Papanasi Temples near Alampur, Mahabubnagar (AP)

Papanasi Temples

Papanasi Temples

The group of temples called ‘Papanasi’ are located at a distance of 2 km. south of Alampur and consisted of 23- temples, datable to circa 10th-11th century A.D. These temples are a class by themselves and contain a cluster of shrines with plain walls and tiered pyramidal (Phamsana) roof types crowned by either square sikharas (Brahmachchanda) or sala sikharas, exceptionally in one case an apsidal one. The complex is within a prakara which is characterised by a pratoli (gate-way) marking the river side entrance.

The papa vinasesvara shrine is the largest one and square on plan with plain walls and a square griva-sikhara. It has a rangamandapa infront on carved pillars with an ashta-dikpala ceiling, Natya Siva occupying the central panel. The introduction of Buddha in the dasavatara grid of the agra-mandapa ceiling is unique and stands as the earliest attempt where Buddha was included as the 9th incarnation of Vishnu, in place of Krishna.

The Puranic theme of Samudra manthana is vividly carved on the pillar facets of mahamandapa of the central Trikuta shrine. The garbhagriha door-frame has four sakhas, the over-door has a hara of sala flanked by kutas. An ardhachandra with end-conches marked the entrance step. These examples have now been transplanted on a higher place, not far removed from their original locus as a result of the Srisailam Dam.

Papanasi Temples

Papanasi Temples

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