1) Importance of the Destination
Alampur near Kurnool is home to the very ancient Navabhramma temples dating back to the 7th century CE. Alampur is considered to be the western gateway of Sree Sailam, the revered Jyotirlinga Shivastalam in Andhra Pradesh. The southern, eastern, and northern gateways are Siddhavattam, Tripurantakam and Umamaheswaram respectively.
The Nava Bhramma temples were built by the Badami Chalukyas, who ruled for about 200 years from the middle of the sixth century onwards. The Badami Chalukyas built several temples in Karnataka, and the Alampur temples in Andhra Pradesh.The Alampur site preserves archeological remains in the form of temples exhibiting a hybrid style of architecture - dating back to the 6th-7th centuries CE. Some of the images from this site are also housed in a museum nearby.
The Nava Bhramma temples areTaraka Bhramma, Swarga Bhramma, Padma Bhramma, Bala Bhramma, Garuda Bhramma, Kumara Bhramma, Arka Bhramma, Vira Bhramma and the Vishwa Bhramma. These temples are all enclosed in a courtyard on the left bank of the river Tungabhadra.
The Bala Bhramma temple is the principal shrine of worship. It dates back to the year 702 CE - per the inscriptions seen here. Shivaratri is celebrated in great splendour here.
The Taraka Bhramma temple is partly in ruins, and it has no image in the sanctum. It bears telugu inscriptions from the 6th-7th century CE. The Swarga Bhramma temple with an imposing tower is considered to be among the finest in Alampur, and is an excellent specimen of Chalukyan architecture and sculpture. It contains several sculptures in bas relief, and it dates back to the end of the 8th century.
The Padma Bhramma temple partly in ruins, contains a Shivalingam of clear stone with mirror like finish. The Viswa Bhramma temple is among the most artistic of the Nava Bhramma temples. The sculptural work here depicts scenes from the epics.
Also in the enclosed courtyard is located the Suryanarayana temple, dating back to the 9th century. This temple has bas reliefs representing the incarnations of Vishnu. There is also a Narasimha temple with inscriptions from the period of Krishna Deva Raya of the Vijayanagar Empire.
Near Alampur, is Papanasam with a cluster of over 20 temples of varying sizes and styles. The most important of these is the Papanaseswara temple.
TEMPLES OF ALAMPUR
i) Swarga Brahma Temple
This important shrine seems to have been constructed towards the end of the 7th century A.D. There is an inscription above the dwarapalika image, which states that the shrine was constructed by Lokaditya-Ela-Arasa, in honor of the queen of Vinayaditya, called Mahadevi.
Like all other temples except the Taraka Brahma, the Swarga Brahma is a hall temple. The shrine is at the end of the rectangular hall, which is divided into a nave and side aisles by the use of pillars connecting the passage. Like the Kumara Brahma, the Swarga Brahma also has a porch. The panels on the outer walls carry relief figures of the Krishna Lila, Animals, Garuda-nose faces and Matrumurti. The pattern of carving is the same as on the Vishva Brahma temple.
Although there had been relief carvings in Aihole and Pattadakal, the pantheism here shows a passionate enthusiasm for exaltation of human form to divine status. There are Pauranic scenes, loving couples and flying spirits. And in the midst of these are the independent realizations of the gods, by the release into a certain innocence and freer interpretation of the icon beyond the manner of the Chalukyas in the west. One of the new dhyana mantras is a wall sculpture entitled Lingodbhavamurti of Shiva, inset into a tall phallus, with worshipping figures in a rectangular panel from which the lingam is carved. And a truncated figure shows the remains of a dynamic sculpture of shiva as Tripurasuramharamurti. The mobility of the carving skillfully releases energies into the universe with terrifying violence.
Another broken figure is a relief of Gangavatarana, again as a demonstration of the Alampur sculptor's genius for release of potential power of the gods. A similar sculpture of Shiva involved in the Tandava dance is a heroic image. The frenzy of the movement is caught in the ecstatic moment, by some Viswakarma, realizing himself through the expression of muscular energies into the universal image of dance incarnate.
Shiva is shown in another mood as he stands, pensively, with the gracious bend of his body, almost supplicating Parvati. The Mithuna couples show the sculptor's sensitiveness to tenderness between the male and the female, through the evocation of desire lurking below the surface of life and evoked here through the woman's shy withdrawal and the man dragging her by the arm from the natural urge of seduction.
The Swarga Brahma temple has a six pillar porch on the east, the Puranghata pillars being decorated with amalkas. There are horned dwarpals by the doorway. Ganga and Jamuna are symbolically carved on the door-frame with the GarudaNaga motif above. The temple has a curvilinear sikhara of the northern style, with a figure of dancing Shiva carved in the Chaitya window of the Sukanasi.
This temple is in the Swarga Brahma style. Apart from the sculptures of two dwarpalikas near the square gateway, with the flying figure on the top, the sculptures on the facade of this temple have all been destroyed.
iii) The Garuda Brahma temple
Modeled on the Padma Brahma, this temple is distinguished by elaborate carvings on the pillars inside the hall, with the cool shadows secured for the extension of consciousness into the non-sensuous realms of calm.
iv) Bala Brahma Temple
This temple has remained in worship through the centuries. Therefore, it has often been renovated. The images are a mixture of routine sculptures like Jogulamba, Durga, Narasimha and the Rishis. In the courtyard are images of Mukhalinga, Sahasralinga and Mahishasuramardini. The most vital image is the mother goddess in the small shrine.
v) Arka Brahma Temple
The roof of this temple has disappeared and it is a mere ruin.
The style of construction of this temple approximates to the other Nava Brahma shrines. There is a row of seven heads, carved on the halldoor frame of this temple, of which the significance seems to be lost to us. The pillars of the porch of this shrine have detailed intricate carvings.
There is nothing to distinguish this temple from the others.
Except that it has no porch, the plan of the Vishva Brahma resembles the Swarga Brahma. The sculptures on the facade are also similar, both in theme and execution, though the virtuosity has disappeared because of the vandal's axe. Thus the figure of Trivikrama might have been a magnificent carving when it was whole. Also, the Gangavatarana was once a highly energetic sculpture. The Mithunas are also damaged. The floral relief of makaras and birds with flying figures indicate the lyricism of desire flowing through them from the springtime of the Chalukyan sensibility.
ix) Taraka Brahma Temple
The taraka Brahma temple differs from all the other Nava Brahma group of shrines, because it is built in the mergent southern style. It has a garbhagriha, an antarala and a porch. Except for the Devakoshtha in the center of each of the three walls of the garbhagriha, the large blocks of stone don't carry any relief. There is an image of Paralambapadalakshmi on the antarala doorway. The top consisting of Sala, Kudu and Panjaran can be graduating towards the gopuram style.
2) National Importance
The destination has international and national importance. Visitors from America, Germany, Italy, Australia, France, etc visit this destination. All these foreign tourists are visiting this destination by observing the website or known from their friends & relatives or by contacting A P Tourism Department after knowing about the sculpture of these temples.
Pilgrims are visiting this destination almost from all States but mostly, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Bombay (Maharashtra), Delhi, etc.
3) Location and Reach
Road: Visitors can reach the destination from NH-7. The destination is located 15 km away from NH-7 (from Hyderabad to Tirupati). The destination is located about 27 km away from Kurnool and 110 km away from Mahabubnagar. Alampur is located at a distance of 200 km from Hyderabad.
Rail: The nearest railway station is located at JogulambaTemple. The local Tungabhadra Express stops but all other Express Trains stops at Kurnool, which is 27 km away.
Air: The nearest Airport is International Airport at Shamshabad (Hyderabad).
4) Jurisdiction of the
The Temple protected by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), GoI and under the control & jurisdiction of Endowments Department, GoAP for performing pujas, etc.
5) Road Condition
NH-7 is laid down with 4 lines of 120' BT Road from Hyderabad to Tirupati via Alampur X Road . There is very good road access for this destination. From Alampur X Road to Temple, single road is laid down with 12' BT Road with good condition.
6) Present Status of Tourist Attractions around the Destination
The following are the main nearest tourist places/attractions available around the proposed destination.
Ø This destination is 5th Shakthipeetham among the Shakthipeethams located in India
Ø Krishna-Tungabhadra Sanga-mam at Gandimalla - 9 km
Ø Papanasini Theertham, where 24 group of temples are available and is located at a distance of 1 ½ km away from the main temple. This place is famous for performing death ceremonies.
Ø Renukadevi Temple (with head only) at Gandimalla (V), Manavapadu Mandal - 9 km
Ø Shah Ali Pahilwan Dargah at Alampur
Ø Sri Chakrapeetham, Byrapuram - 9 km
Ø All the temples proposed for heritage circuit in Mahabubnagar district
7) Visitors Flow at the Destination
The flow of visitors to the destination has been increasing every year. As per the local people and officials of destinations, the visitors' flow during the three years is as below:
Approximate No. of Visitors
It is found that 500 people per day on an average are visiting the temple and the number goes up to 1000 persons on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. On Fridays and Tuesdays, the flow increases to 2000 devotees per day. On all festival days, the flow will be more than 1,000 tourists per day. On Teppotsavam during dasara period and Sivaratri, the tourist flow is very high. The authority performing marriages at the temple premises with about 500 marriages per year and about 500-600 persons per marriage on an average attend the marraiges. The temple is located on the way to Tirupati from Hyderabad and some of pilgrims, who visit Tirupati also visit this temple after knowing the importance.
8) Estimated Future Visitors Flow
The visitors' flow to the destination has been increasing year by year and the estimated future flow of visitors/tourists is as follows.
Justification for Tourist Flow
The logic behind the estimation of future visitors' flow is that there is huge potential to attract the visitors. The rationale is as follows.
Ø After punarprathista (re-building) of Ammavaru (Goddess), the flow of tourists increased very much. The authority has created awareness to some extent only. If authority created more awareness, then the flow will be much higher as this destination is the 5th Shakthi Peeth in India.
Ø Due to very good sculpture, the visitors from all over India are visiting this destination.
Ø Even though there are no facilities, pilgrims are visiting this destination in the morning and leaving the destination in the evening.
Ø ASI is maintaining temple structures, premises well and maintaining landscaping at some parts of temples
Ø The temple is very good access from the NH-7 and the passers through on the road can take diversion and visit this famous temple
Ø A number of colleges are located in Kurnool, which is a district-headquarter and the students flow to this temple is high.
Ø APSRTC is operating their buses from Kurnool at every half an hour to this destination and also from surrounding mandals to this destination.
Ø Income levels of people, who living in Kurnool & Mahabubnagar districts and surrounding places of the destination have been increasing
Ø On festivals, brahmotsav days, Fridays, Tuesdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Public holidays, the pilgrims flow to the destination is very high
Ø The destination has historical importance and good sculpture, which is attracting foreigners
Ø Increasing number of intra state-tourists from all the States of India especially Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and neighbouring States of AP
Ø The peak days are generally Saturdays, holidays and festival days
Ø The crowd in May, June and July is high due to holidays to the students
Ø The average growth of visitors' flow is increasing on an average of 30% - 35%. Apart from this, if Tourism Department provides tourism infrastructure and promotional facilitates to the tourists, that can add another 20% - 25%.
9) Special Days of Attraction and Visitors Flow
It revealed from the field survey that the visitors prefer the following days in general.
Friday, Tuesdays - Tourist flow is very huge
Brahmotsav Days - Very huge tourist flow
Festival Days, 1st January - Tourist flow is high
Sundays and Public Holidays increase the flow to some extent
Special occasions like family tours, marriage functions, etc
Vacations (like Summer Vacation and Winter Vacation)
10) Income Profile of Visitors
The approximate income profile of tourists/visitors to the destination is as below:
Lower Income People: 10%
Middle Income People: 30%
Higher Income People: 60%
This temple's sculpture is very good. After knowing the temple importance and sculpture, the higher income people visit this destination repeatedly. Middle and lower income groups are also visiting this place simply as temple.
11) Purpose of Visit
Most of pilgrims visit the destination primarily for devotional purpose. They conduct pujas at the destination. Devotees celebrate dasara and sivaratri as main festivals.
12) Origin of Tourists
The approximate percentage of tourists and places from where the tourists have been visiting the destination are as follows.
Ø 30% from Hyderabad majorly
Ø 20% from Mahabubnagar and Kurnool districts
Ø 20% from other districts of AP
Ø 10% from Karnataka
Ø 10% from Tamil Nadu
Ø 10% from other States and international tourists
13) Mode of Transport
Majority of the pilgrims visits this destination by 4-wheelers, which accounts to 75% of visitors. Most of the middle and lower income groups of pilgrims, who come from long distances and residing in surrounded villages/mandals visit through APSRTC buses, tourist buses, lorries, tractors, etc as a group.
14) Frequency of Visits
It found that 70% of the visitors are new persons and visited the destination first time after knowing the importance of the destination. About 30% of the pilgrims have been repeating the visit to the destination at least once in a year along with their friends and relatives.
15) Group Size
The visitors have been coming to the destination along with their family members, relatives and friends as a group. The group size consists of 4 to 10 persons in general. The approximate group size consists of 5 -15 persons by 4-wheeler (jeep, car); 30-60 persons by tourist buses; 20-30 persons by tractors; 50-100 persons by lorry.
16) Accommodation Facilities
R&B Guest House with two suites is available at the destination. The authority allots these two suites to VIPs (government and political persons) in general on first priority basis. If these are vacant, then they allot on rent to other pilgrims.
There are no accommodation-facilities exist at the destination. The destination is located in AlampurTown and there are no lodging facilities. Pilgrims can stay at Kurnool, where a good number of lodges available for pilgrims.
The temple is having vast of sculpture. All devotees like to stay there for 2 to 3 days but there are no accommodation facilities. Due to non-accommodation facilities, pilgrims are leaving the destination place by evening.
The temple authority is providing open shelter to sleep at the temple premises for about 30 pilgrims at free of cost. If valuables are there, the authority do not allow the pilgrims to stay there.
It understood that Endowments Department proposed to construct about 30 rooms and about 50% of civil works are completed. The authority is constructing the cottages about 1 km away from the destination due to land problems and are not convenient for the pilgrims.
17) Food & Beverages Facilities
Roadside bunks provide breakfast facilities fore the pilgrims at the destination. About 10 tiffin hotels and 3 meals hotels available at surrounding places of the temple and catering the needs of pilgrims by selling tiffin, tea/coffee, biscuits, cool drinks, water pockets/bottles, etc.
18) Illumination Facilities
Illumination facilities are available only inside the temple and are maintained by Endowments Department. Illumination facilities are not available at outside of the temple. Temple is surrounded by residential houses.
19) Sewerage and Public Toilets
There is drainage facility available inside the temple and the temple is not facing any sewerage problems. Public toilet facilities are available to a limited extent with poor maintenance and are not sufficient.
20) Water Facilities
Tungabhadra Internal Wells are providing water, which is using for drinking purposes at the destination. Two drinking water blocks are available for drinking purpose and are maintaining by Endowments Department.
21) Banking/ATM Facilities
SBH is available at the destination but ATM facility is available at Kurnool, District Headquarter.
22) Emergency Health Facility
50-bed GovernmentHospital is available at the destination. Alampur is a legislative constitution-headquarter and mandal headquarter. Preliminary medical diagnostic facilities are available at the destination place. There are six medical shops, two MBBS doctors, and four RMP doctors available in addition to government hospital.
The authority is maintaining cleanness inside of the temple very well. The temple is located in the middle of village.
24) Landscaping and Park Maintenance
The authority is maintaining landscaping inside the Jogulamma temple well. Some landscaping is also available at other places of the destination.
25) Safety/Security of Tourists
One Police Station is located at the destination. The authority is re-constructing the Police Station and removing the old structure. The temple is located in the mandal-headquarter as there are no problems for safety of tourists. ASI, GoI appointed Security Guards and are available round the clock to safeguard the tourists. In addition, the officials of Endowments Department are also available at temple premises.
26) Guide Services
Department of Tourism, GoAP appointed one tourist guide at the temple premises. In addition, priests and temple personnel explain about the history and importance of the temple.
27) Wayside Amenities
Availability of support services like minor repairs, air filling stations, petrol, information centres, etc are available at the destination.
28) Communication Facilities
It noticed that except Tata Indicom, all mobile phones receive signals at the destination. Coin operated PCO boxes available at the temple premises for public on pay and use basis.
29) Marketing Facilities (Arches, Information Centre, Destination Boards, Direction Boards, etc)
There is no published material (brochures, etc) about the temple readily available at the destination. It understood that the authority not established any destination and direction boards.
30) Shopping Facilities
There are three shops available in front of temple and these provide bangles, sarees, towels, dhotis, books, CDs, coconuts, puja items, etc. Some more shops available in the town as the destination is located in the town. During Dasara and Sivaratri festival days, shopkeepers will organize mobile shops.
31) Local Transport
APSRTC is operating their buses from Kurnool and other places to the destination and maintaining 50 trips per day for pilgrims. From Alampur X Road (NH-7), about 20 private vehicles viz. jeeps, commanders, etc are available and are operating to Alampur and back.
32) Parking Facilities
At present, no systematic parking facility is available at the destination. Visitors are parking their vehicles in front of the temple as per their convenience. It is also find that there is no sufficient vacant land to park the vehicles at the destination place.
33) Other Facilities
The authority has been organizing Bajans on every Monday at SriBalabrahmeswaraSwamyTemple and on every Friday at SriJogulambaTemple and also on festivals days.