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Temples of Andhra Pradesh

The town of Mukhalingam is located in the north eastern corner of the state of Andhra Pradesh, near Orissa - 56 km north of Srikakulam, a major railhead on the railroad between Vishakapatnam and Howrah. The ornate temple of Mukhalingeswara (Madhukeswara) , and the Aniyanka Bhimeswara and Someswara temples built in the Orissa style of architecture   adorn this village.

Mukhalingam - then known as Kalinganagara was the capital of the early eastern Gangas (of Orissa). The eastern Gangas are said to have ruled Andhra Desa in the second half of the 1st millennium CE. Anantavarman Chodaganga of the Imperial Gangas, moved the capital to Cuttack, on the banks of the river Mahanadi. Several grand temples in Bhubaneswar are attributed to the Gangas.

The Mukhalingeswara temple: A massive gateway flanked by lions marks the entrance to the outer prakara of the Mukhalingeswara temple. A Nandi Mandapa is situated in front of the sanctum in the outer prakara. The entrance to the innter prakara contains beautiful friezes. There are eleven shrines in the inner prakara, each of them being a temple in itself. The entrance to the main temple from the south and from the east in the inner prakara are acclaimed to be artistic marvels. The niches in the outer wall of the temple contain beautifully sculpted images and perforated windows, all these features making this temple a veritable art gallery of sorts. It is believed to have been built during the period of the King Kamarnava (941-976 CE).

The Someswara Temple:  The simplicity of architecture (blanketed by the grandeur of sculpture) has led archeologists to conclude that this is the earliest of the Mukhalingam temples. This temple is located in the outskirts of the village of Mukhalingam. The niche images here carry exquisite sculptures. Each niche is flanked by two smaller niches, and in each of these are exquite sculptures. The doorway of the temple bears images of the Ganga and the Yamuna on either side.

Aniyanka Bhimeswara Temple: This temple was built slightly later than the Mukhalingeswara temple during the period of King Aniyanka Bhima (979-1014 CE). This temple is very plain compared to the grandeur of the Mukhalingeswara temple. The devakoshtas here bear images of Bhrama, Narasimha and Dakshinamurthy.

See Also: 
Abodes of Shiva
Sree Sailam
Sree Kalahasti