Rock Cut Temples (Temple Architecture)

Rock cut Hindu Temples in Andhra Pradesh were majorly built by Kondavidu chiefs. Bhairavakonda Temple near Nellore and Undavalli Temple near Vijayawada which were built in 7th – 8th century are best examples for rock-cut temples.

Bhairavakonda, (near Nellore)    

In the 7th –8th Centuries AD, Kondavidu chiefs ruled over a large part of eastern Deccan. Bhairavakonda near Nellore has remains of several rock cut Hindu temples dedicated to God Shiva and other Hindu deities.

The shrines have Lingas and also small images of Shiva and other gods. The column bases have seated lions and the entrances are guarded by huge figures with clubs. Monuments in Bhairavakonda are similar to the Pallava style of architecture that flourished further south in Tamilnadu.

Undavalli, (near Vijayawada)

Like Bhairavakonda, Undavalli is also a 7th – 8th century, Kondavidu site with rock cut Hindu temples. The largest among the temples is four storeyed in height; each successive upper storey being recessed from the lower one.

Projected eaves separate the floors from each other. Parapets at upper levels are lined with large lions and other figures. There are four shrines in four interconnected mandapas. Columns and walls have images of Vishnu in Anantashayana and Vishnu on Garuda sculpted on them.

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