Alampur - Indian Temples
Alampur Temple
Alampur Temple

Alampur near Kurnool is home to the very ancient Navabhramma temples dating back to the 7th century CE. Alampur is located at a distance of 200 km from Hyderabad. Alampur is considered to be the western gateway of Sree Sailam, the revered Jyotirlinga Shivastalam in Andhra Pradesh.

The Tungabhadra and Krishna are in confluence near Alampur, which is also known as Dakshina Kailasam (as is Sree Kalahasti in Southern Andhra Pradesh). Nine temples here referred to as the Nava Bhramma temples are dedicated to Shiva.

The Nava Bhramma temples were built by the Badami Chalukyas, who ruled for about 200 years from the middle of the sixth century onwards. The Badami Chalukyas built several temples in Karnataka, and the Alampur temples in Andhra Pradesh.The Alampur site preserves archeological remains in the form of temples exhibiting a hybrid style of architecture - dating back to the 6th-7th centuries CE. Some of the images from this site are also housed in a museum nearby.

Near Alampur, is Papanasam with a cluster of over 20 temples of varying sizes and styles. The most important of these is the Papanaseswara temple.

It is stated that Brahma performed a great penance at this place for thousands of years, and pleased Lord Siva who con- ferred the powers of creation on him. Hence the deity is called Brahmeswara. The goddess is called Yogini or Jogul- amba, which is a synonym for Parvathi.

Padma Brahma Temple:This temple is in the Swarga Brahma style. Apart from the sculptures of two dwarpalikas near the square gateway, with the flying figure on the top, the sculptures on the facade of this temple have all been destroyed.

The Garuda Brahma temple: Modeled on the Padma Brahma, this temple is distinguished by elaborate carvings on the pillars inside the hall, with the cool shadows secured for the extension of consciousness into the non-sensuous realms of calm.

Bala Brahma Temple: This temple has remained in worship through the centuries. Therefore, it has often been renovated. The images are a mixture of routine sculptures like Jogulamba, Durga, Narasimha and the Rishis. In the courtyard are images of Mukhalinga, Sahasralinga and Mahishasuramardini. The most vital image is the mother goddess in the small shrine.

Arka Brahma Temple: The roof of this temple has disappeared and it is a mere ruin.

Kumara Brahma Temple: The style of construction of this temple approximates to the other Nava Brahma shrines. There is a row of seven heads, carved on the halldoor frame of this temple, of which the significance seems to be lost to us. The pillars of the porch of this shrine have detailed intricate carvings.

Vira Brahma Temple: There is nothing to distinguish this temple from the others.

Vishva Brahma Temple: Except that it has no porch, the plan of the Vishva Brahma resembles the Swarga Brahma. The sculptures on the facade are also similar, both in theme and execution, though the virtuosity has disappeared because of the vandal's axe. Thus the figure of Trivikrama might have been a magnificent carving when it was whole. Also, the Gangavatarana was once a highly energetic sculpture. The Mithunas are also damaged. The floral relief of makaras and birds with flying figures indicate the lyricism of desire flowing through them from the springtime of the Chalukyan sensibility.

Taraka Brahma Temple: The taraka Brahma temple differs from all the other Nava Brahma group of shrines, because it is built in the mergent southern style. It has a garbhagriha, an antarala and a porch. Except for the Devakoshtha in the center of each of the three walls of the garbhagriha, the large blocks of stone don't carry any relief.