The oldest temples of Andhra Pradesh are Tirupati Venkateswara Temple and the Kalahasteeswara Temple that date back to the pre-Christian times. The Chalukyas of Badami built the 6th century Alampur Bhrama temples that are excellent examples of Chalukyan art and sculpture. The Kakatiyas ruling from Warangal succeeded the later Chalukyas and constructed several beautiful temples during their reign from 11th to 14th centuries. These temples show a opulent display of intricate and elaborate sculptural work. The northeastern region of Andhra Pradesh under the rule of the Ganga Kings, show distinct impressions of Orissan temple architectural style in its shrines. The Vijayanagar Empire contribute the fanours Sree Sailam temple and the richly-decorated Lepakshi temples that have flat stuccoed granite ceilings prevalent at those times and beautiful frescos. Thus, the Andhra Pradesh temples are a testimony to the twists and turns of the history of the state and the the patronage of various kingdoms that took it under its wing such as the Cholas and Pallavas of Tamilnadu, the Chalukyas of Deccan, the Eastern Gangas and the Vijayanagar Kings. The reference of some of the ancient temples can be found in the songs and compositions of great author-saints of Tamil Nadu including saints of both Alwar (Vaishnavite) and Nayanmar (Saivite) sects of Hinduism.
in the thick, deep forests of Nallamalai hills in the Kurnool District
of Andhra Pradesh, Sreesailam Temple is one of the most ancient and
sacred places in South India. Standing on the shores of River Krishna
known as 'Pataalganga' here on the Rishabhagiri hill, it is also known
by the names of Sri Giri, Sriparvata, Rudra Parvata and Seshachalam. Its
reference can be found in several texts and Puranas. The presiding
deities of the temple are Sri Mallikarjuna Swami and his consort
Bharamaramba (incarnations of Shiva and Parvati). The lingam here is
said to be one of the twelve Jyotirlingams in the country.
Situated in a small village called Mandapalli, 38 km from Rajamundy, in
the East Godavari District of Anshra Pradesh, this famous temple is one
of the rare ones with Saneeshwara Bhagwan as its presiding deity. Also
known as Sri Mandeswara Swami Temple and Someswara Temple, it is said
that Saturn himself consecrated the linga representing Lord Shiva here.
The other deities of the temple are Bhrameswara and Nageswara enshrined
in the form of black stone Shiva Lingas. The small temple has some
interesting legends attached to it.
Said to be the world's richest temple, the Tirumati Tirumala Balaji
Temple is situated on the Tirumala hill on the outskirts of Tirupati in
the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. Famous all over the world as a
significant pilgrimage place, this ancient temple of Sri Venkateswara,
the Lord of Seven Hills, is so called as Tirumala hill is a cluster of
seven hills known as Seshachalam or Venkatachalam at an altitude of
2,800 ft above the sea level. The grand history of the temple spans over
several centuries and it is the backbone of the pilgrimage and tourism
industry of Andhra Pradesh.