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Updated: December 1, 2012 14:42 IST

A temple with a hoary past

G. V. R. Subba Rao
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A view of 100-year old Sri Ganga Annapoorna sametha Sri Kasivisveswara Swamy vari devasthanam located near Challapalli Bunglow, in Vijayawada. Photo: Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar.
The Hindu A view of 100-year old Sri Ganga Annapoorna sametha Sri Kasivisveswara Swamy vari devasthanam located near Challapalli Bunglow, in Vijayawada. Photo: Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar.

The temple is known as Trimurthatmaka aalaya

Karthika Maasam brings religious fervour, and Sivalayams are overcrowded with the devotees. Here is a century-old Sivalayam—Sri Ganga Annapoorna sametha Sri Kasi Visveswara Swami vari Devasthanam-- which has many unique feathers in its cap.

The lingam here has blood stains on its head. The temple is known as Trimurthatmaka aalaya, a temple for trimurthis: Siva, Brahma and Vishnu.

The temple priest Yadavalli Ramachandra Murthi, quoting Sivapuranam, says it is good and effective to offer prayers to ‘Parthiva Linga’ in ‘Kaliyuga’. The sivaligam here has red colour mark, which the devotees believe that they are blood stains, on its head. So, it is known as Parthiva Linga. Arjuna had a scuffle with lord Siva over pasupatastra. In the brawl, Arjun hit Siva with his bow on latter’s head. Hence, the lingam bears blood stains, he says.

The temple has become popular as Trimurathmaka aalaya as it has idols of Brahma and Krishna in the sanctum sanctorum. The temple trustee Appanna Venkata Satya Saibabu says that it in rare cases all the Triumurthis are found in a single sanctum. Recalling the history, the trustees say that the temple was constructed in 1909 by Appanna Venkata Krishnaiah Sreshti and Addepalli Venkata Appaiah. The duo, ardent devotees of Siva, found the lingam in cup of their palms while taking a dip in Ganges. The lingam was brought to the city and, temple was constructed, he says.

Special flowers

The temple is managed by heirs of Sreshti and Appaiah on rotation basis.

The botanical attraction at the temple is Sivalinga flowers. The founders brought a sapling of Cannonball Tree (Couroupita guianensis) from Kasi.

The Cannonball tree flowers are popularly known as ‘Sivalinga or Mallikarjuna’ flowers in Telugu for their shape. It is considered a sacred tree among Hindus because it looks like the hood of ‘Naga’, the snake, and the inner part of it contains the lone female part, stigma, resembling siva linga, as if protected by this hood of Naga.

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