Sunday, 5 February 2017

Sri-Mukha-Lingeswara Swami. A Deity with Lord Shiva's Face.


Srimukhalingeswara Temple is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located on the left banks of River Vamsadhara. Elegantly carved, this temple is a group of three temples dedicated to three forms of Lord Shiva namely, Mukhalingeswara, Bhimeswara and Someswara. The temple is built in Indo-Aryan style. To witness one of the marvellous sculptures, carvings and intricate architecture, one has to visit this temple. The architecture of the temple is so elegant that one just cannot move eyes from it. As you observe closely, you can see that every piece and corner of the temple is as excellent as the other. 



SRIMUKHALINGESWARA SWAMY TEMPLE-SRIMUKHALINGAM
                                                            
                                                        
At the entrance, which is a huge arched gate, you are welcomed by two lions on each side of the few stair-cases. The first gate takes you to the outer prakara have where there is you a Nandi in a mandapam. A more intricately carved gate with figures of Gods and Goddesses takes you to the inner prakara (compound wall) where stands one of the master pieces of those times, the temple of Mukhalingeswara. At every corner of the inner prakara, there are many small temples, some dedicated to Lord Shiva (in the form of Someshwara and Bhimeswara) and Lord Ganesha. As you enter the temple, in the inner compound, there are two temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, one at your right and the other at your left. In the centre stands the fantastic finely carved temple. The walls of the temple in the centre have images of Gods and Goddesses in their various avatar (forms). You can see images of Lord Shiva with His consort, some of them are forms of Lord Vishnu on them. Every image depicts a story from the Shiva Purana.
Srimukhalingeswara Temple is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located on the left banks of River Vamsadhara. Elegantly carved, this temple is a group of three temples dedicated to three forms of Lord Shiva namely, Mukhalingeswara, Bhimeswara and Someswara. The temple is built in Indo-Aryan style. To witness one of the marvellous sculptures, carvings and intricate architecture, one has to visit this temple. The architecture of the temple is so elegant that one just cannot move eyes from it. As you observe closely, you can see that every piece and corner of the temple is as excellent as the other. 




SRIMUKHALINGESWARA SWAMY 
                                                                  

At the entrance, which is a huge arched gate, you are welcomed by two lions on each side of the few stair-cases. The first gate takes you to the outer prakara have where there is you a Nandi in a mandapam. A more intricately carved gate with figures of Gods and Goddesses takes you to the inner prakara (compound wall) where stands one of the master pieces of those times, the temple of Mukhalingeswara. At every corner of the inner prakara, there are many small temples, some dedicated to Lord Shiva (in the form of Someshwara and Bhimeswara) and Lord Ganesha. As you enter the temple, in the inner compound, there are two temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, one at your right and the other at your left. In the centre stands the fantastic finely carved temple. The walls of the temple in the centre have images of Gods and Goddesses in their various avatar (forms). You can see images of Lord Shiva with His consort, some of them are forms of Lord Vishnu on them. Every image depicts a story from the Shiva Purana.

HISTORY OF SRIMUKHALINGESWARA SWAMY TEMPLE-SRIMUKHALINGAM
SRIMUKHALINGESWARA SWAMY TEMPLE-SRIMUKHALINGAM
SRIMUKHALINGESWARA SWAMY 
                                                   
This is a group of three temples built by the Eastern Ganga kings in the 10th century. The deities here are Mukhalingeswara, Bhimeswara and Someswara. All these temples display the Orissa style of architecture. The Mukhalinga is a virtual art gallery. The entrances are a marvel in themselves. There is a plethora of sculptural work and perforated windows. The Bhimeswara temple lacks its grand splendour, but Someswara temple is also rich in sculptural work. 

Mukhalingam:It is also known as the Kalinganagara, which was the capital of the early eastern Ganga rulers. They ruled over Andhra in the second half of the 1st millennium CE. 

Someswara: Simple in architecture, it is regarded as the earliest of the Mukhalingam temples. It is located on the outskirts of the village of Mukhalingam. The images in the niches have exquisite sculptures. Two smaller niches flank each niche. The doorway of the temple bears the images of the Ganga and the Yamuna on either side. 

Aniyanka Bhimeswara: was built later than the Mukhalingeswara temple. It is plain compared to the grandeur of the Mukhalingeswara temple. The devakoshtas bear the images of Brahma, Narasimha and Dakshinamurthy.                                         

Architecture: A massive gateway is flanked by two lions at the entrance of the outer prakara of the temple. A Nandi mandapa is situated in front of the sanctum. The entrance to the inner prakara contains beautiful friezes. There are eleven shrines in the inner prakara, each a complete temple. The entrance to the main temple is from the south and east. The niches in the outer wall contain beautiful sculpted images and perforated windows all create beautiful works of art. It was built during the period of the King Kamarnava (941-976 CE).