The Tallayapalem temple, also known as the Sri Kotilingeshwara Swamy Temple, is a prominent Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is particularly renowned for enshrining over one crore (ten million) Shiva Lingas (representations of Lord Shiva) within its premises, earning it the name Kotilingala Kshetram (Land of Crore Lingas).
History and Significance:
While the exact origins of the temple remain unclear, historical records and inscriptions suggest its existence since at least the 12th century CE. Legends attribute its establishment to King Chalukya Bhima, who sought Lord Shiva's blessings to overcome enemies. It is believed that the king installed one crore Shiva Lingas as an act of gratitude after achieving victory.
The temple complex encompasses a vast area, featuring:
- Main Gopuram: An ornately decorated gateway tower serving as the temple's entrance.
- Spacious Mandapams: Assembly halls for gatherings and rituals.
- Holy Tank: A sacred pond for devotees to perform ablutions.
- One Crore Shiva Lingas: The sheer number of Shiva Lingas enshrined within the temple complex is its most distinctive feature. These Lingas vary in size and material, ranging from small, individual ones to larger ones arranged in intricate formations.
- Maha Shivalinga: A massive, central Shiva Linga, considered the most sacred in the temple.
- Sub-Shrines: Dedicated to various deities, including Parvati, Ganesha, and Nandi.
Festivals and Rituals:
The Tallayapalem temple draws devotees throughout the year, particularly during major Hindu festivals like:
- Maha Shivaratri: Celebrated in February/March, marking the night of Lord Shiva's marriage.
- Karthika Masam: A holy month dedicated to Lord Shiva, featuring special pujas and abhishekam ceremonies.
- Somavara: Mondays, considered auspicious for worshipping Lord Shiva.
Visiting the Temple:
The temple is generally open from sunrise to sunset, with specific timings for darshan (viewing the deity) and pujas. Devotees can also participate in various sevas (services) offered by the temple.
- Location: Tallayapalem village, Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh, India.
- Distance from Vijayawada: Approximately 24 kilometers.
- Nearest Railway Station: Tenali Junction.
- Accommodation: Various hotels and lodges are available in Tenali and Vijayawada.
I hope this comprehensive information helps you learn more about the Tallayapalem temple. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to ask.