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Kakatiya’s Tryst with Shaiva Shrines

Kusumanchi town is located between Khammam and Suryapet and is home to renowned temples of Mukkanteshwaralayam and Ganapeshwaralayam. These shrines were built by the Kakatiya rulers during 12th and 13th centuries and are a testimony to the architectural genius of Kakatiya kings.

These shrines are in a juxtaposed manner, with some space in between them. Each temple also consists of a small portico. These temples face northward direction.  The historical shrines of Shaivism bear striking resemblance to famous Ghanpur and Ramappa temples of Kakatiya period in Warangal district.

Mukkanteshwaralayam is located about two km from the road and a few meters away from the Ganapeshwaralayam. The shrines face northward direction. Out of the sixteen pillars of the common Rangamandapam in front of the three shrines, the central four pillars are highly polished, depicting the sculptural motifs of swans in the opposite direction.The temple of Ganapeshwaralayam has been constructed on a high adhistana. According to plan, it is a single shrine facing east with an antarala and pillared rangamandapam in front of it, with entrances on the north, south and east.

The temples also attract tourists, who arrive here to explore the glory of these centuries-old shrines, built during Kakatiya era. Every aspect of these temples stuns visitors, and it represents the skill and mastery of sculptors belonging to old times. Mukkanteshwaralayam attracts hundreds of devotees during Shivaratri festival and other occasions, even from neighboring districts.

The Department of Archaeology, Telangana has been working actively towards renovating the glory of Ganapeshwaralayam and Mukkanteshwaralayam. The Department had sanctioned funds under 13th Finance Commission in the year 2015 for restoring Sri Ganapeshwaralayam and Mukkanteshwaralayam in Kusumanchi to revive their lost glory. The entire stretch of this area is known for its archaeological significance.

The works included strengthening the foundations of the structures and reassembling the disturbed stones to restore the temples to their original glory. The Circumambulation Path (Pradakshina Path) has been restored at Mukkanteshwaralayam, which encompasses three small shrines in a single complex with a common mandapa.  The area surrounding these two temples is dotted with quite a few archaeological monuments including a megalithic menhir (a vertical standing stone). These temples are a living proof to the patronage of temples, especially the construction of magnificent temples dedicated to Lord Shiva by Kakatiya rulers.

How to reach

The town of Kusumanchi is situated about 21 km to the west of Khammam on Khammam-Hyderabad Highway. Khammam is connected to Hyderabad, the capital city of Telangana, located at a distance of approximately 195 km, through road and rail transport.

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