Two hundred and five years old Sri Jham Singh Balaji Venkateshwara Swamy Temple is at Gudimalkapur, near Mehdipatnam in Hyderabad. The antiquity of the Temple and the affix of Sri Jham Singh to the name of the Temple make it one of the most interesting Temples in Hyderabad. This Temple is not known to many people, however we heard of it and its history long back but we could visit the Temple only yesterday. While visiting distant places from our city we make it a point to see all the tourist attractions there but in our own city we get busy with our routine works, routine entertainment, routine leisure and tend to postpone sightseeing of lesser known places. And finally when we find time to visit such interesting and historic places in our neighborhood, the experience is quite thrilling and makes us happy.
The Temple is called Sri Jham Singh Temple because it was constructed by him. Jham Singh is a Rajput who migrated to Hyderabad from Uttar Pradesh in late 1700’s. He was a Cavalier in the Army of Nawab Sikander Jah Nizam III, the ruler of Hyderabad State from 1803-1829 A.D. According to the Temple lore, Jham Singh with a sharp equine knowledge was tasked with purchasing horses for the Nizam. With a good amount of money at his disposal for purchasing horses, he used part of the money to build this Temple for Balaji – Venkateshwara Swamy around 1810. Another legend states that Jham Singh while traveling to purchase horses in a distant land got a divine message in his sleep to construct a Temple, so he returned to Hyderabad without purchasing any horses and with that money and other resources he constructed this Temple for Sri Venkateshwara Swamy and the adjoining Temples of Lord Shiva, Lord Krishna and Nava Grahalu. The Nizam was very angry when he came to know about the construction of the Temple and he initiated penal action against Jham Singh. But fortunately Raja Chandu Lal the (Hindu) Prime Minister intervened and sought mercy for Jham Singh. The Nizam relented on the condition that a Mosque is built by Jham Singh close to the Temple. It was a happy and an extraordinary way of showing mercy by the Nizam. Jham Singh then built a Mosque opposite to the Temple on the other side of the road, which can be seen in the attached photographs. These details are very similar to an earlier occurrence in the province, the construction of Sri Seetha Ramachandra Swamy Temple at Bhadrachalam by Kancherla Gopanna / Bhakta Ramadasu (1620-1680) the local Tehsildar, during the reign of Abul Hasan Tana Shah by using State money, for which he was punished and then with divine intervention released and reinstated.
The presiding deity of Lord Venkateshwara Swamy with those of his consorts sculpted in black granite are in the main Temple. It is said that the idol of Lord Venkateshwara Swamy has a hint of moustache like that of a Rajput warrior and a dagger tucked at his side! which can be seen at the time of Abhishekam, but are not visible to us from the entrance. In front of this Temple, facing the main deity are the smaller idols of Hanuman and Garuda. And as mentioned earlier, next to the main sanctum sanctorum, are two smaller Temples with beautiful Gopurams, of Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna. There are very imposing three Dhwajasthambalu. The main entrance of the Temple is colorful and very beautiful and in front of this is the Naqqar Khana (place meant for playing Temple drums) now in ruins. You can see all these in the attached pictures. The Temple land is quite huge and I understand that some parts are under encroachment by typical land grabbers of Hyderabad and hence under litigation. The management and administration of the affairs of the Temple are now under the direct control of the State Endowments Department. Daily rituals, bhajans, kirtanas and all divine celebrations and annual festivals are conducted in accordance with ancient traditions.