Thursday, April 26, 2007

Hemavathi Temple

Hemavathi, known as Henjuvu, was the capital of the Nolambas, a minor dynasty that held sway over Kolar, Tumkur, Chitradurga, (Karnataka), parts of Anantapur and north Arcot, Tharmapuri (Tamilnadu) regions.

Nolambas or Nodambas had their origin from a mythical demon of that name. Trinayana Pallava or Mukkanti was regarded as the founder of this lineage. Nolambas ruled from Circa 8th –10th centuries AD Their kingdom was shadowed by the mighty powers like the Gangas of Karnataka, early Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas.

Though Nolamba rulers rarely enjoyed political independence and stability, their patronage of arts and religion was certainly remarkable. King Irava Nolamba Dilipa – I (941 – 968 A.D.) along with his queens were responsible for raising several magnificient temples. Note worthy examples are seen at Avani, Nandi, Bargur (Karnataka) and Dharmapuri (Tamilnad) besides ones Doddeshwara, Siddeshwara, and Mallikarjuna, located at Hemavathi. These temples are known for their architictural grandeur and artistic merit.

Situated to the west of Kodikonda, Hemavathi is about 25 km. from Madakasira, and about 10 km. from Amarapuram. The village stands on an extensive mound and was a town of considerable importance between the 8th and 10th century AD under the Nolamba Pallavas when it was known as Henjeri. Hemavathi represents the two architectural features in which the Nolamba craftsmen show a high order of excellence. These relate to the temple pillars and the use of pierced stone windows. The pillars in the Doddeswara shrine are fine examples of the clean base moulding and delicate decorations. There is inscriptional evidence to show that Rajendra, the Chola monarch, took away not less than 44 pillars to decorate the temple at Thiruvedi where the intricate carvings and massive pillars are of polished black stone. The stone used in making the idols sound like metal when struck and is also remarkably transparent.

The large stone used in the low roofed Doddeswara temple have been intricately carved. A Nandi of dark granite, 8 ft. in length and height is at the entrance. The wall at a number of places has been ornamented by carved human figures. Scenes from the Ramayan and the Mahabharath are carved on the pillars in the enclosed porch of the temple. There is a 6 ft. "Lingam" in the Sanctum. In the Siddeswara temple, Siva is not represented in the usual form of Lingam but his figure has been carved out in a sitting posture as if engaged in penance. The other temples in the place also exhibit skilled workmanship.

Temple location The Siddheswara Temple, Hemavathi, lies
35 km from Madakkasire of Anantapur
district with good bus and train facilities
Main deity Siddheswara
Temple management Government of Andhra Pradesh and
Department of Archaeology, Andhra Pradesh
Shivalayas were built in the 8th Century and patronised by the Pallavas.
The sculptural decorations made by the Nolamba artists are very famous.
Of the four Shivalayas in Hemavathi, only the Siddheswara Temple has
a tank associated with it.
Mahashivarathri in February or March is observed in a grand manner.
Sacred tank(s)
1. Kalyani Kulam
Present status of the sacred tank
The temple tank is situated within the temple. Devotees are allowed to
use the water only for performing poojas and other rituals on the banks
of the tank. The water quality is good. The temple authorities are maintaining
the tank. In ancient days, the tank water is believed to have displayed
seven colours every day and this later dwindled to 3 colours a day.
Today no such colour change occurs. However, no written information
is available about the colour change.

Hemavathi is famous for the Doddeswara Swamy temple built during the Pallava reign. The stone used in making the idols sounds like metal when struck and is also remarkably polished. A Nandi made of black basalt granite 8 feet in length and 4 feet in height, sits at the entrance.

The Archeological department has constructed a museum and preserved idols of Archeological importance. The place has got A.P.S.R.T.C. bus facilities from Madakasira, Amarapuram and Hindupur.

How to Reach
Hemavathi is situated at a distance of 37 kms. from Madakasira and 148 kms. from Ananthapur. Hemavathi is well connected by road and there are frequent buses from Madakasira. Private transport is also available from Madakasira.

Frequent buses are available from Amarapuram, Madakasira. and also from Hiruyur in Karnataka. Airport: Hyderabad 320 kms from Hemavathi.

Ananthapur and Gunthkal are the near by railway stations

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