Many temples have flourished in Andhra since the rule of the mighty Satavahanas and Eastern Chalukyas. The kings of Vijayanagara Empire were not far off, contributing richly to the upheaval of Andhra heritage and glory. Temples have been of special interest to the kings since then, focusing largely on the built and architecture. Talking about the exquisite temples in the region, we cannot leave behind the astounding Sri Trikoteswara Swamy Vari Temple located on the Kotappa Hill in Guntur district.
Kotappakonda or Kotappa Hill houses the great abode of Lord Siva, 13 kilometres south west of Narsaraopet in the present day Guntur district. The hill was originally called as Konadakuvuru, and later picked up the name Trikutaparvatham – meaning three peaked hill. The hill stands at a height of 1587 feet and the main Temple at the height of 600 feet.
The three hills that are also referred to as Trikutachalam or Trikutadri are seen conspicuously going from any direction in the area. It is also said that these three hills directly symbolize the three great power Gods of Hinduism – Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara.
The striking feature of the Kotappa hill is the deity of Lord Siva mounted as the great Lingam. The temple can be reached climbing steep steps. The interesting part is that there are numerous ponds too, located on the hill out of which eight remain directly in front of the temple.
Trikoteswara Alayam – Sri Krishna Deva Raya’s devotional interest
The ancient temple that is predicted to have been installed in the 1100 AD fell under the rule of the great Vijayanagar Empire in the eventuality. This is where the king of great valour Sri Krishna Deva Raya gets connected with its legacy. It is said that the King had gifted hefty chunks of lands to the temple for its mere maintenance in those days.
Later, flights of steps were constructed under the regime of Sri Rajamal Raju Narasimha Rayulu.
The Story of Siva Behing Trikoteswara Alayam
They say that Lord Siva, after destroying the famous Daksha Yagnam, converted himself into a 12 year old boy and commenced a severe penance in Kailasam with the name Dakshana Murthy. Seeing this, all the Gods approached Lord and implored him to impart the sacred knowledge of ‘The Brahma’. That is when Dakshana Murthy asked the Gods to visit the great Trikuta Hills to attain knowledge.
Life of Lord Dakshana Murthy
It is said that Dakshana Murthy lived a life of celibacy. Hence, no marriages can be performed in the Trokiteswara Swamy temple.
AP Tourism’s Arrangements for Pilgrims
Kotappakonda is now well equipped with various Devasthanam Chowltries and government run guest houses. There are also enhanced accommodations that are available in the surrounding areas of Vijayawada, Narsaraopet and Guntur.
The best time to visit the Trikoteswara Swamy temple will be in the months between October and the next February. Mahasivaratri undoubtedly sees special celebrations and heavy traffic each year in the temple.
Kotayya Thirunalla Festival
The famous Kotayya Thirunalla festival is conducted every Mahasivaratri, when thousands of devotees come visit to seek Darshan. Rectangular frames called ‘Prabhas’ are decorated, made out of bamboo and tapering at the edges. These are decorated with white colored cloth and paper and are taken into a large possession as part of the celebration. They are then placed at the meadow on the hill foot. These are mostly 60 to 70 feet in height carried by the devotees and require huge manpower and resources in order to be erected.