Vijayawada contains three ancient temples - the Kanaka Durga temple, the Malleswaraswamy temple and Vijayeswaraswami temple.
Deity: Lord Shiva
The temple is dedicated to Lord Siva as Malleswara or Jayasena. The origin or installation of Kanaka - Durga Devi at Vijayawada is unknown. She is said to be Swayambu or self manifest. She is manifest as Chandi or destroyer of the demon Durgama.
Legend: Mallikarjuna or Malleswara idol was installed by Yudhishthira as a token of their victory over the South. Thribhuvana Malla the western Chalukya king is said to have constructed the temple in the 10th century. Vijayawada is known in mythology as Vijayavata, and is mentioned in some inscriptions as Rajendracholapura also. It is a famous place of pilgrimage on the Krishna River.
Architecture: Vijayawada is surrounded by many hillocks and the most important is Seethanagaram, while the less important one is called Kanakadurga or Kanaka konda. On the southern side of the Kanakadurga temple, is a hillock with sculptures with inscriptions giving the names of Gods and Goddesses. Most of these are forms of Durga. One hill is called Indrakila, as mentioned in the Mahabharata where the Arjuna obtained from Lord Siva Pasupatastra.
The shrine represents many other events of the Mahabharata commemorated in sculpture. On the Indrakila there are several rock-cut temples. These are ancient temples, but were completely buried till discovered while constructing a road. The temple is an excellent example of stone sculpture for it contains on its four faces the story of Kiratarjuneeyam.
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