Sri Jogulamba Bala Brahmeswara Swamy Temple in Alampur, Mahabubnagar is dedicated to Goddess Shakti and Lord Shiva. The temple, also known by the name Yogulamba (or) Yogamba was built around 7th century and is one of the eighteen Shakti Peethas in the country. The temple is located on the banks of River Tungabhadra in Alampur.
Alampur is considered the western gateway of Srisailam which is one of the 12 jyotirlingas. The town is also known as the Southern Kasi. Though today there are disputes to this as there are other southern temples existing like the Srikalahasthi and the Rameswaram temple.
The Jogulamba Bala Brahmeswara Swamy Temple combines with the Nava Brahma temples, a so called consortium of nine temples in its premises.
Nava Brahma temples of Alampur:
Nava Brahma temples consist of Swarga Brahma, Taraka Brahma, Padma Brahma, Bala Brahma, Garuda Brahma, Kumara Brahma, Arka Brahma, Vira Brahma and Vishwa Brahma. The Brahma temples were built by Badami Chalukyas in the 6th century. However, most of these and the main Sri Jogulamba Bala Brahmeswara Swamy Temple were destroyed by the Muslim rulers. Now most of the remains are kept in the nearby museum.
Nava Brahma Temples:
a. Swarga Brahma Temple: Swarga Bharma is a hall temple and was built in the later part of the 7th century. The text at the main entrance above the dwarpalika image mentions that the temple was constructed by Lokaditya-Ela-Arasa, in honor of the queen of Vinayaditya, called Mahadevi. The temple has an enclosed and covered entrance. The shrine of the temple is located at the end of the hall. The pillars connect the side wings of the rectangular hall. The temple has a six pillar porch in the East. The purangatha pillars are the ones heavily decorated. Special importance has been given to the dwarpals by the doorways. Ganga, jamuna and the Garuda Naga are also carved.
Figures of Krishna Lila, animals, Garuda-nose faces and many other beings are carved on the outer panels of the wall. The carvings here give a feeling that the human beings had passionate enthusiasm for elevating themselves to divine status. Among the other places for carvings are the Aihole and Pattadakal. There are however, some broken figures that can also be considered dynamic sculpture. Shiva in Shiva, Shiva with Parvathi, Mithuna couples and many other forms of carvings release energy to the Universe.
b. Taraka Brahma Temple: The Sourthern style of architecture differentiates theTaraka Brahma temple from the others in the Nava Brahma group of temples. It has a garbhagriha, an antarala and a veranda. The three walls of the Garbhagriha feature the Devakoshtha in the center. The image of Paralambapadalakshmi on the antarala doorway is fascinating. The top of the temple consists of Sala, Kudu and Panjaran that replicate the gopuram style.
c. Padma Brahma: Sri Padma Brahma temple is also built in the hall style similar to Swarga Brahma temple. Now only the sculptures of two dwarpalikas (gate keepers) near the square gateway remain. These figures have a flying figure on the top. The sculptures elsewhere in this temple were destroyed by Muslim Invaders belonging to Moghal rule.
d. Bala Brahma: The Bala Brahma temple has been repaired many times as the worship in the temple has been quite regular since centuries. The images of Jogulamba, Durga, Narasimha and the Rishis are to be seen here. The courtyard has images of Mukhalinga, Sahasralinga and Mahishasuramardini. The image of mother goddess had been intact even during the destructions carried out by Moghul invaders in the small temple.
e. Garuda Brahma: With architecture on similar lines as in Padma Brahma, Garuda Brahma temple is distinguished by elaborate carvings on the pillars inside the hall. It also features the calm shadows secured for the extension of consciousness into the non-sensuous realms of calm.
f. Kumara Brahma: The doorway exhibits a row of seven heads. The significance of these carvings is still unsolved. Even the carvings on the pillars of the veranda remain a mystery.
g. Arka Brahma: The temple now in a very disgraced form with no roof.
h. Veera Brahma: The Chakkam carvings on the inner ceilings of the artha mandapam are worth seeing.
i. Vishwa Brahma: This temple has been constructed in a very similar manner as that of the Swarga Brahma. However, there is no veranda in this temple. The sculptures when made had been similar to those of the swarga Bharhma. Unfortunately the visibility of the sculpture has gone down with time and no maintenance and the invasions. The Trivikrama figure might have been a magnificent piece when carved. Another such magnificient sculpture would have been the Gangavatarana, the Mithunas, the floral relief of makaras and birds with flying figures.
Truly, Alampur is a storehouse of Historical sources, pertaining to the Western region of Telangana. Treasures of more than 70 inscriptions on copper sheets and stone relating to the several Dynasties that ruled over the South from the 7th to the 17th century are available here. It has been the land which has witnessed Vaidic Dharma, Buddhism and Jainism. The Gupta dynasty however contributed to saving the Vedic Dharma and to regain its supremacy. ‘Dharma Raksha’, the program initiated by the Gupta rulers, was taken over and fully implemented in the south, by the Badami Chalukyas and Kanchi Pallavas. This campaign led to the establishment of attractive places of worship giving healthy competition to the various rulers. With the Chalukya emperors coming into regime Alampur rose to importance as visible by the architectural styles and importances given to the temples. Idols of Veerabhadra were installed in the temple area. They also made the Murari’s Sanskrit play, ‘Anargha Ragava’ into a high class Telugu Prabandhas.
The seat later saw many rulers with different thinking, but every one of them contributed to the construction, finishing the unfinished and the protection of the temples. The acharyas also provoked the rulers into construction and donation of land for the construction of temples.
The army general of Dhara Varsha Dhruva Maharaja of the Rashtra Kutas later completed the temple work left un-finished but also built the Mahadwara of the temple. Later Alampur passed on to the hands of Kalayani Chalukyes Jagadekamalla Trllokyamalla, Bhuvanaikamalla and Tribhuvanamalla. These rulers donated lands for the purposes of construction of temple and the Vidya Peetha.
Acharyas like Vyalasimha, Ekanta Desika, Isana Rasi, Bhuvana Sakti, Kukkuteswara, Dharanindra Rasi, and Brahma Rasi Bhattaraka. Vitaranendra Rasi, Someswara Rasi, made their contributions for the enhancement of the Vidya peetha. Stone images of some of these Acharyas are found in the Main temple. It is the efforts of these archaryas that the importance to the Sankha darshan is given. The image of ‘Kapila Maharshi’ at the place, gives credence to the belief that Sankya Darsana was given an important place in the curriculum of studies of the Vidya Peetha.
The later rulers were the Kalachuryas and the Kakatiyas. Subsequently even Vijayanagar emperors extended their their kingdom over the area. And Alampur came under the reigns of Kutubshahi and then the Asafjahi Dynasty.
The Chalukya style of architecture prevails in the temple structure. Chariot shaped sanctum is placed at the front as ‘ Antaralam’ leading to Ranga Mantapam. The ‘ Pradakshina ratha surrounding the whole images of Ganga and Yamuna together with Dwara Palakas carved on either side of the entrance is present in the temple. Other pieces of architecture are the Vimana on the Garbhalaya, with Amalaka, and Sikhara worshiping the same.
The common feature that the temples have is the rectangular base on which therse are built on. The temples also face east. Sculputural designs and carvings decorate the outer surface of the walls. Mythological structures of Deva Koshtas and Kosta Panjaras adore the walls. The Triloka sculpture looks graceful and elegant.
Special Days of Attraction and Visitors Flow:
Devotees mostly visit the temple on Fridays and Tuesdays. Moreover, there is much crown on Sundays, public holidays, forst day of the year and on Brahmotsav. People also visit the temple with family to seek blessing of the Lord and Goddess.
How to reach:
Air: The nearest airport is the Shamshabad airport at Hyderabad. One can board Buses and trains from here to Alampur.
Train: The Alampur railway station is just 8 kms away from the proper town. There is another small station “BBS Jogulamba Halt” near the Alampur station. The next nearest major station is the Kurnool station that is just 27 km from Alampur. On reaching Kurnool, one can take a taxi to Alampur.
Road: The State Transport Corporation runs frequent buses from Hyderabad, Kurnool and Mahabubnagar to Alampur.
Festivals at Alampur Templs: Dussehera, Shivaratri and Bramhotsavams are the festivals celebrated in grand way here. These are the best time to visit the temple.
06:00 AM to 12:00 Noon and 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM All Days.