The city of Vijayawada
in Andhra Pradesh is home to three distinctive temples - the Kanakadurga
temple, the Malleswara temple and the Vijayeswara
temple. Near Vijayawada is the hill temple complex of Mangalagiri
dedicated to Narasimha.
Historically the Malleswara
temple goes back to the period of the Tribhuvana Malla, a Chalukyan ruler
of the 10th century CE.
The Malleswara temple enshrines a Shivalingam
believed to have been held in worship by the sage Agastya. Legend also
has it that this temple was established by the Pandava prince Yuddhishtra.
It is believed that the Lakshmi Narasimha temple at the foothills of Mangalagiri
nearby was also built by Yuddhishtra the Pandava prince, and that the Vijayeswara
temple was founded by Arjuna.
It is believed that Agastya worshipped
Shiva at this temple as Jayasena, while Arjuna worshipped him as Malleswara.
The Indrakila hill in
Vijayawada is said to be associated with the legend of Arjuna (Vijaya)
obtaining the Pasupataastram from
Shiva. The Vijayeswara temple has this and many other such legends illustrated in stone
The Kanakadurga temple is
a well visited temple in Vijayawada enshrining the Chandi or the Durga aspect of Shakti.
The spiritual leader Aadi Sankara is believed to have visited this shrine and installed a