Temple of spirituality and architectural marvel
Ancient Chaya Someshwaralayam
An Ancient Shaivite temples "Chaya Someswaralayam " located in Panagal of Nalgonda town evokes spirituality as well as architectural marvels of ancient times.
As per the historians and information of inscriptions the temple was built around the mid of 11th century during the rule of Kunduru Chodas (A branch of Tamil Cholas), supported and embellished further by later Hindu Dynasties of Telangana.
The temple is called Trikutalayam as it was designed with three sanctums which are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Surya.
The Mandapam in the temple was placed in such a way that it is at equidistant to three thresholds of Shiva , Vishnu and Surya temples.
The scenes of Ramayana, Mahabaratha and mythologies were carved in miniature form as carvings in four pillars of the Mandapam . Carvings reflects the artistic skill of sculptors of ancient times.
Temple witnesses huge crowds during the festival days. Devotees in and around the Nalgonda visit the temple on Shiva Ratri and Karthika Pournami and pay their vows to Swamy.
Significance of chaya someshwara temple:
The Pillars of Ardhamandapa and open spaces near the central Shiva temple were designed in such a way as to cast a unified Shadow (Chaya) constantly on the lingam throughout the day, irrespective of position of the sun. This architectural marvel gave the Chaya Someshwara name to the temple.
It may be noted that The unified shadow (Chaya) on Lingam also appears at midnight on every full moon day. The Chaya Someshwara temple is a composite of temples within a complex. Wall of the compound was built from large blocks of stone.
Other than the main temple, there are six subsidiary shrines within the Prakara walls. Two of these are located to the south of the main temple. Three towards the west and one in the North.
These were likely added after the main temple, because they lack symmetry in layout. The three –sanctum temple is an auster cube with plain walls. On each is a Phamsana-type Vimana structure.
Of the three temples, the one on the east houses Surya, the solar deity and the one facing north has a Vishnu temple, the third one houses Sri Someshwara (Lord Shiva), the main deity in the form of Lingam. The temple got it's name as there is an everlasting shadow (Chaya) on the Shiva Lingam in the main temple all day long. The ceiling blocks are carved with the central section featuring Ashta –Dikpala and Natraj (Dancing Shiva ) in the centre. Water to the temple pond comes from the manmade ancient reservoir Udayasamudram located a few meters away from the temple. The temple is located in Pangal at a distance of 4 kms from Nalgonda town and about 102 kms from Hyderabad. The temple is located in agriculture fields near the reservoir called the Udaya Samudram.
The other visiting places in Pangal are Pachala Someshwaralayam and Pangal archeological museum.
Temple committee chairman Gantla Anatha Reddy speaking to the media, along with like minded people and donors, and said, "Facilities in and around the temple complex have improved considerably." He described Chaya Someshwara Temple as an Engineering marvel of ancient times and added that desires of people can be realised by doing Dhyanam in temple premises. The problems from Lord Shani (Saturn) can be addressed by visiting Chaya Someshwaralayam on Mondays. Large number of devotees visit Chaya Someshwara temple on Maha Shivaratri, Karthika Pournima and on others festival days. "Women light Kartika Deepam ( Diyas) at the steps of Temple Koneru to get Lord Shiva Blessings to their family members during auspicious Karthika Masam," he added.