Sri Chamundeswari Temple:
The famous Sri Chowdeshwari devi is presided in Cholasamudram village of Lepakshi Mandal, Anantapur District in Andhra Pradesh State. Temple is located right next to cholasamudram bus-stop. The temple is nestled between the picturesque road at 8th KM connecting Hindupur and Temple town of Lepakshi. Goddess Chowdeshwari, in her most furor form who is believed to be the incarnation of Parvati Devi, the consort of Lord Shiva. People strongly believe that the Goddess helps them in fulfilling their needs, the great example being Queen Tirumala devi Wife of The king of Kings Sri Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagara empire was blessed with Son after seeking blessing of Goddess Chowdeshwari.
Sri Chamundeswari Temple is considered to build in A.D.1336 by Raja’s Harihararaya-Bukkaraya, in the reign of Vijayanagara kingdom, close to 700 years.
It is said that the actual deity that was present in the temple was so fearful to watch with the human eye and the powerful aura it carried made many a heart fail on seeing it. Therefore, a slight adjustment in her eyes of deity will be made during alankara, to enable the devotees to have to look the goddess without fear.
The goddess is “Kuladevatha” for weavers community (Nese / Thogata) and the temple priest also from the same community. Great number of devotees spread around districts of AP and Karnataka besides devotes from all over the south India.
Famous festivals celebrated here are Dussehra, Ugadi and Durgastami (Durga puja).
The temple was built before the vijayanagar period. There are very few sculptures Inside and outside of the temple. In the ceiling of the mukha mandapa in front of the temple has pillars with lotus shaped sculptures. These pillars are sculptured with Dancing ladies and playing kolatam ladies. Pillars in the ardha mandapa which is in front of mukha mandapa are very simple. Temple is well designed structure. A big mandapa in front the temple with four pillars is the main attraction.
In all “saiva alaya’s” there will be a statue of Nandi (Bull), but in this temple the mandapa is empty. The temple is built in the period of Chola’s while development took in Vijayanagar period.
MAIN SHRINE :
The main shrine in the temple is made up of “Gachu” and applied colors. The statue is around 8 feet in height. The deity in the temple is sculptured on the big dais. The shrine is very fury with 4 hands. Right hands with “Trisulam” & “long sward” and “Dhamaruka” & “Kunkuma Bharine” with left hands. Demon heads are under her feet. People believe that Goddess Parvathi is residing in form of SRI CHOWDESHWARI DEVI. So many Royal families from ancient days were worshipped with great devotion.
The inscription in the Temple:
This is incomplete and dated Saka 1439, Isvara, Margasira, ba. 3, corresponding to A.D. 1517 December 1 Tuesday (not verifiable), in the reign of Krishnaraya-Maharaya, king of Karnataka. It mentions his queen Tirumalambika and records that Rayasada Kondamarasayya, son of Mantri Timmarasa and grandson of Sripatyacharya, of Bharadvaja-gotra, Asvalayna-sutra and Rik-sakha, made some gift for the service of the goddess Chaudesvari in Cholasamudra in order that the kin may be blessed with children. Kondamarasayya is stated to have been an expert in reading various scripts, His grandfather is described as a very learned man and observer of the four religious orders, Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Yati, as the ornament of the Udayagiri-Kannadiga-kula and as the chief of Podatur in the Dravida-desa. (A.R. No. 87 of 1912.)
Tuluva Sri Krishna Deva Raya also known as Krishna Raya (1509-1529 CE), was the famed Emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire. Presiding over the empire at its zenith, he is regarded as an icon by many Indians, particularly by Tuluvas, Kannadigas and Telugus. He was one of the greatest statesmen which medieval South India had produced.
Sri Krishnadevaraya’s consort Tirumaladevi prayed so many gods and visited so many holy temples for son. Tirumalambika after prayed Cholasamudram Chowdeshwari devi, she send their able prime minister Timmarusu’s son Kondamarusu for special puja. Tirumalambika blessed by Goddess Chowdeshwari devi with son after seven months. Inscriptions in the temple witnesses this.
The temple is very old temple that has been around for about 700 years now. The inscriptions in the temple indicate the construction of the temple by HariHara and Bukkaraya the chief Patrons of the Vijayanagara Empire.
The east entrance is the main entrance to the temple. To the east of the temple, there is a Mandapa. Devotees perform Pallaki seva to the deity In this mandapa. The mandapa slightly bent to left side. It occured when the floods hit the mandapa very long back. Even after the incident the mandapa still strong and Pallaki seva continues.
During Vijayadashmi (Dasera) Navarathri days the special poojas are performed to devi and procession would be conducted with religious ferver & utsava vigrahas are taken all the way to “Shamee Vruksham” and goddess bless all the devotees for their ealth, wealth & well being. Shamee Vruksham is inside Z.P.High School which is around 1Km from the Temple. This is similar to Mysore Chamundeshwari Devi procession to Banni Mantapam.
During Ugadi (New year day) special poojas are conducted through out the day and huge gathering of devotees from in and around cholasamudram. Devotees visit cholasamudram chowdeshwari temple to seek goddess blessings. On this day there will be a “Jathara” around the temple premises, all villagers and neighbouring villagers will attend the Jathara and special poojas are performed.
Deepostavam (a special festival celebrated by the devotees) : Deepostavam is celebrated by women folk, by offering home made “deepams” to the Goddess. Women of all ages carry Deepams on their head walk to the temple in a group, and pray the goddess for their prosperity.
During this occassion some people offer animal sacrifice since Chowdeshwari is “Shakthi Devatha” It is extremly common in the whole country to perform animal sacrifice for “Shakthi Devatas”.
ABOUT KODIPALLI FESTIVAL:
Kodipalli is a village panchayat and neighbouring village to Cholasamudram, which is at a distance of 2Km. These two villages are separated by a big tank. It is believed that the Kodipalli is native place for Goddess Chowdeshwari, So villagers of Kodipalli consider Chowdeshwari devi as their daughter. Every 3 years once all the villagers of Kodipalli perform “Home-Coming” festival to the Goddess Chowdeshwari.
On Monday morning villagers from Kodipalli visit Cholasamudram and Carry the Goddess Utsava Vigrahas in Pallaki with extreme joy. They walk all the way to the village by carrying the pallaki on their shoulders. Once they reach the Kodipalli Goddess will be placed in “Siddappagudi”.
On this day all the villagers of Kodipalli invite their relatives and friends for this great “home-coming” of Goddess Chowdeshwari, People spend lavishly during this occassion and enjoy the good times with their families since this happens once in few years.
On monday and Tuesday Goddess would be taken for procession in the streets of village, and infront of every house. Villagers would perform poojas offer coconut and seek goddess blessings with great joy and ferver.
On third day (Wednesday) goddess would be brought back to her abord in Cholasamudram. It is known fact that while coming back to Cholasamudram from Kodipalli, the procession takes much more time compare to Cholasamudram to Kodipalli. This is because of the affinity Goddess has towards her home place.
Kodipalli can be reached from hindupur by road, which is around 9Km from hindupur.