(Last Updated on : 12/02/2013)
Koulutla Chenna Kesava Temple, an ancient Hindu shrine echoing the fascinating tales of the mythological tales of Mahabharata
, is positioned in the dense reserved forest of Kappatralla at a distance of almost 50 kms from Kurnool District
headquarters in the Indian state
of Andhra Pradesh
. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Chennakesava installed in the sanctum sanctorum or garbhagriha
of the temple. The temple complex, reflecting the religious sentiments of the rulers of the bygone eras, was constructed by great Vijayanagara King, Sri Krishnadevaraya
. Besides the Koulutla Chena Kesava Temple other additional shrines, dedicated to Lord Shiva
, have been erected within the temple complex. These Shaivite temples are, Bramarambika and Vijaya Vinayaka Temple, Lord Viswanatha Temple, Mallikarjuna Swamy and Lord Dakshinamurthy Temple.
Legend of Koulutla Chenna Kesava Temple
The legendary tale associated with Koulutla Chenna Kesava Temple finds its association with the famous epic Mahabharata
. According to it King Parikshit
, the grandson of Arjuna
, succeeded to the throne after the Battle at Kurukshetra
and ruled over Hastinapur
when the Pandavas
along with Draupadi
retired to Kailasa
. One day, Parikshit went on a hunting spree. During his trip he felt thirsty and found a saint engaged in deep meditation. He went up to the saint asking for some water but the saint did not answer him. Raged and frustrated, the king thought of playing a prank on the sage by putting a snake around his neck. The saint, furious with the King on being disturbed during his meditation, cursed him that he would die within a week of snake bite. The curse of the sage turned fertile and King Parikshit died for being bitten by Takshaka, the Naga prince.
, the son of Parikshit, next ascended to the throne and became the king of Hatinapur. To avenge the death of his father he decided to perform Sarpa Yaga i.e. serpent penance. During the penance, Astika, who was born of a man and a Naga woman, approached the king to give a valuable piece of information that the penance was futile as Takshaka was safe under Lord Indra
's protection. Pleased with this significant information, the king offered Astika a wish. Astika, instead of asking for gold or silver, immediately requested to discontinue the snake sacrifice. As guaranteed, Janamejaya stopped the yagna.
Later saint Vashista approached Janamejaya with the advice to perform consecration (Prathista) of Vaishnava temples to repent for the offences of killing innocent snakes while performing Sarpa Yaga. A Chennakesava idol was thus, consecrated in Koundinya Asrama to serve the purpose of performing regular worship.
With the passage of time, the idol of the Lord was enveloped by an anthill (putta). Golla Koulutla, an ardent devotee of the Lord once found that his cow let her milk
flow down the anthill. That night Golla Koulutla dreamt of Lord Chennakesava (Lord Vishnu
) who advised him to re-consecrate his idol removing the anthill. As advised the idol was installed and was thence known as Koulutla Chennakesava Swamy.
According to the archaeological records of 1964, Agraharam Jamindara and Varadarajulu consecrate the idol of the Lord for the third time.
Festivals of Koulutla Chenna Kesava Temple
Every year Koulutla Chenna kesava Temple celebrates Brahmathsovams in Maghamasam. Devotees from different locations in Andhra Pradesh attend the Ratha Yatra
celebrated on a grand scale.
Koulutla Chenna Kesava Temple is well connected by different modes of transport. The temple is 10 kms away from Kurnool-Ballary Road, Kappatralla Bus Stop. Tourists can also avail the auto rickshaws available for the temple.