The village Pudur is located in Gadwal Mandal of Jogulamba Gadwal District in the State of Telangana in India.

Pudur was part of Kandurnadu and later Gadwal Samsthan and now part of Jogulamba Gadwal district, Telangana State and called Pundur or Punduru in olden times.

1048 AD : Telugu Cholas played a significant part in the Chola-Chalukya wars during the reign of Somesvara I and it was their territory that formed the battlefield. Sometime before A.D. 1048 the 30th year of Rajadhiraja, there was a battle between the Cholas and the Chalukyas on the Vengi-Karnataka border. The record mentions that Chakravarti Vikramanaranan took an active part in the battle at Pundur, called the 'Katakama-nagar (the great capital city) on the banks of the Perar (big river) by persuading his huge army to attack Ahavamalla. In the battle that ensued, it is stated, the two younger brothers of Niduvadi Telunga Vichhayyan, Silai Kaivattarajan, Akkappayyan, Pidaikal Cholan, Kondaiya-rajan, Kunisil Munjan, Dandanayakan Dananjayan, Vira Martandran, Vagai Vichchayyan, and his mother and son were all made captives (6 of 1890, SII. IV-329).

1089 AD : Mahamandalesvara Vallabarasa
1089 AD : This Pūndur is situated in the Jogulamba Gadwal district and in A.D. 1089 (C.V. Prabhava, Telangana Ins. No. cha.28) we find a record of Chalukya Vikramaditya VI, mentioning a subordinate called Mahamandalesvara Vallabarasa, granting lands. The Perar is identified with the river Krishna by Sri C.R.K. Charlu (Dept. of Epigraphy, Madras), (the Kannada Inscriptions of Kopbal p.5 Hyderabad Archaeological series).

The records of the 33rd year (A.D. 1050-51) of Rajadhiraja (E.C. IX Dv. 76, S.I.I. VII 1046-1048) mentions his victory, again at Pundur, over "Niduval Vichchayyan'. No doubt this Niduvadi and Niduval Telunga Vichchayyan are identical (probably the Niḍugal Chōlas are meant). Pidaikai Chōla is suggestive of the Cholas of Pedakallu.

There are three localities of interest in this place the Kesavaswami temple, the shrine known as the Mallikarjuna gudi and most important of all, the temple of Virabhadra. 

The Kesava temple is situated in a small compound towards the North-Eastern end of the village and looks comparitvely recent. It consists of a rectangular pillared and the main shrine behind it. One notable feature is that this temple has no Sikhara at the top but has instead a low parapet wall around. The deity in this temple is mentioned frequently in the Telugu literature of the 15th and 16th centuries produced under the patronage of the rulers of Gadwal.

About two furlongs to the North of this temple is a low mud-wall about 8 feet thick, encircling the village
the railway station. A little farther is a small shrine known as Mallikarjuna gudi. The most important of the antiquities of this shrine are a number of broken sculptures laid against a wall to the right side of the gudi. Among them are to be found the idols of a female and a male deity, a Jina sitting in the dhydna posture with a seven-hooded cobra above his head, a broken Jina figure exquisitely carved and a third Jina image without the cobra-hood above the head. There are besides, the images of dwarapdlakas and Ndgis in plenty. 

About two are three fur- longs away from this place is the Virabhadra temple which is the centre of our interest at Pudur. The temple consists of an entrance porch, a small pillared hall and the main shrine behind it. Above this structure is a stepped conical sikharci with an inverted kalasa at the top. The main shrine contains a Sivalinga while to the Southern wall of the hall is set up an image of Virabhadra. 

To the North of this temple is a small shrine containing a slab on which is carved in relief a figure with folded hands and the tail curving above the head, resembling the figure of Hanuman. 

Parallel to these structures and to the further North is a choultry of recent construction, with a Northern wing. A mud-wall recently built starts before the entrance to the Virabhadra temple and joins the Eastern wall of the choultry. This wall and the exterior of the Western wdll of the choultry are important from the sculptural point of view. Being recent erections they contain a number of beautifully sculptured slabs and beams. Below is a list of some of the important slabs built into the former.
  1. Four figures of Nagis each with a sword and a shield in the hand. 
  2. A man and a woman on horseback below a seated Jina figure with a woman holding chamara on either side.
  3. Two men on horseback one piercing the other.
  4. A seated Jina with two warriors fighting with swords below
  5. Many slabs with single and many-hooded cobras.
On the exterior of the Western wall of the choultry are found the following sculptures
  1. The cross-beam of a doorway with Qajalakshmi in the centre,
  2. Another beam containing Siva in the dancing posture,
  3. A pillar on which are carved in relief the scenes of Rama and Sita going to the forest and Rama cutting the nose of Surpariakha
  4. A peculiar slab containing a Jina with chamara-bearers on either side and a Linga on a pedastal in the first row; a horseman below the Jina fighting with a sword and an infantry man piercing the former's horse with a spear, in the second row; a man in the falling posture and below him a dead body, both in the centre of the slab below the second row
Besides the temples and sculptures described above, Pudur contains no less than six inscriptions which belong to three successive centuries, and throw much light on the religious history of this part of the country during early medieval times.

1088 AD : Hallakarasa
On a slab by the road side near the Mallikarjuna gudi, a canarese inscription dated 12th year of the Chalukyavikrama era, recordsthat in the time of Tribhuvanamalla his subordinate Pundura Hallakarasa made several gifts of land in and round Pudur to his guru Kanakasena- bhattaraka of the Pallavajinalaya, which belonged to the Dravila samgha. 

Mahamandalesvara Rajasekhara
A canarese fragment on a broken slab in the road very near the above which chief with the usual dynastic titles. This vikrama era though the actual figure is mentions Mahamandalesvara Rajasekhara a telugu choda chief 

In the Kesavasvami temple a workout record of chieftain who calls himself Kandura-pura-vara-dhisvara

On the cross-beam bearing Gajalakhmi, carved in the upper and lower margins are “Sri Poravana gavunda madisida” and Svasti Saka-varisa Sarvajit Samvatsara

On a pillar in the interior of the Northern wing of the choultry and 'half built into the wall is a Telugu record on which the words and are prominent Prajapathi Samvatsara Jagadala

Towards the Southern end of the village on a slab near the Hanuman shrine, is a long canarese inscription dated Chalukya Vikrama Era 13 which registers a gift of Pundura Hallakarasa.

These inscriptions reveals many interesting facts. The Sanskrit verse tells us that the ancient name of Pudur was Pundurapura and that it had a fortress. Evidently the low mud wall to the North of the Kesava temple to which we have already referred formed part of the ancient fortress of Pudur. At the beginning of inscription No. i there is a figure of a Jina sitting in dhyana posture. The inscription records a gift to the Pallavajinalaya whose prosperity is hailed in the first two lines thereof. The second and third sides of the record are descriptions of the temple which the Sanskrit verse tells us, was situated in a beautiful mango grove. 

Pudur seems to have been ruled over by Hallakarasa in the last quarter of the 12th century. Later on probably the Telugu cholas held this place as inscription no. 2 above indicates. The letters in inscription No, are distinctly Telugu characters of the early 13th century and resemble those of the Kakatiya inscriptions. The occurence of the word "Jagadala’" and the mention of the erection of a Siva temple in the visible part of this record afford the clue for determining the date of this inscription. JagadaJa a subordinate of Kakatiya Ganapatideva appears in the Pakhal inscription. Further the reign of that monarch also witnessed a strong Saivite reaction against the Jainas. Hence I would ascribe this inscription to Jagadala a general of Ganapatideva and assign it to the cyclic year Prajapati ’corresponding to 1211A. D. This fragment indicates how Pudur became a part of the Kakatiya empire and a Saivite centre. 

In the Kesavasvami temple a worn out record of a chieftain Rajasekhara a Telugu Chola gives us the political history of Pudur in subsequent times. The “Yatha- sldk-tatparya-Raraayapamu’ dedicated to Raja China Somabhupal of Gadwal mentions that about the middle of the 17th century a certain Virareddi was the ruler of Pudur and that his only daughter Bakkamma was married to Raja Peda Somabhupal the Nadagaud of leeza. Later this chieftain founded the fortress of Gadwal and transferred his head quarters to it. Since then Pudur formed part of the Gadwal sainasthan. Continued neglect reduced the fort and other fortifications into ruins. Only the mud-wall remains today as the pitiable survivor of the past glory of Pudur.

In Telangana both Jainism and Brahminism flourished without any hitch till the close of the nth century. With the advent of Virasaiva in the middle of the next century the situation changed. A strong movement of merciless persecution was started by the Vira Saivas against the Jainas. Telugu and Kanarese literatures of this period contain harrowing tales of the wholesale destruction of the Jainas, their books and temples. This wave of destruction swept the nooks and corners of the Western Chalukyan empire. The Jaina settlement at Pudur also seems to have suffered in this connection. But for the images of Virabhadra and the linga in the main shrine, the Virabhadra temple is a compact little Jaina shrine.

 Of the broken sculptures in the Mallikarjuna gudi the male and the female deity and the Jina figure with the cobra-hood above its head may be taken to constitute a triad representing ParSvanatha and his attendant Yaksha and Yakshipi. I believe that the Virabhadra temple of today enshrined this triad besides a number of allied deities and went by the name of “Sri Pallava Jinalaya’’ in the 12th century as inscription No. i mentioned in this paper would indicate. It is likely that in the middle of the 13th century, when Pudur was conquered by the Kakatiyas, the champions of Saivism, set in the reaction against the local Jainas. Sculpture on the exterior of the Western wall of the choultry is symbolic of this reaction. The representation of a Jina over one and of a Lingaover another of the two fighters on this slab indicates that of these two warriors each championed one of the two rival faiths and fought out the issue. The result, as the presence of the Saivite idols in what was origi" nally a Jaina temple would indicate, was victory to the 6aivas* As a further consequence of the victory, the Saivas must have set up many temples here of their own type. Probably the cross-beam contain- ing the image of ^iva in the dancing posture adorned one of the main temples of the Saivas. On questioning the old men of the place, I came to know that all the sculptured pieces in the Virabhadra temple were recovered from the ground while ploughing or sinking wells. It is likely therefore that the neighbourhood of the temple contains many temples and inscriptions in its bosom.

Thus Pudur and its antiquities are of very great interest to the archaeologist and the student of history. In the broken sculptures andthe half-buried inscriptions of this place we find the echos of the general progress of the political and religious history of the Deccan.