February 27, 2015

Maha Sivarathri at kotappakonda

This year we planned to tonsure my Nephew at kotappakonda on Maha Sivarathri day. so we booked tickets to kotappakonda from koyabedu by Garuda bus on 16.02.15 to Ongole from there we have already booked a car.









Maha Shivaratri is also said to be celebrated on the day when Lord Shiva performed his Thandava Nritya . Many Shiva temples will be teemed up with the devotees and the majority of Hindus will be on fast and stay awaken all the night praying Lord Siva. 

                               



Kotappakonda is one of the holy hill, situated at Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh. Kotappa(lord shiva) and konda(hill) Lord Shiva hill which is called as Kotappa konda in Telugu.



It is famous for the temple of Lord Siva which is constructed on it with a stairway. The hill appears with three peaks in any direction, "These three peaks are known as Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra" so also called Trikutadri. It has four temples, one at the base, the other at an elevation of 600 feet (180 m). The main temple is at a height of 1,500 feet (460 m). The village situated at the foot of the hill is named after Kotappakonda.


Lord Siva after destroying "Daksha Yagnam" pacified and converted himself into a 12 years old boy and with a great deal of austerity commenced penance as Dakshana Murthy in Kailasam. Then, Lord Brahma and other Gods approached and offered prayers to Dakshana Murthy and entreated him to impart the knowledge of "Brahma". Dakshana Murthy accordingly agreed and asked them to come to Trikoota hills where he imparted them the knowledge of "Brahma" making these hills very sacred.






Since Dakshana Murthy observed strict celibacy, no marriages take place in this temple. There is yet another folklore of Salankayya of Yellamanda village who was a great devotee of Lord Siva and eking out his livelibhood by selling firewood.





With the result of undivided devotion to the Lingam at Rudra hills he became rich. In appreciation of the devotion of Salankayya Jangama Devara daily used to visit his house and consume milk. After some time Jangama Devara disappeared. Salankayya searched for him in every nook and corner of the region and could not find him anywhere. In a fit of disappointment, Salankayya stopped taking any food and water.



As the matter stood thus, there lived a cowherd called Sundudu with his wife Kundiri in South side of Trikoota hills. They had a beautiful daughter called Anandavalli (Gollabama). Her parents became rich soon after her birth. Anandavalli was deeply devoted to Lord Siva. She always spent her time in offering prayers at Koteswara hills  to Sri Koteswara Swamy. Pleased with her penance Jangama Devara appeared before her.




After some time, in the hot summer Anandavalle (gollabama) used to visit Rudra hills to perform prayers. One day she collected a pot of water for celestial bath and after keeping it at a safe place proceeded to procure "Maredu leaves".



Then, a crow came and sat on the pot, and with its weight the pot fell down throwing out the entire water. Anandavalle (gollabama) became furious and cursed, that no crow should enter the area. Then onwards and till now no crow appears on the Rudra hill. Jangama Devara pleased with her penance appeared and imparted her divine knowledge.


On the hills of Kotappakonda
This had in no way deviated her concentration and she further prayed him as God and as well as her Guru. Jangama Devara, commisserated at her penance and wished her to lead a wordly life. With his divine power he made her pregnant though she was a spinster. Unmindful of her pregnancy she carried her daily prayers as usual.


Cotton candy


A Boy Disguised as Gandhiji



Aghasted at her deep devotion Jangama Devara again appeared and told that she need not take so many troubles in performing poojas and promised her that he would come to her house where she could do her supplication and asked her to proceed without turning her back.


Shiv Lingam at Trikutadri
Anandavalle(gollabama) accordingly proceeded towards her home and Jangamka Devara came down from Rudra mountain and followed her. After reaching Brahma hill, Anandavalle lost her patience and turned back. Immediately Jangama Devara reminded of her promise and stopped at Brahma hills and entered the cave of the hill and turned himself into a Lingam.















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Kottappa Swamy temple on the hills




Subramaniya Swamy temple on the hill top





People returning after Darshan 




Krishna dancing on the head of kaalinga snake 






View from the hill top 




Backside view of Lord Vishnu 




Toy stall with colourful dolls on the road side 


Colourful toys in a row 




Beauties in a row


Beautiful dolls ready to be sold


Stalls on the road side

Prabhalu is one of the main attractions of this hill. On the day of Maha Shivarathri. Attractive Prabhalu  is made by devotees and will bring to the hill in various sizes and heights. It is also said that when 100000001 prabhalu is made on kotappa konda, Lord shiva will come down to bless the devotees.


Electronic Prabha
People of all ages enthusiastically took part in these  popular traditional fete in Kotappakonda . Moreover, My brother and his wife took part this year to witness the extravaganza that added more colours.

A close up of prabha


This culture is still alive in Kotappakonda, from where ‘Prabhalu’ will be taken out in a massive procession in which people from every house cutting across caste, creed and religion lines will participate. This is said to be a 1700-year old tradition in this area and celebrate this festival with participation of thousands of people from every nook and corner of Andhra pradesh. The interesting point is that every year there will be tough competition between the villages relating to the height of the Prabha (arch) that a village decorates.



‘Prabhalu', specially decorated arches with Lord Siva's replicas with bamboo sticks and new clothes, were taken out in a huge procession from about 150 villages in Kotappakonda area. The processions add to the beauty of Kotappakonda during Shivrathri festival. This is in addition to special decorations to temples. The ‘prabhalu’ fete is on the lines of Kotappakonda in Guntur district on Shivrathri.



Prabhalu in a row 



The main attraction is the height of the Prabhalu. One should not miss to witness the way the procession is taken out. Crackers will be burst throughout the procession and dancers will perform on the prabha. The tallest ‘Prabha' will attract every one.now there is no more colourful attractive prabhalu. Its been replaced by electronic prabhalu. 

Side view of Prabhalu


Temple in the dark night 


Electronic Prabhalu


Prabhalu




Beautiful view of Prabhalu 










There is lot of buses from nearest towns like Narasarapet and Chilakaluripet to kotappakonda.

Photography by me and my Brother with the monster Canon camera.


3 comments:

Venkat Koteswara said...

Hi, I am Venkat Koteswara, from Savalyapuram (Vinukonda). After reading the detailed information on Kotappakonda, felt like awesome. Because i am regular visitor to Kotappakonda, i know these stories about temple in bits and pieces. But you gave total picture and importance of the temple. Even temple's own site also not giving this detailed information. Hope you will add more articles and wish you good luck.

Prabhavathi said...

Thank you so much venkat

Prabhavathi said...

Thank you so much venkat