Pallikondeswara Temple

Pallikondeswara Temple, Surutapalli

Andhra Pradesh India Shiva Temples

Pallikondeswara Temple(also Pradosha kshetram) is a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Shiva located in Surutapalli, a village in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India. The presiding deity Pallikondeswara, unlike other Siva Temples, will be in reclining posture in the lap of his consort Parvati.

The Temple

Palli Kondeswarar translates to reclining deity. Shiva as Palli Kondeswarar is seen in reclining posture in the lap of his consort Parvati as Sarva Mangalambika, which is typical of Ranganatha form of the god Vishnu. The temple was built during the late Vijayanagara period and the deity here is termed as Bhoga sayana Siva. This icon of Shiva is unusual; most Shiva temples contain a Lingam, his aniconic symbol, as the central icon. The gods Ganesha, Kartikeya, Surya, Chandra, Indra and sages such as Narada are seen standing around Shiva.
The performance of Pradosha here is noteworthy. The temple has countless icons, besides the central icon:
Gods: Brahma, Vishnu, Chandra, Kubera, Surya, Indra, Ganesha, Kartikeya with consorts Valli and Devayanai
Sages: Bhrigu, Markandeya, Narada, Agastya, Pulastya, Gautama, Tumburu, Vashista, Viswamitra, Valmiki
Adhishankara, another form of Shiva, in a separate niche.
Navagraha deities in a shrine
Sanganidhi and Padumanidhi with their consorts Vasundara and Vasumadhi respectively.

Legend

During the Samudra manthan (churning of the ocean of milk) by the gods and demons, many treasures along with the Amrita (elixir of the gods) and the poison Halahala rose from the ocean. To rescue the beings of the world from the poison, Shiva consumed it. When the poison was just going down the throat of Shiva, his consort Parvati stopped it there by tightly holding Shiva’s throat, turning Shiva’s neck blue. After the episode, Shiva proceeded to his abode Kailash with Parvati. On the way, he felt exhausted and slightly uncomfortable, when he reached a place in the bounds of Andhra, which came to be called Suruttappalli. There, He lied down to relax, keeping his head in the lap of Parvati. The gods, who were concerned about Shiva’s well-being assembled there and stood around him, waiting for the Lord to open his eyes. This lying posture of Shiva is rare and unique, is almost similar to Vishnu’s reclining posture.

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