Pushpagiri town in
Cuddapah district is well known
for its numerous temples. Some of them are of considerable antiquity and a
few of artistic sculpture. Many of these shrines lie on or along a hill
devoid of vegetation, rising slopingly from the very edge of the Penneru,
which has fairly deep banks in this stretch. Actually it is this hill,
which is called Pushpagiri or sometimes 'Sumagiri'.
About the first decade of this century, as many as twenty-eight temples, mostly in ruins, were noted in the area. The largest and the best known among them is situated on the lower slopes of the hill, overlooking the hamlet of Pushpagiri on the other side of the river. It is known as 'Chennakesvara' or 'Chennakesava' Temple and is approached from the river, when it is wadable, by a long flight of steps, laid angularly.
The Rich Sculptural Art
Its entrance is surmounted by a lofty five-storeyed gopuram. The main temple in the yard within, has a few attendant temples on either side. The exterior walls containing the sculptures are built of limestone. The sculptures include those of Lord Shiva dancing with four and eight hands, Shiva and Arjuna fighting, Arjuna's penance, Arjuna getting 'Pasupatastra' from Shiva, Seshasayana, scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata, dancers, rows of warriors and other carvings with various animal and floral motifs and fancifully engraved pillars.
Time Of The Festivity
The annual utsavam of the Chennakesava temple lasts for ten days from Chaitra Bahula Thrayodasi(March-April) and attracts a large concourse. Some of the devotees make it a point to walk round the long Pushpagiri hills.
Road: Pushpagiri lies 16-km off Cuddapah town in Andhra Pradesh. It is connected by road from Cuddapah and commands APRTC bus facilities.
Hotel accommodation is available in Cuddapah.