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Yaganti Gopuram Sikharam
|Proper name||Sri Yaganti Uma Maheswara Temple|
|Primary deity||Lord Shiva|
|History and governance|
|Date built||15th century|
Yaganti is located in the Kurnool District in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, approximately 100 km from the city of Kurnool. The temple is 14 km west of Banaganapalle (Mandal headquarters) on the Banaganapalle-Peapully road.
Sri Yaganti Uma Maheswara Temple is one of the few temples patronized by one of the great dynasties of India. Every year Maha Shivaratri is celebrated and a large number of devotees from all over Andhra Pradesh visit. Shiva, Parvati and Nandi are the main deities in this temple.This temple is 14 km away from Banaganipalli in kurnool dt. The saint lord Veerabrahmendra swami stayed here for some time and wrote Kalagnanam.
One story of the site's origin is as follows: The sage Agastya wanted to build a temple for Lord Venkateswara on this site. However, the statue that was made could not be installed as the toe nail of the idol got broken. The sage was upset over this and performed a penance for Lord Shiva. When Lord Shiva appeared, he said the place suits Shiva better as it resembles Kailash. Agastya then requested Lord Shiva to give the devotees a Parvathi Goddess as Lord Uma Maheswara in a single stone, which Lord Shiva obliged.
A second story is as follows: Chitteppa, a devotee of Lord Shiva, was worshiping Lord Shiva and Lord Shiva appeared to him as a tiger. Chitteppa understood that it was Lord Shiva in tiger form, and shouted Neganti Shivanu ne kanti (meaning: I saw Shiva I saw), and danced with joy. There is a cave called Chitteppa nearby.
A feature of this temple is its Pushkarini, a small pond of water on the temple premises. Water flows into this Pushkarini from the bottom of hill through the mouth of a Nandi (bull). The water is fresh and sweet, as it comes from the hills. No one knows how the water reaches the pond all year round and this temple architecture in terms of its sculpture shows the skills of ancient Vishwakarma Sthapathis. Devotees find that a holy bath in Pushkarini is highly beneficial. After taking a bath in Pushkarini, they pay tributes to Lord Shiva.
The sage Agasthya bathed in Pushkarini and worshipped Lord Shiva.
This is the cave where Agastya performed his penance for Lord Shiva. One can enter the cave by climbing 120 steep steps. An idol to Devi is installed and may be worshipped here.
The damaged idol of Lord Venkateswara is present in this cave. Compared to Agastya cave it is easy to climb though the steps are steep. According to the story this idol was present in this cave before the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple was constructed. But as the idol is damaged near the foot, it could not be worshipped. Sri Sri Potuluri Veera Brahmendra Swami tells us in his Kala Gynanam that this place can stand as an alternative to Tirupati. This temple has very beautiful scenic locations nearby.
Veera Brahmam Cave
This is the cave where saint Sree Potuluri Veera Brahmendra swamy wrote some of his Kala Gnaanam (prophecy). The height of the cave is less and one needs to bend half over to enter it.
The devotees believe that the Nandi idol in front of the temple is continuously increasing its size. The locals say that the idol was initially much smaller than its present size. They say that certain experimentation was carried out on this idol and it was said that the type of rock out of which the idol is carved has a growing or enlarging nature associated with it. Archaeological Survey of India has confirmed that the idol increases by 1 inch in every 20 years. Experiment suggests that the rock used to make the idol exhibits a growing nature.
It is said that people used to do Pradakshinas (rounds) around it in the past. The temple staff has already removed one pillar as the size of the Nandi has increased.
Absence of crows
Legend has it that while the Sage Agastya was performing his penance, crows disturbed him and he cursed that the crows cannot enter the place. As the crow is the Vahana for Lord Shani, it is believed that Lord Shani cannot enter this place.
Ancient Siva temple in Danger
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