Kolanupaka Sri Someswara Temple

Kolanupaka Sri Someswara Temple or Sri Chandikamba Sametha Someshwaraswami temple as called by locals is a Shiva Templelocated in kolanupaka village (also called as Kulpak), Alair or Aler Mandal, Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district in Telangana State, India.

The main deity of the temple is lord Shiva in the form of Swayambu or Someshwara Swamy, and his consort is Shakti or devi Chandika. There is a huge Saharsalinga inside one of the temple sanctums, which gives it the name of Veyi Lingala gudi, meaning the temple of the thousand lingas. 

The temples in the complex include those of Sri Renukacharya, Sri Mallikarjunaswami, Chandeshwari, Kundamamba, Kotilingeswaraswami, Kala Bhairaviswami, Anjaneya, Rudranidraswami, Veerabhadraswami, Kumaraswami and the Ekadasharudrula temple.

The temple has Ganapathi and Nataraja idols and Mahavir in yoga posture of the Chalukya period in the 12th century.

This Shiva temple is situated around 82 km from Warangal and located near Kulpak ji, a famous Jain temple. 

Adorned with beautiful carvings and sculptures the temple is believed to have been originally built in Chalukyan style. 

Inscriptions found here place the temple at around 1070-1126 CE as evidenced from the different narrations found in them detailing how the Chalukyan kings patronised the temple by donating land, gold, cows, etc. Historical evidence states Kolanupaka was the second capital of the Kalyani Chalukyas during the 11th century.

According to Jagdev Hiremath, president, Rashtra Veerashaiva Dharma Prachara Sangham, who organises the Renukacharya jayanti at the temple premises annually, the temple is much older than 11th century going by puranas and was developed in phases by various rulers. "Above all, the temple is a role model for harmony of various communities," Mr Hiremath said.

It is said that Lord Rama, and the saints Narada and Agastya worshipped at this temple.

The temple as it stands now however shows a great deal of Kakatiyan workmanship, possibly owing to the additions/modifications/renovations made by them, as evident from the typical Kakatiyan era mandapa pillars that show square blocks with circular discs in many parts. The huge entrance gate is also built in the Kakatiyan style. 

Renukacharya was not only the founder of the Veerashaiva sect, he fought for emancipation of women and provided them equal rights in all spheres of life including entry into temples.

It is also believed that this is the birth place of ‘Renukacharya’, the great ‘Veera Saiva’ saint, who was born from the ‘Swayambu Linga’ found in this village, and was later absorbed into it after he finished preaching Veera Saivam. A statue of Renukacharya is present in the sanctum along with the Swayambu Linga. In front of the temple there is a four pillared nandi mandapa with a Kakatiyan nandi sitting inside. 

Veerashaiva Lingayats from Telangana state, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and other states visit the temple in large numbers and celebrate Renukacharya jayanti annually.

Nyaya Lingam
The Nyaya Lingam in the Pramana Mandapam, located in front of the ancient Sri Chandikamba Sametha Someshwaraswami temple at Kolanupaka in Aler mandal of Yadadri-Bhuvanagiri district, was once a venue for settling disputes among the people, apart from fulfilling their wishes.

Trilinga Desam
The Sri Chandikamba Sametha Someshwaraswami temple is part of ancient Trilinga Desam comprising famous Shiva temples the others being the Sri Kolanupaka Swayambhu Someshwaraswami Lingam, Srisaila Mallikarjunaswami lingam in Kurnool district and the Draksharamam (Bheemanath) lingam in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.

The temple complex also houses an Archaeological Museum in the front pillared corridor area, and this museum gallery holds many wonderful sculptures ranging from 10th to 14th c. CE that were found in this region.

From the 13th century Kalyani Chalukya period are the Virangal (elopement) statue, the idols of Mahishasuramardani and Kosthapanjara with Uma Maheswara. The village houses the idols of Chamundi and Govinda of the Kakatiya period from the 13th century, as also statues of Nandi and Vajrapani. Artifacts from the Chalukya and Kakatiya eras are displayed at the museum which is considered a great site for researchers with more than 100 images.

Festivals of Sri Someswara Temple
Being a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, Mahashivratri is the biggest festival celebrated here. Mahashivratri occurs in the months of February or March every year and celebrated at a huge level throughout india. All of the devotees of Lord Shiva offer their praying to the God on this auspicious day. Most of the people have fast and visit to the temples. 

Besides the temples, the Kolanupaka also houses the mutts of 18 castes, which is unheard in other temples. They are Pedda Matam, Gaundla Matam, Kurva Matam, Medari Matam, Golla Matam, Padmashali Matam, Komati Matam, Kapula Matam, Madiga Matam, Mala Matam, Ganiga Matam, Meru Matam, Sangari Matam, Sakali Matam, Nakasha Matam, Vadrangi Matam, Mamaya Matam, and Dwala Matam. Some more matams were subsequently established and there was division of labour.

Some of the famed sculptures of Hindus and Jains at Kolanupaka include the manasthambha (victory pillar) of Tribhuvanamalla with an inscription mentioning the date 1076-1127 AD, and a Kodanda Rama statue of the 12th Century Vijayanagara period.
Temple Timings - 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM (All days including weekends and public holidays)
Distance from Warangal – 82 Km
Nearest Airport – Hyderabad International Airport
Nearest Railway Station – Warangal Railway Station