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The State of Andhra Pradesh abounds in archeological remains and religious monuments. The Satavahanas of the 1st century AD left behind them many works of art, the remains of which are seen at Amaravati near Guntur. The Ikshvakus succeeded the Satavahanas and the monuments left behind by them were discovered at excavations at Nagarjunakonda.Some of the best known Budhist monuments of Andhra Pradesh such as the Mahastupa and some Hindu temples were found in these excavations.


Tirupati is one of the important pilgrim centres in India. It is famous for the shrine of the seven hills, dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara, alsoknown as Balaji the temple of Tirumala (13 km).

Other Temples at Tirupati: Govindarajaswamy Temple, Kapilathiraham, Kodandaraswamy Temple, Padmavati



The 11th century Varaha Lakshminarasimha Temple is in the picturesque Simhachalam hill range, 244 metres above sea level.




Prasanthi Nilayam:Puttaparthi was described a few years ago by a western writer as a place, ‘a few footsteps away from stone age’. Today, however that very hamlet holds in its heart ‘Prasanthi Nilayam’ or Abode of the Highest Peace, one of the most important pilgrim centres of India and the world. This is the abode of Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, 73, perhaps India’s most known saint of modern times.Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the most colourful and multifaceted prophet, modern India has produced, is believed to be the very avatar (incarnation) of love and the voice of one’s own innermost heart speaking to each individual externally. The teachings of the Baba are based on the famous ‘five props’ of Sathya (truth), Dharma (righteousness) Santhi (peace), Prema (universal love) and Ahimsa (non violence). Prasanthi Nilayam, over the years, has attracted people from all over then world. The Ashram has a code of conduct which every visitor should follow. The Ashram also has museums, stadiums, educational institutions, the Sai Space Theatre etc. The 23rd of November is celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm by the devotees of Baba at the Prasanthi Nilayam. Over a million people gather here on the occasion of the Baba’s birthday. The atmosphere around the Ashram is undeniably peaceful, and the growth of such a vibrant community in this once forgotten backward area is not a small miracle.

Tempels of Alampur

Swarga Brahma Temple :

This important shrine seems to have been constructed towards the end of the 7th century A.D. There is an inscription above the dwarapalika image, which states that the shrine was constructed by Lokaditya-Ela-Arasa, in honor of the queen of Vinayaditya, called Mahadevi.

Like all other temples except the Taraka Brahma, the Swarga Brahma is a hall temple. The shrine is at the end of the rectangular hall, which is divided into a nave and side aisles by the use of pillars connecting the passage. Like the Kumara Brahma, the Swarga Brahma also has a porch. The panels on the outer walls carry relief figures of the Krishna Lila, Animals, Garuda-nose faces and Matrumurti.

The pattern of carving is the same as on the Vishva Brahma temple.

Although there had been relief carvings in Aihole and Pattadakal, the pantheism here shows a passionate enthusiasm for exaltation of human form to divine status. There are Pauranic scenes, loving couples and flying spirits. And in the midst of these are the independent realizations of the gods, by the release into a certain innocence and freer interpretation of the icon beyond the manner of the Chalukyas in the west.

One of the new dhyana mantras is a wall sculpture entitled Lingodbhavamurti of Shiva, inset into a tall phallus, with worshipping figures in a rectangular panel from which the lingam is carved.

And a truncated figure shows the remains of a dynamic sculpture of shiva as Tripurasuramharamurti. The mobility of the carving skillfully releases energies into the universe with terrifying violence.

Another broken figure is a relief of Gangavatarana, again as a demonstration of the Alampur sculptor's genius for release of potential power of the gods. A similar sculpture of Shiva involved in the Tandava dance is a heroic image. The frenzy of the movement is caught in the ecstatic moment, by some Viswakarma, realizing himself through the expression of muscular energies into the universal image of dance incarnate.

Shiva is shown in another mood as he stands, pensively, with the gracious bend of his body, almost supplicating Parfait. The Mithuna couples show the sculptor's sensitiveness to tenderness between the male and the female, through the evocation of desire lurking below the surface of life and evoked here through the woman's shy withdrawal and the man dragging her by the arm from the natural urge of seduction.

The Swarga Brahma temple has a six pillar porch on the east, the Puranghata pillars being decorated with amalkas. There are horned dwarpals by the doorway. Ganga and Jamuna are symbolically carved on the door-frame with the GarudaNaga motif above.

The temple has a curvilinear sikhara of the northern style, with a figure of dancing Shiva carved in the Chaitya window of the Sukanasi.


The Garuda Brahma Temple :


Modeled on the Padma Brahma, this temple is distinguished by elaborate carvings on the pillars inside the hall, with the cool shadows secured for the extension of consciousness into the non-sensuous realms of calm.


Vishva Brahma Temple :



Except that it has no porch, the plan of the Vishva Brahma resembles the Swarga Brahma. The sculptures on the facade are also similar, both in theme and execution, though the virtuosity has disappeared because of the vandal's axe. Thus the figure of Trivikrama might have been a magnificent carving when it was whole. Also, the Gangavatarana was once a highly energetic sculpture. The Mithunas are also damaged. The floral relief of makaras and birds with flying figures indicate the lyricism of desire flowing through them from the springtime of the Chalukyan sensibility.



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