Mysterious Chaya Someshwara Swamy Temple Panagal Nalgonda
Shri Chaya Someshwara Swamy Temple
, is an Ancient Hindu Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva
, located in Nalgonda District of Telangana
. Panagal of Nalgonda District
was an important religious place for the rulers of Kakatiya Dynasty
. There are two famous Shiva temples in Panagal, "Chaya Someshwara Swamy Temple"
and "Pachala Someshwara Swamy Temple"
. The Deity in the temple is famous as "Chaya Someshwara Swamy"
due to the Vertical Chaya
(shadow) present in daylight, on the Shiva Lingam forming a permanent shadow of a pillar.
This shadow is constant and visible from sunrise to sunset everyday. The construction of this temple is marvellous which features such exceptional sight.
Chaya Someshwara Swamy Temple Panagal Nalgonda Telangana
This temple is also known as "Thrikutalayam" which means 'Three Garbhagrihas'. One of the garbhagrihas is situated in the west and east facing one contains this continuous shadow of a pillar throughout the day on the presiding deity. The temple is facing west and the deity towards east.
Panagal Chaya Someshwar Temple Nalgonda District
Recently, The "Department of Archaeology and Museums"
is all set to provide chemical treatment on the walls of the temple which has fungus deposition and will also take up measures to preserve the temple walls.
The "Panagal Arcehological Museum"
constructed in the compound of "Pachala Someswara Swamy Temple"
has some sculptures collected from this area of 1st century AD, kept in well preserved and protected manner. This museum also gives us a sight of well preserved ancient shivalingas collected from a village called Yelleswaram, which was once submerged during the construction of Nagarjuna Sagar Dam.
Panagal Archeological Museum Nalgonda Telangana
History of this Temple:
It is an Ancient Temple which was built during the 11th and 12th century AD by "Ikshvaku Dynasty"
. It later got ruled by Kunduru Cholas in 12th century AD, who ruled Nalgonda district, Khammam and Mahabubnagar districts between 1040 AD and 1290 AD. Panagal of Nalgonda
was an important religious place during Kakatiya period. There is an inscription which mentions the name of Kakatiya's greatest king Pratap Rudra on Pachala Someswara temple supporting that these temples were erected for the greater glory of the Kakatiya ruler’s favourite god, Lord Shiva.
History of Chaya Someshwara Temple Nalgonda District
Chaya Someshwara Temple Nalgonda
The walls and the pillars of the temple got many times painted by successive kings and also depict the Epics from Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Pillars of the Temple Depicting Epics of Ramayana and Mahabharatha
Architectural Wonders of this Temple:
It is an amazing temple with beautiful architecture, engineered by the Kunduru Cholas, an amalgamation of fantastic creativity, wonderful thoughts and scientific knowledge of its architects. The temple complex houses three deities – Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva each facing three different directions connected by a common mahamandapam. The temple also illustrates wonderful sculpture and art work.
As in many Hindu temples, Lord Ganesha is seen at the entrance of this temple and on the other side is seen Idol of Naga devatha.
Other Deities in the Temple
There is another architectural wonder apart from this Shadow which falls on the deity of the temple. If one stands infront of this Shiva Lingam in the inner sanctum they will find their own shadow divided into 2 postures behind the wall of the deity.
There is Lord Vishnu temple on the right side of this Shiva temple, here one can notice their hand when waved standing infront of the deity, it splits into 5 shadow postures.
Temple of Lord Vishnu
As in many Hindu temples, Lord Ganesha is seen in the entrance of the temple and on the other side is seen Idol of Naga devatha.
According to Hindu mythology Tri-murthis means Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Bhrama but Kakatiya rulers were ardent followers of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and the Sun God, they didn't worship Lord Bhrama. Hence, there is even a Sun temple opposite to Shiva temple.
The Nandi idols and some other god idols are in a very bad shape due to poor maintainence. This temple needs attention, today the temple authorities are taking necessary measures to install new nandi infront of the sanctum sanctorium of Lord Shiva.
The Ruins of Nandi and Other Gods
Scientific Reason Behind this Shadow:
It's been a secret for long years how and where that shadow comes from. Scientists conducted many researchers to know its cause, it was than that it's secret was cracked that shadow was formed due to "Diffraction of Light" which was caused by all the pillars in the temple. As per records, this "Diffraction Phenomenon" was scientifically discovered by western world in 1660, by an Italian scientist Francesco Maria Grimaldi who was the first to record accurate observations of this phenomenon and coined this word "Diffraction"
This mysterious shadow is the main reason which attracts a huge number of pigrims to this temple. The chaya that falls on the deity looks like a shadow of one of the pillars carved in front of the sacred chamber (Garbhagriha of Lord Shiva). But it is not actually the shadow of one pillar.
The dark area was formed due to the reflection of light through multiple pillars placed in front of garbhagriha and the shadow covering the deity is a consolidated shadow of those four pillars. The pillars in the temple were so strategically placed that the light falls at the same place (on deity) throughout the day.
Thus, it is concluded that this Chaya (Shadow) which appears on the Shiva Lingam is due to the distraction of Light on the pillars.
The temple opens in the Morning : 06:00AM - 12:00PM and in the Evening : 03:00PM - 08:00PM.
Celebration of Festivals in the Temple:
It is observed that during normal days, there is less movement of people towards the temple. The festivals like Maha Shivarthri (Feb or March), Tholi Ekadashi (Jun or July) and Kartika Masam (Nov-Dec) are the most important festivals celebrated to Lord Shiva and attracts a huge number of devotees to the temple.
Some nearby places to visit are:-
• Udaya Samudram - A huge water tank near the Temple
• Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple
• Pachala Someshwara Swamy Temple and its Architecture
• Archeological museum in the compound of Pachala Someshwara Swamy Temple
How to Reach: Panagal is located 4km from the district headquarters of Nalgonda. Nalgonda is easily accessible by road and rail, situated 100km away from Hyderabad. Panagal is next to Nalgonda city on Addanki - Narkatpally highway which extends to Hyderabad around 94km, Suryapet around 55km, and Guntur around 190km.
By Road: The buses are frequently available in Nalgonda to reach the temple.
By Train: The railway lines are well connected from all the major cities of the country. Nalgonda is the nearest railway station which is around 2.1km away from the temple.
By Air: The Nearest International Airport is at Hyderabad around 117km. The other nearest airport is at Vijayawada around 203kms to the temple.
Image Courtesy:mashpedia.com, www.ghatroads.in, www.tripadvisor.in, www.telanganamuseums.com, hammsha.blogspot.in