Srimukhalingam Temple

News Excerpt:

ASI assures that a note will be sent to UNESCO about including the Srimukhalingam temple in Andhra Pradesh in the World Heritage Structures list.

About Srimukhalingam temple:

  • It was constructed in the 9th century CE by kings of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty, it contains exquisite sculptures from that period.
  • It is built in the Kalinga architectural style similar to that of the Lingaraja temple located in Bhubaneswar of Odisha.
  • It is located by the Vamsadhara River and is dedicated to Lord Srimukha Lingeswara (a form of Shiva).
    • Visiting this temple and dipping in the river is believed to relieve one from the cycle of rebirth.

Eastern Ganga Dynasty:

  • Also known as Purba Gangas, Rudhi Gangas or Prachya Gangas.
    • According to Chodaganga copper-plate grants, the Eastern Gangas of Kalinga were a branch of Mysore's ruling Western Ganga family.
  • They constructed the Jagannath Temple of Puri and Konark Sun Temple situated in Odisha, among others.

Kalinga Architectural style:

  • The Kalinga Architectural style is the sub-style within the Nagara style of northern India.
    • The style is known for its ornate, decorative and rich architectural design.
  • The most notable examples of Kalinga architecture are the temples of Bhubaneswar, Puri, and Konark.
  • Typically, there are 3 types seen in the Kalinga Temples:
    • Rekha Deula (arched ceiling above the inner sanctum resembling a shikhara peak).
    • Pidha Deula (stacked pyramidal roof over the assembly hall).
    • Khakhara Deula (barrel-vaulted roof with an inner sanctum)
  • Later phases of Kalinga Architecture feature simplicity, resulting from the region's scarcity of resources and materials.
  • The Kalinga School of temple architecture declined along with the Eastern Ganga kingdom.

Vamsadhara River:

  • The origin of the river lies on the border of Kalyansinghpur in the Rayagada district and Thuamul Rampur in the Kalahandi district of Odisha. 
  • Vamsadhara River rises in the Eastern Ghats of Orissa State, enters Srikakulam District in Bhamini Mandal, and finally falls into the Bay of Bengal near Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. 
  • It is a significant east-flowing river, meandering between north-eastern Andhra Pradesh and southern Odisha.
  • Its name has been derived from the words 'bansa', which means bamboo and 'dhara', which means water flow, as the river originates from the forests covered with bamboo trees.
    • Thus, the river received the name Bansadhara in Oriya, which was transliterated as Vamsadhara in Telugu.


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