Travelogue – Someshwara Temple

Srikakulam Temple Diaries 2

Today I will share the beauty of a Lord Shiva temple located in Jalamuru Mandal of Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh.

It is the Someshwara temple which is right now undergoing some restoration work.


Built in the 11th or 12th century CE by the Eastern Ganga dynasty kings, it has great sculptural beauty.

Each picture can be enlarged to appreciate the beauty.


The entrance to the sanctum with beautifully carved doorway


This is Gajalakshmi with meditating Devas above her.


This is Ganga, I loved the adoring looks of the sevikas.


This is Gangadhara. The name given to lord Shiva because he bore Ganga on his head.


Designs and people, a treat to see.


The first level of the temple is intricately carved, while the vimana is a bit more simple in the carving.


Ganesha in all his splendour with his vaahan, the mooshika (rat) and the ganas carved below.


The four armed Lakulisa (Lord with the staff or club). He is considered to be the 28th and last avatar of Shiva, and revivalist of the Pashupata Sect. He is also known as the Yogic incarnation of Shiva. He had 4 disciples Kusika, Garbha, Mitra, and Kaurusya. You can see them carved beneath.

Also notice a carving like a water outlet. Didn’t see if they managed a real outlet.





Stories from puranas carved in stone.


Lord Karthikeya, also known as Kumara Swamy, Murugan or Lord Subramanya is the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati Devi. The peocock which is his Vaahan looking at him adoringly and ganas carved beneath.


Mahadev (Lord Shiva) cajoling Parvati Devi.




Ganesha, Kumaraswamy and the ganas watching the divine scene.

Notice the second person from the left in the first picture. I was fascinated by how skeletal he looked and the finesse of the sculptor. I thought there must be a story there too. Someone pointed out that he is Bhringi. Since I did not know the story of Sage Bhringi, searched the net and found a wiki page for Bhringi. It is an interesting story.

According to Hindu epics, Bhringi was an ancient sage (rishi), and a great devotee of Shiva,[1] the Hindu God. According to epics, all the rishis paid homage to both Shiva and Parvati,consort of Shiva , but Bhringi would not worship Parvati and dedicated himself solely to Shiva .

The story goes that Bhringi one day, came to Mount Kailash, the abode of Shiva , and expressed his desire to go around Shiva . As he was going around, Shiva ‘s consort, Shakti, said, “You cannot just go around him. You have to go around me too. We are two halves of the same truth.”

Bhringi, however, was so focussed on Shiva that he had no desire to go around Shakti. Seeing this, Shakti sat on Shiva’s lap making it difficult for Bhringi to go around Shiva alone. Bhringi, determined to go around Shiva took the form of a Bhring (Black Bee) and tried to slip in between the two.

Amused by this, Shiva made Shakti one half of his body – the famous Ardhanarishvara form of Shiva . This was God whose one half is the Goddess. But Bhringi was adamant. He would go around Shiva alone. So he took the form of a rat, some say a bee, and tried to gnaw his way between the two.

This annoyed the Goddess so much that she said, “May Bhringi lose all parts of the body that come from the mother.” In Tantra, the Indian school of alchemy, it is believed that the tough and rigid parts of the body such as nerves and bones come from the father while the soft and fluid parts of the body such as flesh and blood come from the mother. Instantly, Bhringi lost all flesh and blood and he became a bag of bones. He collapsed on the floor, unable to get up.

Bhringi realized his folly. Shiva and Shakti make up the whole. They are not independent entities. One cannot exist without the other. Without either there is neither. He apologized.

This is the story given in the wikipedia page. But carving the skeletal Bhringi is amazing.


Mahishasura Mardini or 10 armed Durga, slaying the asura. The battle scene carved below.

Seeing the temple from afar, we can never imagine that it has such sculpural beauty. It was a treat for me capturing these carvings.



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