Travelogue – Sri Mukhalingam Temple

Srikakulam Temple diaries 3

Today I will share some pictures of Sri Mukhalingam temple of Jalamuru mandal of Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh.

Sri Mukhalingam temple built on the bank of the Vamsadhara river is also known as Dakshina Kashi. It is very close to the Someshwara temple but is much older.

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There are two prakaras (enclosed area around the temple) of the temple. I have taken this picture from the outer prakara.

The inner prakara has many smaller temples along with the main Mukhalingeshwara Temple. While the Mukhalingeshwara temple walls are filled with carvings, the smaller temples too are a delight.

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The main entrance of the Mukhalingeshwara temple with wonderful designs.

It was built in 8th century CE by Kamarnava II of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. Mukhalingeshwara swamy is also known as Madhukeshwara as the idol self manifested from the Madhuka tree. Normally no shiva linga has the appearance of a face, but because this linga has the appearance of a face, it is called Mukhalingam. Mukha means face in telugu, meaning linga with a face. According to Skanda purana, Lord Shiva appeared here in the Madhuka tree to release the Gandharvas, who were born as tribals, from a curse.

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Carvings on doorways.

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Vimana of a smaller temple in the inner prakara.

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Gajalakshmi on the lower side with a story carved on top.

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Surya Deva on the lower part of the picture. Scenes of an army carved above on two rows, foot soldiers, horsemen and elephants. Kalash’s on the row above, and notice the perforated windows in between.

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Varaha Deva and Narsimha Deva

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Sringara Rasa, An affectionate couple and ladies admiring themselves.

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Mahadev killing Andhakasura

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At first I thought this was Buddha, but I was mistaken. It is Lakulisa with his four disciples.

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The first pic is Shiva and Parvati on Nandi. The second picture is a battle scene. So vividly portrayed. A story on the upper panel and perforated windows between flowers in the panel above.

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Entrance of a smaller temple.

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Lord Shiva opening his Jata to accept and hold Ganga in it. Here he is also known as Gangadhara in this form. We can see Bhagiratha praying to Shiva and a displeased Parvati Ma.

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The outlet of the sanctum designed in such a way that we feel Vasuki is pouring the water. What an innovation!

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The first picture is people praying, this is on the doorway. The second is an inscription in ancient Telugu language.

I have captured only part of this temple’s beauty. For those who love carvings, this will be a bliss to behold.

Srikakulam is about a 110KM from Visakhapatnam.

Sri Kurmam is about 10-15 minutes drive from Srikakulam town. Mukhalingeshwara temple is 56Km from SriKurmam temple and takes 1 and a half hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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