Uma Maheswara Temple and the three caves, located in the Kurnool district of the state of Andhra Pradesh are fast becoming one of the well known tourist attractions of the state.
About the Yaganti Temple in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh
Yaganti is located at the Kurnool District of the state of Andhra Pradesh and is known for the Yaganti Uma Maheswara Temple which is placed at about 100 kilometers from the city of Kurnool. the temple is located in the banaganapalle mandal on the Banaganapalle – Peapuly rod at about 13 kilometers west of the town Banaganapalle.
History and the legend of the Uma Maheswara Temple
Sri Yaganti Uma Maheswara temple was constructed in the 15th century by the King Harihara Bukka Rayalu of the Sangama Dynasty of the Vijayanagara Empire, according to the vaishnavite traditions. This is one of the few temple patronized by one of the greatest dynasties of India, namely, the Vijayanagara dynasty. Maha sivarathri is the main festival which is celebrated in this temple and devotees come from far and near to attend the function. Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvathi and Nandi are the main deities of this temple.
Here at this Yaganti temple you can see Uma, the Goddess Parvathi and Maheswara, the Lord Shiva in a single stone statue. The story according to the priests at the temple is that sage Agastya was trying to install a staue of Lord Venkateswara in the cave there but he found that the staue had a defective toe nail and could not be installed. So the sage prayed to god Shiva and asked for the statue of Lord Shiva and Parvathi together in a single stone. Lord Shiva agreed to the sage’s wish and so there is a single staue there of both Uma and Maheswara and hence the name to the temple.
Pushkarini Pond in the temple
Pushkarini is a small pond of water and the water flows into the Pond through the mouth of Nandi, from somewhere near the bottom of the hill. This is one of the main features of the temple and the water is fresh and sweet. No one has been able to find where the water comes from but the water comes all the year round. Devotees say and believe that a holy bath in the Pushkarini is highly beneficial. It is said that sage Agasthya bathed in this pond and prayed to Lord Shiva.
Features of the Yaganti Uma Maheswara temple
An interesting feature of the Uma Maheswara temple is that the Nandi keeps growing at the rate of 1 inch in 20 years. It is also said Pradakshinas were done to Nandi before and now the temple staff have had to remove a pillar. According to the prophecy of Veera Brahmam, the Nandi or the basavanna of yaganti, will come alive and shout at the end of kaliyuga.
One more feature here is that you will not be able to see any crows here as sage Agasthya had cursed them when they disturbed himwhile he was performing penance there.
The crows cannot enter the area at all, it is believed.
Yaganti Caves near the Uma Maheswara temple
There are 3 caves namely Agasthya Cave, Venkateswara Cave and the VeeraBrahmam Cave.
Agasthya Cave is the cave in which Sage Agasthya did penance for Lord Shiva. There are 120 steps which should be climbed to enter the cave, an idol of Devi is installed here.
Venkateswara Cave is the one where the damaged idol Venkateswara is installed. The steps are easier to climb than that of Agasthya Cave even though the steps are steep. This idol is said to be older than the Thirumalai idol of Lord Venkateswara but this cannot be worshipped as there is a defect in tthe toe. You can see some beautiful scenery and scenic locations from this place. It is also said that this hill can be taken as an alternative to Thirumala Tirupati according to Veera Brahmam Prophecy
Veera Brahmam Cave is the place where the Saint Shri Potuluri Veera Brahmendra Swamy wrote a part of his Kala Gnaanam. One had to bend about half over to enter the cave as the height of the cave is very less.