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Fascinating Kasipatnam Tree Temple

Author: Sudha Raju
Publication: Myind.net
Date: July 20, 2020
URL:   https://myind.net/Home/viewArticle/fascinating-kasipatnam-tree-temple

Few months ago, I read about the Tree temple of Kasipatnam. It looked and sounded fascinating. Since I love exploring old temples I visited it.

Kasipatnam is 73 kms from Visakhapatnam city on the way to Araku Valley. The tree temple is said to be 400 years old. It is the temple of Lord Shiva known as Uma Ramalingeshwara Swamy temple. In the beginning, it was a small temple that was popular and many people used to visit it along with few members of the royal family. Later with the changing times and changing political scenario in our country, the patronage stopped and the people also slowly forgot about the temple. A banyan tree which was beside the temple began to grow and started covering the temple. With no one to put a check on the growth, over the years the tree covered the major part of the temple.

After doing the Pradakshina (circumambulation) and taking pictures I entered the temple. The temple has a small entrance room which leads to the Garbagriha (sanctum). It was dark in the entrance room and a branch has grown into the room.

By flashing a torch, I saw Ganeshji on the left side and Parvati Ma on the right side of the door. They are new murtis, but the stone murtis that must have originally been there are also kept on the floor.

I was hesitating to go inside the Garbagriha. Though a regular pujari is not there, someone takes care of the temple and we could see a lamp lit beside the Shivalinga. Seeing my interest in capturing the structure of the temple, some visitors told me to go inside and take pictures of the roof. I went inside and was surprised.

The height of the roof was something that people seeing from outside would never expect. It was high and fascinating. No part of this upper structure (vimana) is visible from outside. So you must just assume the age of this tree and the temple.

Later someone who saw this picture told me that the roof of the garbagriha of an 8th century temple in Tamil Nadu is exactly similar. Since there is no record of when the tree temple was first built, people just assumed it was 400 years old by the recollections of their elders.

Another interesting fact is that this place is completely surrounded by tribal area. All the villages around have tribal sounding names. But this village is called Kasipatnam and the next village is called Sivalingapuram. This made me wonder about what was the story behind the temple and this place.

The temple has a very peaceful aura but sadly no one knows the history behind it.

This article is taken from my book ‘ANCIENT TEMPLES My Travelogue’.


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