Alampur is 20 km from Kurnool, in Mahabubnagar district. It is famous for its nine shrines, popularly known as Nava Bhramma temples, dating back to the 6th and 7th centuries. The town is considered as the western gateway to Srisailam. Alampur is at the confluence of the Krishna and the Tungabhadra. The Chalukyas of Badami built the nine temples, all of which are in one courtyard on the banks of the Tungabhadra. There is also a Narasimha Swamy temple here, with inscriptions from the period of Sri Krishnadeva Raya. The other famous shrines are for Goddess Jogulamba or Yogeswari, and the Sri Renuka or Ellamma temple, a tiny one, popular with childless couples. Alampur was variously known in the past as Hatampuram, Hamalapuram and Alampuram. It is described as Hatampura, in an inscription dated 1101 CE, ascribed to the Western Chalukya, Tribhuvanamalla Vikramaditya VI.
A notable feature of these temples are that they are in the Nagara, that is, Northern and Western styles, not in the usual Dravidian, that is, Southern style. Taraka Brahmmeswara, Swarga Brahmmeswara, Arka Brahmmeswara and Vira Brahmmeswara are the nine temples. The gopuras are in the curvilinear form, similar to the ones found in the rock-cut temples of Karnataka and Maharashtra. All nine temples are dedicated to Shiva, of which the Bala Brahmma temple (702 CE) is the principal place of worship. Some of them are partly in ruins and have no images. Also in the courtyard is a Ninth century temple dedicated to Suryanarayana (Sun God).
Sri Jogulamba Temple
Sri Jogulamba Temple, dedicated to the Mother Goddess, nearby, is more popular with devotees than any or all the nine Nava Brahmma shrines put together. Not surprising, since the shrine is one of the 18 Shakti Peetas. The original temple was destroyed during the Muslim invasion of 1390,after which a mosque was built at the gateway. The local people are said to have offered stiff resistance and moved the idol to a secure location. In 2005 that is 615 years later, the temple was rebuilt, in the original Chalukyan style, in the exact location where it stood before demolition, and the idol relocated there. Sri Jogulamba is considered to the Vedic Yogeswari.
A Huge embankment was raised to protect the temples after the construction of the Srisailam Dam. Many were the shrines that the lake created by the dam submerged, but many others were dismantled and relocated brick by brick. One such shrine is Sri Kudali Sangameshwar temple, a little further away from the Brahmeswara temples. In the middle of a landscaped garden sits the relocated temple in royal splendor, with a curvilinear vimana. The sculptures are amazingly intact for a temple built 1,500years ago, presumably, by Pulakesi I (540-566). The shrine also had to undergo the trauma of being dismantled and relocated. Undoubtedly, one of the grandest Chalukyan temples in Andhra Pradesh.
How to get there:
Kurnool is the nearest town, from where frequent buses ply to Alampur.
Kurnool is a modern city, with plenty of rooms to suit all tastes and purses.
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