(Last Updated on : 21/03/2013)
Pangal is a Panchashwara temple of Andhra Pradesh
state of India. It is situated on the Nilgiri or Blue Hills, which was known as the holy land trodden by Lord Rama
and Sita. As per the history, it is said that, a branch of the Kudumba dynasty of the Andhra kings ruled this area with Pangal as their capital, till Kirthivarman, the Chalukyan king, defeated the Andhras.
Later, Pangal became a part of the kingdom of the Kakatiya kings. During the late 10th century, they created the beautiful temple of Pachala Someshwara and Chayala Someshwara at Pangal. The plan of the Pacheshwara temple is a bit unusual. The Panchashwara temple has a large rectangular hall, which is divided north to south into four aisles by rows of exquisitely sculptured pillars. In this temple, three separate shrines dedicated to the Trimurthis, Lord Brahma
, Lord Vishnu
and Lord Shiva
can be seen towards the west of the hall. The pillars and the ceiling of the temple are carved nicely and reflect the beauty and majesty of stone sculptures. The scenes from The Ramayana, The Mahabharata
and Siva Leela, such as the abduction of Sita, Anantha Sayana, Thandava Siva, Dikpalakas, etc can be seen in these sculptures.
The Panchashwara temple of Pangal has a Mandapa opposite the Siva shrine. In the middle of the mandapa, there stands an impressive effigy of a couchant Nandi of very delicate work. The visitors can see the have beautiful screens and wall paintings carved in polished black stone on the sides of the chamber. Beautiful figures of gods, goddesses, dancing damsels, and such other sculptures can be found in the outer walls of the temple. The decoration of the temple is done by maintaining its originality. The vertical lines of scrolls with figures re-interspersed between them were introduced in these decorations of the temple. The artistic effect of this decoration is quite visible, which is extremely charming. The little fat figurines resemble the grana groups of Buddhist sculpture
, which are shown jumping and frolicking in the branches or the popular elephant God.
The sculptures of the Panchashwara temple sometimes represent Ganesha dancing, sometimes riding on his rat. It shows the great comic sense on the part of the sculptor.
The entire carving displays a highly developed technique and skill of the craftsmen. Some of the female figures display wonderful grace of pose and sense of proportion.