Sompalyam: Hidden treasure in Andhra Pradesh
Sompalyam is around 160 kilometres from Bangalore and is in Chittoor District of AP. This temple can be reached from Bangalore via Hosakote -Chintamani-Kothakota. We left at 4 a.m. so we could reach there by 7:30 a.m.
The first striking feature of this temple is the 52-foot-high ornamental Dhwajastambha, highlighting the brilliance of the Vijayanagara rulers.
The outer mantapa pays tribute to the female and male warriors who played a role in protecting the empire. There is a huge Uyyale mantapa there also, similar to the King’s Balance in Hampi. As we enter the temple through the main Gopuram, the first sight that captures our eyes is the stone chariot carved out of granite. Yes, you heard it right. The stone chariot, which can be seen in Hampi and Tadipatri, can also be seen here, though smaller in size. The ceiling of the temple is decorated with colourful murals depicting scenes from the Ramayana.
The Kalyana Mantapa is exquisitely carved out of black soapstone and has captured all the minute details, including those of the deity of the temple, Krishna, or Chennakeshava.
There is some beautiful 3D artwork as well, which can be seen in one square mandapa near the entrance and depicts a monkey. Before wrapping up, one thing we cannot miss in Vijayanagara temples is the musical pillars, which make a distinctive sound when tapped.
There is a small Hanuman temple just a few metres from this temple that can be visited. From here, one can view the remnants of the fort that existed here in the hillocks.
Article and photos by Arun Bharadwaj – https://www.thelightbaggage.com/
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