Gudimallam: Longest Continuously Worshipped Lingam in the World
| IOP Desk - 25 Oct 2020

Gudimallam, the place of one of the most ancient Shiva temples in India. Located on a diversion from the Tiruchanur Road, at a distance of about 31 km from Tirupati and 18 km from Renigunta, Gudimallam is one of the most fascinating

By Vinay Tiwari, Pune

Gudimallam, (Tirupati, AP), Oct 25, 2020:

I recently got the divine opportunity to visit one of the most ancient Shiva temples in India. The lingam here is believed to the longest continuously worshipped lingam in the world and is said to be over 2200 years old.

Yes, this is Gudimallam, the place of one of the most ancient Shiva temples in India.

Gudimallam is located on a diversion from the Tiruchanur Road, at a distance of about 31 km from Tirupati and 18 km from Renigunta.

Among all the temples which surround Tirupati, the least known Gudimallam is also one of the most fascinating.

The lingam here is believed to the longest continuously worshipped lingam in the world and is said to be of Treta Yuga old which lasted 3,600 divine years, or 1,296,000 human years before Kaliyuga and Dwapar Yuga.

The temple is located on the banks of the Picturesquely Swarnamukhi River, and the deity here is unique, a 1.35 M, seven-sided monolithic lingam.

Dating back to the third and second century BC, it is a simple structure consisting of a single semicircular chamber below ground level.

Walking down the few steps into the garbha griha brings one face to face with a seven-sided lingam.

The front plane has the figure of Parasurama standing on the crouching figure of a Yaksha. It rests on a base of seven concentric rings, or peethams, only two of which are visible above the surface.

The main lingam and peetham, which were once out in the open under a tree, are dated 3rd century BC, while successive rulers of Pallavas, Banas, Cholas and Rayas made later additions to the temple.

The semicircular shrine is a clear feature of the influx of Buddhist architecture into Hindu ones, as was common in the period.

The low railing surrounding the idol has floral patterns typical of Buddhist and Jain architecture.

Inscriptions on the temple walls in ancient Tamil describe the royal donations made to the temple, besides the various modifications made by rulers.

The lingam is believed to be a manifestation of the Trinity, with Brahma at the bottom, Vishnu in the middle and Shiva on top. A riveting legend is associated with how this came to be.

A Puranic tale tells of Parasurama having beheaded his mother at the behest of his father. The sage was advised by rishis to locate the temple and to worship the lingam as a penance.

After much searching, Parasurama found the temple in the middle of the forest, dug a pond nearby and began his purgation.

A single divine flower used to grow miraculously in the pond each day, which the sage offered to Shiva as worship.

He appointed a yaksha, Chitrasena, to guard the flower from wild beasts. Parasurama used to bring one hunted creature and toddy everyday for the yaksha.

One day, Chitrasena, a devotee of Brahma, felt tempted to worship Shiva himself. An enraged Parasurama attacked Chitrasena when he found the flower missing.

The battle lasted for 14 years, and was so fierce that a pallam, or pit, was created at the site. ’Gudipallam’, or ‘temple in the pit’, became Gudimallam over time.

Unable to choose the victor, Shiva is finally said to have merged both into Himself, and the figures still etched show the hunted beast and toddy pot in Parasurama’s hand.

Brahma as Chitrasena, Vishnu as Parasurama and Shiva as the lingam form this unique, unparalleled icon.

Further, he blessed them by merging them with the lingam, Brahma crouching down as the dwarf and Vishnu as Parasurama on his shoulders, holding his axe and a ram’s head. Such is the story of this unique temple!

There is an atmosphere of spirituality which pervades this temple, even in the absence of priests or devotees.

After the crowd at Tirumala, a visit to this temple can be an uplifting spiritual experience!

Buses are available from Tirupati Bus Stand, however, there are only a few buses travelling on this route.

HOW OLD IS THIS TEMPLE

According to wikipedia, it has been dated to the 2nd/1st century BC, or the 3rd century BC, or much later, to the 2nd century AD, 3-4th century AD, or even, according to one source, as late as the 7th century AD.

However, since this Lingam is related to Parashurama, is must be of Treta Yuga.

Wikipedia writes, this is "the only sculpture of any importance" to survive from ancient South India before sculpture made under the Pallava dynasty from the 7th century AD onwards, and "its mysteriousness lies in the total absence so far of any object in an even remotely similar manner within many hundreds of miles, and indeed anywhere in South India". If assigned an early date, the figure on the linga is "one of the earliest surviving and unequivocal images of the god Shiva".

The temple is later than the linga; again, estimates of the date of the temple vary considerably, but it is usually dated to "the later Chola and Vijayanagara periods", so possibly a thousand years later than the sculpture. The linga was originally sited in the open air, with the rectangular stone surround that still remains.

The temple remains in worship, but has been protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) since 1954. (With inputs from megalithic. co. uk and TOI on May 04, 2015).

Images - Vinay Tiwari, Sri Parasurameshwara Swamy, Gudimallam


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

INDIAN OBSERVER POST (IOP) is a Class, Creative, and Constructive News platform which publishes ONLY exclusive and Special News / Views / Interviews / Research Articles / Analysis / Columns / Features and Opinions on the national and international issues, politics, security, energy, innovation, infrastructure, rural, health, education, women, and entertainment. Email – editor@indianobserverpost.com


INDIAN OBSERVER POST (Eng) -www.indianobserverpost.com

INDIAN OBSERVER POST (Hindi) -www.indianobserverpost.in

IOP ON FACEBOOK - https://bit.ly/2SlmpLA

IOP TEAM BUREAUS & WRITERS - https://bit.ly/2LxOU2I

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Onkareshwar Pandey is Founder, Editor in Chief & CEO, Indian Observer Post and former Senior Group Editor- Rashtriya Sahara (Hindi & Urdu) and also former Editor, (News), ANI. http://bit.ly/2mh7hih Email - SMS- 9910150119)


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GOLDEN SIGNATURES RESEARCH & CONSULTING (GSRC)

CONTACT US FOR -COFFEE TABLE BOOKS I KNOWLEDGE EVENTS I PR I ADVERTISING I BRAND BUILDING I DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION I VIDEO CONTENT I SOCIAL MEDIA I EXTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS I SECTOR EXPERTISE I GLOBAL OUTREACH I MARKET SURVEY I And - GOLDEN SIGNATURE AWARDS I E -goldensignatures20@gmail.com

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Browse By Tags