Chintala Venkataramana Swamy Temple: A 16th century marvel in Andhra Pradesh - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!
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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Chintala Venkataramana Swamy Temple: A 16th century marvel in Andhra Pradesh

Epics and Hindu mythological stories on Tadipatri temple

It is yet another offbeat day trip or weekend destination from Bangalore. It resembles Hampi’s Vittala temples in many ways and it is classified as one of the Monuments of National Importance by the Archaeological survey of India. I am talking about the 16th century Chintala Venkataramana Swamy temple that was built during the reign of the Vijayanagara empire.

Offering prayers at Chintala Venkataramana Swamy temple, Tadipatri

Built by Pemmasani Timmanayudu II, a subordinate of Krishnadevaraya of the Tuluva dynasty, the Chintala Venkataramana swamy temple is known for its granite sculptures, stone chariot, striking resemblance to Hampi’s Vittala temple,  Vijayanagara style of temple architecture and for its mesmerizing visual depictions of Hindu mythological stories and folklore.

A bright monsoon day at Chintala Venkataramana Temple, Tadipatri

Spanning 5 acres and located by the Penna river, the Chintala Venkataramana temple was built around the same time as Hampi’s Vittala temple. May be, that is why they share striking resemblances to each other. While the Vittala temple was built using red granite, this temple at Tadipatri was built using much older black granite.

Hampi Vittala Temple like horse chariot at Chintala Venkataramana Temple, Tadipatri

A mighty temple gopuram greets you upon your entry. Right after it is the sthamba and then comes the garuda mantapa that is in the form of a stone chariot with rolling granite wheels. While this stone chariot resembles that of the Vittala temple in Hampi, it is much smaller in size. Right in front of the Garuda mantapa is the large Mukha mantapa with its forty pillars followed by the Ranga Mantapa and the Garbha Griha.

The main mantapa of Chintala Venkataramana Temple, Tadipatri

The Mukha mantapa and the Ranga Mandapa are full of images and stories from Mahabharatha, Ramayana and Bhagavatha, all in proper sequence of events. It is certainly one of the highlights of a visit to this temple as each pillar tells beautiful stories through its intricate carvings. The other highlight of this temple is the 10 feet high classical masterpiece statue of Lord Venkataramana Swamy that is located in the Garbha griha. Just as you enter the garbha griha, do pay close attention to the ceiling to see the octagonal shaped flower.

Ananta Sayana Vishnu on the walls of Chintala Venkataramana Temple, Tadipatri

If you thought the Garuda mantapa stone chariot, the Mukha mantapa pillars, the Ranga Mantapa and Grabha Griha were beautiful, wait till you begin your temple parikrama (circumambulation). Every inch of the exterior walls of the temple are carved and each carving tells you a lot about our gods and our puranas. There is so much carving on the walls of this temple that it might take you a couple of days just to see them all.

Walking by the beautiful walls of Chintala Venkataramana Temple, Tadipatri

Built according to Shilpa shastras, this Vijayanagara era temple gem with its eye catching Dravidian architecture will appeal to all kinds of art, culture, history and temple lovers. I don’t know why it is not spoken in the same breath as Hampi. May be Karnataka has done a better job of promoting it than Andhra Pradesh. Whatever the reasons might be, I think this temple is so culturally, creatively and aesthetically rich that it is a must visit in my mind. It’s rustic atmosphere adds to the charm.

Vermilion on the feet of the gods at Chintala Venkataramana Temple, Tadiaptri

If you wish to experience a stunning piece of temple architecture that is not well known in the masses, the Chintala Venkataramana Swamy temple is that offbeat gem. Together with the Bugga Ramalingeshwara temple located a km away, these two temples of Tadipatri are the pride of our nation and are living examples of our crazily good creativity in temple architecture. I recommend both these temples with multiple thumbs up!

The elephant staircase leading to the garbha griha of Chintala Venkataramana Temple, Tadipatri

Temple timings:

6 AM to 11:30 AM and 4:30 PM to 8 PM (if you wish to enter the garbha griha and see the main deity). The temple campus is however kept open from 6 AM till 8 PM.

Hampi Vittala temple like carved pillars at Tadipatri temple

How to reach there:

There are two popular routes to Tadipatri from Bangalore.

One is to take the 4 lane highway (NH 44) all the way to Anantpur and then take the state highway to Tadipatri. This route would be fast and is about 272 kms long.

The other option is to take NH 44 till Nagasamudram and then take the smaller roads to Tadipatri via Dharmavaram, Narapala and Muchukota. This road would be scenic post Nagasamudram and gives you an opportunity to experience the countryside of Andhra Pradesh. Dharmavaram is also a great place to stop for breakfast if you happen to leave Bangalore real early.

The hall leading to the garbha griha at Chintala Venkataramana Temple, Tadipatri

Other places to visit enroute from Bangalore:

1) 7th century Bhoga Nandeeswara temple at the foot of Nandi hills

2) The vineyards and vegetable farms of rural Chikkaballapur

3) Sri Veerabhadra temple at Lepakshi, another Vijayanagara era temple

4) Gudibande Fort, a great fort and hike that offers some breathtaking views

5) Penukonda fort

6) Avalabetta, a lovely hill full of beautiful nature and great views

7) Skandagiri hill, a climb to see misty mountain top views

8) Chandarayana betta, a great place for a short hill climb

Doing the pradakshanam at Chintala Venkataramana Temple, Tadipatri

Best season to visit:

The post monsoon and winter months from October through February would be a great time to visit this temple. You can visit during the other months too. Just that it might be a bit too hot and humid for comfort.

Entering Tadipatri's Chintala Venkataramana Temple

Where to stay:

Tadipatri has a few budget hotels to cater to its visitors. If you want something luxurious, I would recommend that you head to Anantpur and if you feel like some adventure, stay in tents by the Pennar river at Gandikota.
If you are traveling from Bangalore, you can also visit this temple as part of a day-trip, thus avoiding any stay.

Beautiful carvings on the temple walls at Tadipatri

Where to eat:

Tadipatri city has a lot of places to eat near the market street surrounding Sri Chintala Venkataramana temple. These are not high quality restaurants, but simple hotels serving delicious food. For something exquisite, you might have to go to Anantpur that is located about 55 kms away.

A moment at Sri Chintala Venkataramana Temple, Tadipatri, Andhra Pradesh

Other nearby tourist attractions:

1) Bugga Ramalingeswara Swamy temple, another Vijayanagara era gem, located just 1 km away

2) The natural wonder of Pennar river canyon at Gandikota

3) Belum caves, one of the longest cave system in the Indian subcontinent

4) The beautiful caves and Sri Uma Maheshwara temple at Yaganti



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