the great Historian Ferista tells us that in the time of Vijayanagara rule nearly 100,000 Hindus used to make an annual pilgrimage and offer gifts of great value. The scenic beauty of the place is enhanced by the deep gorges and flowing Pennar river nearly 200 - metres below amidst steeply cut hill ranges and greenary.

VEERA BHADRA SWAMY TEMPLE:
Brief History:

The name 'Gandikota' is comprised of two Telugu words 'Gandi' a gorge and 'Kota' a fort and in these lie the interest and importance of the place possesses. Tradition asserts that the fort as well as some Hindu temples inside, were first built by a chief called Kapa Maharaja who preceded the Vijayanagara kings in 13th century A.D. The Vijayanagar sovereign Harihara is credited with the construction of the fort as it now stands and founded the temple of Vishnu. After the Vijayanagara rule, it went into the hands of Golkonda Kings. In the time of Meerjumla the fortifications were greatly enlarged and strengthened. The beautiful Juma Masjid here was also built by him. Early in the 18th century it passed on to the hands of Cuddapah Nawabs. In 1780 the fort presumably fell into the hands of Haidar Ali or Tipu Sultan. Finally in 1800 A.D. it was ceded to the British by a treaty with the Nizam. The fortifications are extensive having nearly 5 miles circumference, contains a number of both residential and religious buildings. Regarding one of the Hindu temples inside the fort, the great Historian Ferista tells us that in the time of Vijayanagara rule nearly 100,000 Hindus used to make an annual pilgrimage and offer gifts of great value. The scenic beauty of the place is enhanced by the deep gorges and flowing Pennar river nearly 200 - metres below amidst steeply cut hill ranges and greenary.

KANCHARAGUDI:
Brief History:

This west facing temple consists of garbha-griha without an open portico.The front wall contains a simple dvara with the figures of Ganga and Yamuna at the base of the either jambs. The wall portions are decorated with koshtas surmounted by makara torana with figures of Brahma, Surya and Vishnu on north, east and south respectively. The roof above contains, on its edges a row of yalis. The base of the vimana contains two talas with kuta and sala. The sikhara is of nagara style decorated with number of mithuna figures. This temple is contemporary to the Golingesvara temple belonging to 9th century AD.

NAKKALAGUDI:
Brief History:

This west facing temple consists of garbha-griha without antarala or open portico. The front wall has a simple dvara or entrance with Gajalakshmi on the lintel. The walls are decorated with projections in between pilasters. The pilasters have simple bracket capitals surmounted by Bhutamal and intern by a simple kapota. On the edges of the roof is a yalis and the series kuta, panjara and salas with simhalalata garbles. The vimana contains two haras or rows of the series kuta,

Monument No: 3

Monument Name: MONOLITH GANESA IMAGE

Location: Biccavolu

Brief History :
The monolithic seated Vinayaka is a unique example of Eastern Chalukyan art.




Monument No:4

Monument Name: BHIMESVARA TEMPLE

Location: Draksharama

Brief History:
Andhradesa is known as Trilingadesa bounded by three famous Siva Linga Kshetras. These are God Bhimesvara of Daksharama at the East; Mallikarjuna of Srisailam in the South and Kalesvara temple at Kalesvaram in the North. The people who lived, within this country side were known as Trailingas. Andhradesa is famous for the Pancharama Kshetras too and Bhimesvara temple at Draksharama is one. These aramakshetras had earlier Buddhist base. The name to the place is due to the garden of Daksha, one of the Prajapatis of the human race who performed an yajna here. The temple complex was founded by the great Eastern Chalukyan king Bhima I (892-921 A.D.). The main sanctum is a double storeyed one with a lofty limestone Linga (2.6 metres high) worshipped from the top tala. The main unit is centrally placed within a double prakara, the inner one is further distinguished by a double-storeyed dalan raised on ornate pillars. The lower storey has several angalayas (about 32), for the minor deities with exquisitely carved icons. A cut-out monolithic model shrine is kept before the main temple as a reminder of the original plan of the architects who caused the temples. The surrounding shrines dedicated to various Gods, but the main shrine of Goddess Manikyamba possesses a deity of great charm and spirit. The temple stands as a specimen of architecture where a harmonious blending of the Eastern Chalukyan and Chola styles was achieved. The tall amazing gopuradvara is clearly a Chola workmanship. Poet Srinatha, gives an eye-account of this sacred fane on Saptagodavari in his classic Kavya "Bhimesvara Puranam". The divine poet Mallikarjuna Panditaradhya (12 century AD), was the son of Bhimana, the Purohit of Bhimesvara temple. Vemulavada Bhimakavi was the son of a Brahmin widow residing at Draksharama and he mentions God Bhimesvara as his father. The temple has rich epigraphical records giving interesting details about the donations caused for annual festivities, items of worship, shrines variously constructed by kings as well as local chiefs. It may not be out of place to mention that Drakshara is equally sacred to Muslims, the tomb and mosque of saint Sayid Shah Bhaji Aulia, is here. He belonged to Gardez near Madina in Arabia. And as a story goes, he won over a Saivitic Mathadhipati in his devotion to God and hence was given a mutt to live in at Dakshrama itself which was later converted into a sacred mosque. The descendants of this saint are said to be still living in the place.

Monument No: 5

Monument Name: ROCK-CUT CAVES AND CISTERNS,AND REMAINS OF BUDDHIST STUPAS, CHAITYAS AND VIHARAS (MONASTERIES) ON HILL PANDAVULA OR PANDAVAKONDA

Location: Kapavaram

Brief History :
The rock-cut caves, cisterns, remains of Buddhist Stupas, Chaityas and Viharas are located on the Pandavula Konda (hill). Presently it has become a hamlet of Korukonda. There are ten caves in three distinct groups oriented in east-west direction. They are small, plain caves quadrangular in shape with a central door and flanked by two windows. Stupas and Vihara complex built with both brick and cut stone, recalling the Buddhist sites like Sankaram, Ramathirtham and Rompayerrampalem. These structural edifices are connected with rock-cut steps to the cave dwellings. On stylistic grounds these can be assigned to 2nd - 3rd century AD.

Monument No:6

Monument Name: BUDDHIST REMAINS

Location: Kodavali

Brief History:
Known also as Kodavalli, there exist remains of a Buddhist Stupa, four rock-cut wells and three rock-cut rectangular cisterns. One of the rock-cut cistern contains inscription which mentioned the name of Vasisti Putra Siri Chada Sata regnal year-2, a later Satavahana king.

Monument No:7

Monument Name: BHIMESVARA TEMPLE

Location: Samalkot, Bhimavaram

Brief History:
Samalkota Bhimavaram has two temples (i) the Mandavya Narayana temple a smaller one for Vishnu and (ii) The Chalukya Bhimesvara, an elaborate example, a double storeyed one recalling Daksharama Bhimesvara. Bhimavaram is one among the five great arama kshetras. The other four being Drakshara ar Drakshara, Amaravathi at Amaravathi, Somarama at Gunupudi Bhimavaram and Kshirarama at Palakollu -- all being Siva temples. These temples were raised by the famous eastern Chalukyan king Chaluka Bhima and its deity was named after the monarch as Chalukya Bhimesvara towards the end of the 9th century AD. (circa 892-922 AD). Here the main shrine in the centre with a pillared verandah of two storeys on the four sides with stone built double prakara wall. The main shrine contains two stories. The fround floor shrine is enshrined by a tall octogonal linga on a plain vedi. There is a narrow mandapa before the shrine. The upper floor consists of a pillared verandah in the front, a mandapa beyond it and the antarala and garbha-griha to its west. There is a rock-cut monolithic model at the side entrance and this provides the proof how the original temple looked. The vimana of the main shrine is simple without any decoration. It is a dvitala vimana of the Dravida order. It contains polished and finely carved pillars of the post Kakatiya and Pre-Vijayanagara periods bearing inscriptions from Saka 1340 to 1466 (circa 1418 to 1544 century AD). There are twenty-seven inscriptions in this temple ranging in dates from circa 1147-1494 century AD. referring to different gifts made to the temple by different patrons.