Ghantasala is a town and Mandal Headquarters in Krishna District of Andhra Pradesh. It is 21 km west of Machilipatnam and 11 km east of River Krishna.
Boswell of the East India Company first reported Ghantasala as a historical site in 1870-71. Alexander Rea excavated the stupa at Ghantasala, which had a circumference of 112 feet and a height of 23 feet. The remains of an important Buddhist stupa and sculptural slabs were found in 1919-20.Ghantasala was once a flourishing town of Indo-Roman trade as well as an important religious centre. The Buddhist relics and the Hindu structures at the place reveal its past glory. Carved limestone columns belonging to pillared halls associated with Buddhist monastic establishments (2-3rd centuries BC ) have been discovered. The ruined Maha Chaitya or stupa that was excavated here is of a unique design. A cube of solid bricks is set in the centre, inscribed with 12 constellations of the zodiac.
The chaityas had a texture and size unique to the Satavahana times and had separate dwelling places for Buddhist monks in the complex. All walls were found to have beautiful plastering with superfine lime mortar. A three-dimensional limestone carved structure, embellished on the dome portion of the stupa had two garland bearers, a dhamma chakra and a miniature stupa on a throne in the middle. Objects such as a four-by-three-feet ‘Purna Kalasa’ containing lotus flowers, indicating the birth of Gautama Buddha were also discovered. The stupa had concentric inner wheels radiating towards a central chamber.primary amongst them is a raised cylindrical mound with a semi spheric.
Jaladheeswara Swamy Temple, popularly known as Sree Balaparvati Sametha Jalasheeswara Aalayam is in a village named Ghantasala in Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh.
According to Dr. D. Kannababu, assistant superintendent, Archaeology Survey of India, “Jaladheeswara Temple was the fourth ancient temple in Andhra Pradesh. From the evidenced existing today, this temple existed before 2nd century A.D. This siva Lingam has similar features with some of the ancient temples like Gudimallem (Chittor district near Sri Kalahastri), Amarvati,Draksharamam.”It is one of the more ancient temples, believed to exist before 2nd century A.D. The fact that Siva and Parvathi are placed on a single “peetam” (panavattamu) makes the temple different from many other ancient temples like Srisailam and Srikalahastri.
Salient features of the temple:
- It is the only temple in the world to have lords Siva and Parvati on a single peetam.
- According to the temple history, the peetam was placed by Agastya maharshi.
- Nandeeshwara is more beautiful and realistic in this temple.
- This temple darshan has the same pious (punya phalam) effect equivalent to Darshanam of Dwadasa jyotirlingams (12) and Astadasa Shakti Peetams (18) due to the placement of Siva and Parvati on a single peetam.
- The devotees believe that jaladeeshwara abhisheka theertham is a cure for many diseases.
It is believed that the idol of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati was installed by Agastya Maharshi, one of the saptarshis who are extolled at many places in the Vedas and a revered Vedic sage and earliest Siddhar. The Shivalingam in Jaladeeshwara Swamy temple is believed to have similar features with the other Shivalingam in Gudimallem temple, Amarvati temple, Draksharamam temple. The temple has a separate shrine of Lord Nandeeshwara, which looks different from other temples with ever beautiful attribute.
The other deities of the temple are Lord Ugra Narasimha, Lord Kalabhairava, Dwarapalakas, and Goddess Saraswati. It is said that visiting this temple is equivalent to receiving the auspicious sight of 12 Jyotrilinga temples, and 18 Shakti Peetha temples because of the unique feature of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati placed together.
The temple remains open from morning 6.30 AM to 9.30 PM.
Government Buses and private travel buses from all places in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are available to reach this Jaladheeswara Temple in Ghantasala.
The nearest Railway station to reach Jaladheeswara Swamy temple is Machilipatnam Railway Station which is 27 km away.
The nearest airport to reach Jaladheeswara Swamy temple is Vijayawada which is 50 km away.
Youtube Link – Ghantasala Jaladeeshwara Temple
List of Villages in Ghantasala
- V. rudravaram