Kadapa, Pushpagiri, Gurramkonda & Horsley hills.


Kadapa, Pushpagiri, Gurramkonda, Horsley hills, Rangini mahal, Ancient temples, Kadapa, Pedda dargah, Badi dargah, Ameen Peer Dargah, Chennakeshava temple, APTDC, Chitoor

We had just come back to Bangalore late on the night of 30th September 2009 after driving around for over a week in Tamilnadu and this trip was from the morning of 2nd Oct to the evening of 4th Oct… So two back to back trips.

The main high-lights of this trip were visiting Pushpagiri and Horsely hills.

The Tirumalabalaji.co.in website has this to say about Pushpagiri :

Pushpagiri is a temple town in Vallur Mandal of Kadapa District. The town lies on the banks of river Pennar and is famous for its ancient temples. The place was said to be mentioned in the Valmiki’s Sundarakanda chapter of Ramayana. The kings and rich people erected many temples here as there was an ancient belief that building a temple in this place would bring them prosperity. And hence nearly hundred and one temples adorned Pushpagiri in ancient times.

Pushpagiri has a charm of a small rural place with people around selling bangles, toys and balloons. Some small hotels selling tea and snacks are found on the road. Just opposite to the main temple, there is a Pushpagiri Matham (home of religious order), also called as Pushpagiri Peetam, which is said to have been established by Aadhi Sankaracharya, a renowned Hindu Saint, to promote his philosophy of Advaita. This peetam is said to be the richest and only Advaita mutt in Andhra Pradesh. The Trikuteswara (three temples) shrine is situated just opposite to this Matham.

There are three shrines- Kamaleshwara Shrine, Hachaleswara shrine and Pallaveswara Shrine, founded in 1255 AD and hence the name Trikuteswara. This triple shrine has a common mukha-mandapa (the main pillared hall or covered veranda in a temple), with each temple on the south, west and north of the mukha mandapam. A four pillared Nandi Mandapa houses an image of Nandi in the sabha-mandapa (Public Hall). Bhimeshwara (Lord Shiva) Temple is located to the east of Trikuteswara Temple with figures of elephants, lions and sages in its Mukha-mandapam. The ceiling of the temple is decorated with a pastille-shaped design with a lotus medallion in the centre. The entrance of this shrine has steps with parapet walls lined by elephant heads with long trunks.

The Vaidyanatha Swami Temple is a west facing shrine of the Chola period, situated to the southeast of Trikuteswara temple. Two dvarapalakas (watchmen) guard its doorways and the mandapam has 16 pillars arranged in two squares. The sanctum sanctorum has a standing image of goddess, called as Kamalakshi Devi by the locals. Pushpagiri is also known as the second Hampi. The main attraction of Pushpagiri is the Chenna Kesava Temple, a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, which is situated on the other side of the river Pennar. To reach this temple one has to cross the shallow pool of water formed near the hill. You can see the temple reflection in the shallow pool formed of this river. Few steps descends you to the sands of the dry river with some water here and there. After crossing the river, a flight of steps on the hill takes you to the Chenna Kesava Temple. The entrance of temple complex is adorned with a beautiful gopura gateway in the west overlooking the river.

There is a sacred pool in the temple, called as Amrit Sarovar (Nectar Lake), which is believed to have the magical powers to reverse ageing. Legend has it that when Garuda was carrying nectar from Indraloka, a drop fell down and turned into a sacred pool. The eminence of the pool came to be known, when a distressed farmer jumped into it to commit suicide and found himself turned into a young man. He then made his wife and oxen to dip into the pool and they too regained their youth. When the news of the pool reached Satya Loka, worried Lord Brahma sought the help of Lord Vishnu and Siva. Lord Hanuman was ordered, by Lord Shiva and Brahma, to fill the pool and He dropped a mountain into it. Astonishingly, the mountain started floating instead of sinking. Then Lord Vishnu and Siva clamped their feet at its side and the imprints of their foot can still be seen. The foot print of Siva became famous as ‘Rudrapada’ and that of Vishnu as ‘Vishnupada’.

There are other two shrines, in this temple premises, of Santana Malleswara and Uma Maheshwara which are dedicated to Lord Siva. The former along with the Chenna Kesava temple stand parallel to each other while the latter lies to the north of the Mandapa. To the south of the gopura gateway, next to the west prakara wall (entrance of the temple), is the temple of Lord Hanuman. The sculptures and the carvings of the temple are one of its kind. Some of them depict the marvelous pieces of art like the sculpture of Lord Vishnu and his various forms, dancing Ganapati, Krishna preaching Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna, Rama, Sita and Mahishasura mardini. There is also a temple of Sakshi Malleswara (Lord Siva) dating back to 10th century. Aptly called as temple town, Pushpagiri has to be visited to get an insight into one’s spirit.

There is plenty of info about Horsley hills on the net. Wikipedia has this to say…

Horsley Hills (Telugu: హార్సిలీ కొండలు) , elevation 1,265 m, is a famous summer hill resort in Andhra Pradesh, about 160 km from Bangalore, India and 144 km from Tirupathi. Madanapalle is the closest town near the hills. The major tourist attractions here include the Mallamma temple and the Rishi Valley School. Horsely Hills is the departure point for the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary located 87 km away.

Horsley Hills is named after a British officer named W.D. Horsley, the Collector of Cuddapah district. He visited this place around 1840-43 and was impressed by the beauty of the hills and chose this spot for his summer residence. Now the Governor of Andhra Pradesh uses this house as a summer residence and hence this house is called the Governors bungalow.

The narrow road to Horsely Hills is very scenic. It is surrounded throughout its entire length with dense growths of eucalyptus, jacaranda, allamanda and gulmohar trees. The major tourist places around Horsely hills are Lake Gangotri, Highview seeing place, Gaalibanda, Environmental park and the Horsley Hills Museum.

Distance covered was 609kms. The trip happened since my parents wanted to visit some relatives in Kadapa (Cuddapah) and we stopped at the other places enroute. Photos and comments are below…

Started off a little late from Bangalore and first stop was near Chintamani. There are very few petrol bunks on this route and those with a clean loo are fewer still…

Excellent roads up to Madanapalle, with freshly laid tarmac in many sections. Around 75% of the route is good; the bad sections are all after crossing Madanapalle…

It was drizzling and cloudy most of the time, making it a cool and pleasant drive…

A random pic along the way, there are two hills near Gurramkonda, one has a rock formation that looks like a ‘shivaling’ and this one is supposed to look like a ‘Nandi’. There is some resemblance I guess…

Drove past Gurramkonda, which I and Sangeetha had already visited during a previous trip. [http://www.dummysite.com/forum/travel…garimatam.html ]

A second pit stop on the way, close to Rayachoti…

The ghat section between Rayachoti and Cuddapah. Thanks to the rains, the hills are quite green and great… same cannot be said about the road though 🙂

Got caught at a railway crossing close to Cuddapah for around 15 minutes… first waiting for the train to cross and then for the traffic jam to get cleared.

A Suvega from the 80s, which my uncle won as a prize in a Nescafe or Bru contest, I remember taking it out for a round or two when I used to visit Cuddapah during my summer hols. Still in good working condition, used occasionally and retained as a memento…

Cuddapah is still the old and crowded town that I remember…

Where the old and the new co-exist…

We also visited the Ameen Peer Dargah that was always quite popular with all religious communities…

The dargah has been in the news of late due to several celebrities visiting the place, including A.R.Rahman, who visits quite regularly and Aishwarya-Abhishek etc.

Thanks to the recent rains, Cuddapah was quite messy.

The ladies went shopping on Y.V.Street… the Comm street of CDP.

Later that evening my uncle’s family was also headed towards the dargah and I got to go there again…

Spent some time with the family and headed back towards Bangalore. Original plans were to head to Chittoor and then the BLR. But some changes in the itinerary meant that we would be driving back straight to Bangalore, allowing us almost a full day to check out some places along the way.

We went to a place called ‘Pushpagiri’ close to Cuddapah, which is an ancient ‘Temple town’ of sorts. There are or rather there were quite a few temples in and around the village, but most of them are neglected, dilapidated and abandoned. ASI does have a few rusty boards sticking around proclaiming them to be ‘Protected Ancient monument’, but the ‘protection’ part is missing 🙁

The hill-side is dotted with temples and other old structures. The Chennakeshava temple is well worth the visit though…

We checked out a few temples in and around the village…

Contd…




3 comments to...
“Kadapa, Pushpagiri, Gurramkonda & Horsley hills.”
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mani

No words to express, excellent temples and eager to waiting to see….


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Anu

Thanks for putting this information .i am planing to vist.


Avatar
Anu

Nice temples.people are planing to build new temples but not thinking about old temples.




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