Komuravelli (Siddipet): Not many people know that Mallanna Sagar, the controversial reservoir being built in Thoguta mandal was ironically named after Lord Mallanna, a reincarnation of Lord Shiva. Proximity of Komuravelli Mallanna temple with Thoguta mandal was probably the reason for naming the reservoir so.
Every year, between Sankranthi and Ugadi festivals, a jatara (village fair) is held on a grand scale in this Mallanna temple, which was said to be set up by Lord Mallikarjuna Swamy himself. Legend has it that a sage had performed penance for years in this area and that God came into his dreams and told him that he would establish himself there. During the penance, out of the vibhuti and other colourful holy stuff, emerged a kind of mud, with which Mallikarjuna Swamy’s idol along with his two wives’ (Medalamma and Kethamma) idols by his side were made.
It is also believed that Mallikarjuna Swamy was the son of Lord Shiva and that he had come to settle in Komuravelli on a massive chariot which is still located outside the temple. There is a koneru (bathing place), dhwaja sthamba and Lord Mallikarjuna’s foot imprints in one of the temples within the temple.‘Ollu Banda,’ which is also within the temple, is believed to work wonders for couples having no offspring.
It is also funny to know that some priests believe Lord Mallikarjuna Swamy’s real name was Malla Reddy and that his father’s name was Aadi Reddy. This could have been an attempt which happened during the period when feudal landlords tried to tweak history and include their names. There is also a temple of Renukacharya Someshwara Swamy located right beside the Mallanna temple. It is believed that Someshwara was the guru for Mallikarjuna Swamy and he had emerged from Shiva Linga.
A very interesting thing to see here is that priests from Lingayat community who are the priests offer prayers to Goddess Medalamma who they claim belonged to their community while people from Yadava community offer prayers to Goddess Kethamma who they claim belonged to their community. It is believed that Mallikarjuna Swamy had performed inter-caste marriage (that too twice), much before social reformers were even born in India. It is also interesting to see women priests in some of these temples.
Goddess Yellamma’s (a local deity) temple is located on a hillock right beside Mallanna temple. She is believed to be Mallanna’s elder sister. Apart from her temple, there are also Nalla Pochamma, Hanuman and Veerabhadra Swamy temples on the hillock. There is also a formation of huge boulders popularly known as Soodimani gundlu on top of the hillock, from where tourists can see 360 degrees of spectacular view.
It is also interesting to see Lord Mahaveer’s standing sculpture carved on a huge boulder with a five headed snake on his head. It could be seen while walking on the stairs towards the hill top. Many devotees who go to the hillock have a superstition that placing rock on top of rock (a few of them) and making a wish to build a house/ building/ would materialise if they did so. On every rock or boulder one would see hundreds if not thousands of artificial rock formations.
This year’s Mallanna jatara started on Sankranthi and will go on for another five weeks. Brahmotsavams during this period include peddapatnam for shivasattus and those doing Shiva deeksha, parade of utsa vigrahas, nitya kalyanam (9.30 am to 11.30 am), abhishekas (6 am to 10 am) and so on.
If a devotee wants to visit the temple in the next few weeks, Tuesday to Friday can save their money because rooms to stay are very expensive between Saturday and Monday. Rooms rented-out between Saturday and Monday range anywhere between Rs 500 to Rs 3,000. The same rooms could cost just between Rs 100 and 200 in the remaining days.
When The Hans India asked senior priests what was the speciality in this temple that it has been attracting lakhs of devotees from neighbouring AP, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra, Padigannagari Mallaiah, the Vice Archak of the temple said, “Energy keeps increasing in this temple with every kalyanam and abhisheka we do here every single day of the year,” said. Lakhs of devotees are expected to visit Mallanna temple and enjoy the feel of Mallanna Jatara during Shivarathri this year (on February 23, 24 and 25).