Monday, September 6, 2010

Jogulamba Temple-Alampoor-Mahabubnagar

About Jogulamba Temple
The temple of Jogulamba is situated in the town of Alampur in the Mahbubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh. It is one of the Ashtadasa Sakthi Peethams (18 holy abodes of Mother Goddess) which is one of the famous spiritual places in the state.
The word "Jogulamba" is derived from "Joginula Amma" (Mother of Joginis). Jogini (also called as Yogini) means a female person, who has given up all the earthly attachments. Jogini also has another meaning which implies a dancer (female) whose life is dedicated to God. Hence, the goddess is also known as Yogulamba or Yogamba.

Description Of The Temple:
The temple of Jogulamba Devi is built magnificently near the banks of Tungabhadra River. The idol of the goddess is in a sitting posture with abundant hair which has a lizard, scorpion, bat and human skull adorned in it. Also, idols of Saptamatrikas (group of Hindu goddesses), Ganapathi and Veerabhadra are installed in conjunction of the main idol. The temple has a Yagnasala (where Yagnas are performed), a rest house and a pond. The temple covers a large portion of land, built magnificently with several carvings on the black stone and flooring is made of marble stone. The temple is closely situated to the Nava Brahma temples.

Siginificance of Jogulamba:
Jogulamba can be understood as "Gruha Chandi" (protector of our homes). As we noticed, the idol shows that the goddess has a lizard, scorpion, bat and human skull in her hair. These are the indications of evil and signs of deterioration of a house. Lizard is the primary indication that a house starting to lose its life. Gradually, the number of lizards shall increase which result in the welcoming of scorpions which is even worse. The next level would be the entrance of bats which may result in death of humans living in that house. People believe that Jogulamba protects them and their shelters from all kinds of evils. She is also worshipped to be freed from Vastu Doshas (faults in constructions). The temple attracts a large number of pilgrims from various parts for the country and major festivals like Dussera, Maha Shivaratri are celebrated with pomp.

Legend of Renuka Mata:
 Besides being a religious hub, Alampur is also famous for being a home to the Ashram of Maharshi Jamadagni. According to a legend, Maharshi Jamadagni stayed in Alampur with his wife Renuka and four sons. They were making their livelihood and worshipping Bala Brahmeswara and Jogulamba Devi. Renuka Mata, with her power, regularly used to make a pot with sand and bring water from the Tungabhadra River. One day, she noticed a king of Gandharvas bathing in the river with his wives. On seeing this, she formed a prejudice that happiness comes from materialistic wealth but not by worship.
At this thought, she lost all her powers and could not make the pot. She went home without water and on being asked the reason by Jamadagni, Renuka told about the incident and admitted her sinful thoughts. Then, Jamadagni got angry on her and ordered his sons to kill her. Three of them refused to do so but the fourth son, Parasurama, obeyed the order of his father and killed his mother by cutting her head off with his axe. Jamadagni was pleased and offered him a boon. Parasurama asked him to give back life to his mother. Then Jamadagni revived her life.
Legends say that the head of Renuka Mata became Ekaveera Devi, a symbol of Maya rupa; (materialistic thoughts) and the headless body became Bhudevi, a symbol of Matru rupa (mother). Many people say that Ekaveera Devi manifested herself as Goddess Yellamma in Undavelli village near Alampur, while the shrine of Bhudevi is present in the premises of Bala Brahmeswara temple.

 According to Hindu mythology, "Oordhva Danta Pankthi" (upper jaw with tooth) of Devi fell here and the place formed as a Sakthi Peetham. During 1390 AD, the original temple was demolished by the Muslim invaders, led by Bahamani Sultans and the main idol along with the consorts was damaged by them. But some devotees resisted the invasions and protected the disfigured idols of Jogulamba with other consorts; repaired and kept them in the Bala Brahma temple.
After those invasions the temple was neglected for over centuries. Later in the mid 1970s, the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has taken over the temple and notified as a protected monument. Several pious people thought of re-constructing the temple but could not make it because of the restrictions made by the ASI. Later, Ajay Kallam, the then Commissioner of Endowments Department took initiative and showed special interest in the reconstruction of the temple. He worked relentlessly in raising the funds. Also, a great writer, Sanskrit scholar, researcher, reformist and epigraphist - Gadiyaram Ramakrishna Sarma took active part in the reconstruction of the temple and devoted his later life for the revival of the temple.
After many appeals from the devotees and Hindu scholars, the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) finally gave the clearance in 2002 and the temple was reconstructed at a cost of Rs.2 Crore. The new temple was built at the same place of the old temple and a set of new idols were consecrated on 13th February 2005. It took nearly 615 years to see the temple standing again at the same place. Idols of the presiding deity - Jogulamba, Dwarapalikas and Vahanamurthy (lion) were installed in the temple.

Reconstruction of the temple:
The construction of the temple started during 2002, under the supervision of an advisory committee which included the Kanchi Kamakoti Peethadhipati, Sringeri Peethadhipati, Gadiyaram Ramakrishna Sarma, the then district collector, Sri Satya Sai Trust and Nagarjuna Group.
One S.P. Perumalachary, the Sthapati or the architect of temples of Endowments Department of Tamilnadu was the man behind the reconstruction of the old temple. The new temple resembled more like the original one built in Chalukyan style and design. S.P. Perumalachary, who is said to be the architect with extra-ordinary engineering and visionary skills, studied extensively the architectural style of Chalukyan Era and their skills. He and his team of 100 sculptors (from Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh) left no leaf unturned to make the new temple identical to the original one, be it the selection of stones, the carvings of idols, pillars etc.
He has made great contributions to Andhra Pradesh that augmented the culture and heritage of the state. Some of his outstanding works include the renovation of Lord Sri Rama temple of Bhadrachalam and the carving of Buddha statue in the Hussain Sagar (lake) of Hyderabad. Reportedly, one of his future ambitions is to make a singular monolith (single piece of rock) statue of Lord Krishna chiseled from the granite reserve at Raigiri hill (Nalgonda district), where the boulder for Hussain Sagar Buddha statue was procured.

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