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Hindu Temples Index
Kumararama Temple, Samarlakota
Kumararama Temple is one of the five Pancharama Kshetras that are sacred to the Hindu god Shiva. The temple is located in Samarlakota in the East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh in South India.

Lord Shiva is known as Kumara Bhimeswara Swamy here. The consort of Lord Kumara Bhimeswara Swamy is Bala Tripurasundari. According to legend, the Sivalinga at the temple place was installed and established by Lord Kumaraswamy. Maha Shivaratri, Karthika Masam and Sarannavarathri are the main festivals celebrated at the temple.

According to the inscription at Pithapuram, it is very clear that the temple of Kumaram Chalukya Bhimesvara was constructed by the famous Eastern Chalukya king Chalukya Bhima-I towards the end of the 9th century AD and the presiding god Siva, in the form of tall Sivalinga, was named after the monarch as Chalukya Bhimesvara. The inscription states that Chalukya Bhima, the son of Vikramaditya having been victorious in three hundred and sixty battles ruled the earth for thirty years.

The Bhimesvara temple at Samalkot is similar in architecture to that of the Bhimesvara temple at Daksharama. The temple is surrounded by two prakara walls built of dressed sand stones. The outer prakara wall is pierced by gopura - entrance on all the four sides. The four gopura - dvaras have ardha - mandapas on either side. The inner enclosure wall is divided horizontally into two sections separated by a cornice. It has a two storeyed pillared mandapa running all the inner side.
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The main shrine is a free  standing monument lying at the center of the inner enclosure. The temple is a rectangular structure and has two storeys. The lime stone Linga, installed in the shrine, is so tall that it rises from the pedestal on the ground floor and enters the second floor by piercing the roof, where the Rudrabhaga is worshipped. The present Vimana of the main shrine has been renovated and is covered with thick plaster. It consists of flat pattas, row of geese kutas, salas, simhalalatas, lotuses and kalasa. It is a dvitala vimana of the dravida order with regional variations. Like in Daksharama, a miniature temple model, found in the court yard of the temple, shows the whole temple with all the architectural details, possibly used as model before erecting the temple ranging from AD 1147 to 1494, recording gifts made to this temple. These epigraphs refer to the construction of mukhamandapa at the Eastern entrance in AD 1394.

Further the erection of the additional structures like Srimukhamandapam and niluvu mandapam on top of it in AD 1422 are also mentioned in the inscriptions.

There is a monolithic pillar on the western side, locally known as kappa stambham containing an inscription which records that when some thieves pulled down the nandi from the pillar from material gains, a new one was fabricated and installed by a lady named Lakshmi wife of Narasimudu, after bringing the stone from Kotilingalu at Rajahmundry.

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