Sri Someswara temple in Kolanupaka near Warangal (Telengana)

The beautifully sculpted Kakatiyan temples seen in Telengana are predominantly dedicated to Shiva, and they generally follow the Ekakuta, Trikuta, or Panchakuta plan. The sculptural art of this time gives us an idea of the socio-religious atmosphere of that era. A favourite  theme in  Kakatiyan temple sculptures were stories from various epics, such as the Mahabharata, Ramayana, Bhagavat Gita, and the Puranas. The artisans would take inspiration from these texts and transfer their imaginations onto stone sculptures on temple walls and panels, making it easily available for the viewing and understanding of the common people. The Andhradesa society during the Kakatiya era also saw some religious movements associated with Jainism, Buddhism, Shaivism and Vaishnavism.

Given below are photos of a ruined temple dedicated to Shiva on the way to Sri Someswara temple in a remote village. The temple is ruined but functional, with the garbhagriha remaining locked at times other than pujas. A newly constructed homakunda made of bricks was in front of the sanctum in the mandapa part.

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Sri Someswara temple in Kolanupaka

This Shiva temple is situated around 82 km from Warangal and located near Kulpak ji, a famous Jain temple. The temple is also known as Veyi Lingala gudi, meaning the temple of the thousand lingas.  Adorned with beautiful carvings and sculptures the temple is believed to have been originally built in Chalukyan style. Inscriptions found here place the temple at around 1070-1126 CE as evidenced from the different narrations found in them detailing how the Chalukyan kings patronised the temple by donating land, gold, cows, etc. The temple as it stands now however shows a great deal of Kakatiyan workmanship, possibly owing to the additions/modifications/renovations  made by them, as evident from the typical Kakatiyan era mandapa pillars that show square blocks with circular discs in many parts. The huge entrance gate is also built in the Kakatiyan style.  The main deity of the temple is lord Shiva in the form of Swayambu or Someshwara Swamy, and his consort is Shakti or devi Chandika. There is a huge Saharsalinga inside one of the temple sanctums, which gives it the name of Veyi Lingala gudi.  It is also believed that this is the birth place of ‘Renukacharya’, the great ‘Veera Saiva’ saint, who was born from the ‘Swayambu Linga’ found in this village, and was later absorbed into it after he finished preaching Veera Saivam. A statue of Renukacharya is present in the sanctum along with the Swayambu Linga. In front of the temple there is a four pillared nandi mandapa with a Kakatiyan nandi sitting inside. The temple complex also houses an Archaeological Museum in the front pillared corridor area, and this museum gallery holds many wonderful sculptures ranging from 10th to 14th c. CE that were found in this region.

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The main gate to the temple shows unmistakable signs of Kakatiyan workmanship and design

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. dpranita583 says:

    Very nice , we are very lucky to get to see like these ancient temples.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moni1706 says:

      yes we are very lucky indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

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