Kolanupaka- Well Known for the Jain Temple

The Jain temple at Kolanupaka was in my to-do list for quite long. This Sunday, we planned to drive there. This was the only temple I knew about this place but as I was doing my research, I came to know about another old temple nearby. Good enough for a short weekend trip from Hyderabad.

We started early through Warangal highway, and reached Aler in about 90 minutes. To go to Kolanupaka, you have to take a detour from the highway. We had to pass the railway crossing which was closed as a train was coming. In the meantime had some quick tea. The train went and then another train was coming. We were passing time by seeing how the people were trying to cross the railway barricade by ducking down with their cycles and bikes.

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Soon the gates opened and we reached Kolanupaka temple in another 15 minutes. The sun was just about to peep out. We went inside the temple and have a look at the beautiful sculptures they have inside apart from the main statues of Lord Rishabhanatha, Lord Neminatha, and Lord Mahavira. The statue of Lord Mahavira is built of a single piece of jade stone.

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Locally known as Kulpakji, the temple is more than 2000 years old. Built by the Rashtrakutas in 11th century A.D, Thanks to the immaculate preservation by the Jain community, the temple is quite well maintained.

Photography is not allowed inside the temple, so the only picture I could take was from outside. Though it was very disappointing for me photographically, I still enjoyed to have a look a look at the beautiful sculptures.

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Our next stop was the Someshwara Swamy Temple which was a 5 minutes drive. This 11th- century temple built by Kalyana Chalukyas also houses the Kolanupaka museum. This place has a decent display of all the statues recovered from this area and around. The first statue that attracts attention is one of Mahavira made of basalt. There is a pillar with a statue of the monkey god Hanuman.

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After spending some time in the museum, we went to the temple. There were statues of a lot of gods inside. The temple is operational and regular puja is performed everyday. The light was very low but I managed to get a few shots.

What I found most interesting was the Goddess Chandi’s shrine, the whole ceiling was covered by colourful packets called ‘mudupulu’.

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The shiva lingam was also quite unique – it was a thousand in one! There were these small shiva-lingams built on the surface of the larger one.

After spending some time talking to the priest of the temple, it was time to head back home and plan for another weekend.

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How to Go: The best way is to drive there, the highway is excellent. Can also be reached by APSRTC buses and railway. Aler is the nearest has a railway station. Lots of share autos are available from there.

Nearby places: Bhongir fort and Yadagirigutta, temple of Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy are quite close.

Where to stay: Since it’s very near from Hyderabad, can be done in a day’s trip.

What to wear: Comfortable cottons. Shorts are not allowed inside the Jain temple.

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Thank you for reading this post. Hope you liked spending time here. I will be back again with another interesting place.

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This post is written by Saurabh Chatterjee. He is a travel photographer and a photography trainer.
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