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Historic Kakatiya Era Shrine of Inavolu

Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple located in Inavolu(also called Inole) village, at a distance of about 18 kms from Warangal city, is one of the historical temples of Lord Shiva in this region. Here, Lord Shiva is seen in human form along with his two consorts. The major attraction of this shrine is the 108 pillars which appear together, in the form of a chariot. The architectural carvings are quite elegant, which depicts the architectural glory of Kakatiya dynasty, while poojas are still performed here.

It is believed that temple which was built in 11th century, was ordered by Sri Ayanna, a minister of the Kakatiya dynasty. It is also believed that the wordAyanavoluwas derived from Ayyanavole means ‘Priest’s holy village’. The name Ayanavolu first appeared in the inscription of Western Chalukya King ‘SatyasrayaIrivabedanga’ in 1007 A.D in Punnavolu, a nearby village. The earliest inscription noticed in this village is datable to TribhuvanamallaVikramaditya-VI (1118 A.D.) which records a gift to LakulesvaraPandita by a subordinate of the King.

There is a stone inscription in the temple premises setup by Anapotanayaka, Velama chief of Recharla family datable to 1369 A.D. in which the name of the God is mentioned as ‘Mailarudevara’. Hence, Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy or Mallanna is worshipped here as Mailarudeva. The image of Mailarudeva is about 6 feet, in a sitting posture facing east, sandwitched between the images of his consorts, BalijaMedalamma and GollaKethamma.

The temple is constructed in the center of massive toranas within a rectangular prakara with openings on south, east and northern sides. This is a saandhara type of temple, with inner pradakshanapatha. There is a massive 24 pillared ranga mandapa in front of the temple. Towards the southern and eastern cardinal directions two massive toranas resembling the Kakatiya gates of Warangal are located. No trace of torana is available on the western side of the temple. Recently the Department of Heritage Telangana hasre-erected the fallen torana of northern side, to its original place after intensive efforts.

From the architectural point of view, it appears that the temple was constructed in the early Kakatiya period and the mandapa and toranas were added during the period of Kakatiya Rudradeva (1158 – 1195 A.D.), the first sovereign ruler of the dynasty.

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