Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sri Shwethambar Jain Tirth Temple, Kolanpak / Kolanupaka.


The Jain Temple at Kolanupaka is very ancient. It is said to be 2000 to 2500 years old. However its history from the Chalukyan period in the 11th Century is well documented. This Temple is an important place of pilgrimage for the Jains all over the country. Kolanupaka is said to be known by different names in the past, Bimbavatipuram, Vyakhyananagaram, Kottiyapaka, Kollihaka, Kollipaka and Kolanpak. This place gained importance when it was made the alternate capital of the Kalyani Chalukyas in the 11th Century. The Temple is 80 Kms. from Secunderabad and 6 Kms. from Aleru. Aleru is on the Hyderabad – Warangal highway. We have been to this Temple thrice during some of our visits to the famous Sri Laxmi Narasimha Swamy Temple at Yadagirigutta, which is along the same route, 64 Kms. from our house.
There are many ancient and important idols of Tirthankaras at this Temple. The grandeur of the idol of Manekya Swami and the idol of Lord Mahaveera which is 52 inches high and made of single piece of Jade is very attractive. The idols of Lord Simandhar Swami and Mata Padmavati are installed on either side of the main Temple. Every year, in the month of Chaitra, from Krishna paksha Thrayodashi to Pournami for three days thousands of devotees come here and worship. Jains believe that 15 visits to this Temple more popularly known as Kulpak Tirth or Sri Kulpakji Tirth on Full Moon days and performing Seva, Tapa and Japa will end all their troubles and keep them happy.
The Temple has undergone a number of renovations in its long history, the recent one being completed in 2008. The beauty of the modern Temple and the ancient idols can be seen in the above pictures.
Apart from the Jain Mandir, Kolanupaka has Sri Veeranarayana Temple and Sri Someshwara Temple, which are also ancient. This place is said to have co-existed with Jains and Saivites in the 11th Century A.D. According to recorded history Kolanupaka is the birth place of Sri Renukacharya the great Veera Saiva saint, believed to be born from the Svayambaghu Linga at this place and absorbed into it after preaching Veera Saivam. The importance and glory that Kolanupaka enjoyed under the Chalukyas was gradually lost under the Chola and the Kakatiya rulers who followed. Today it is just a small village with the Jain Mandir as its main attraction.

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