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Gudimallam village is about 30 kms from Tirupati via the Tirupati – Sri kalahasti route near to Papanaidupet, has got great prominence because it has a beautiful Shiva Temple, which is popularly known as the Parasurameswara Temple. The Gudimallam Temple is considered to be the oldest Shiva temple identified so far tracing to 3rd century BC. The Lord here is known as Parasurameswara and this lingam is believed to depict the trinity. The legend of the temple connects it to Parasurama, an avatar of Lord Vishnu.
Sri Parasurameswara Temple is built on the banks of the Suvaranamukhi river. There is a fascinating tale about this place.
Legend has it that Parashuram’s mother Renuka was suspected of infidelity by her husband Sage Jamadagni. The Sage ordered Parashurama to behead his mother. Parashurama obeyed his father and when Sage Jamadagni wanted to reward his son, Parashurama asked him to bring his mother back to life. And she was brought back to life.
But Parashuram could not overcome guilt of beheading his mother and he felt remorse about his act. As a penance he was advised by other Rishis to worship Shiva at Gudimallam.
After searching for several days, Parashurama found the temple in the middle of a forest. He dug a pond nearby and began his penance.
Every day morning a single flower used appear in the pond and Parashuram offered it to Shiva. To guard the single flower, he appointed Chitrasena, a Yaksha. Chitrasena was actually a manifestation of Lord Brahma.
Chitrasena had kept a condition that to guard the flower he should be given an animal to eat and a pot of toddy. Parashuram agreed to it and he used to hunt an animal for Chitrasena daily.
One day when Parshuram went out to hunt, Chitrasena felt tempted to worship Shiva himself. He used the single flower to worship Shiva. An enraged Parashurama attacked Chitrasena when he found the flower missing.
Finding the transgression grievous, the Parshuram entered into a fierce fight with the demon. When the vanquished demon was about to be crushed, Lord Shiva appeared and blessed both with their desire of Sayujyamukti – merging in Him. Brahma as Chitrasena, Vishnu as Parasurama and Shiva as the lingam form the Gudimallam Shivalingam.
The main importance of the temple lies in the Linga which is housed in the Garbhagriha of the temple. This is supposed to be the oldest Shiva Linga discovered so far and it has been assigned to the 2nd or 1st century BC. The name of the temple is mentioned as Parasurameswara Temple in the inscriptions. These inscriptions do not refer to the original builders of the temple. But they register the gifts made to the temple of land, money and cows for the conduct of daily worship in the temple. The Black and Redware sherds of the 2nd or 3rd century AD have been brought to light during the course of excavations conducted in 1973. Potsherds of the Andhra Satavahana period (Circa 1st century AD to 2nd century AD) and large-sized bricks measuring 42+21+6 cms. of the same period have also been found. Hence, some historians assign the temple to the Satavahana period.
Distance from Tirupati: 30 Km
How to reach Gudimallam Temple?
1) Direct Buses are available but with less frequency. Gudimallam Temple is currently under ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) Maintenance.
2) As the Parasurameswara Swamy Gudimallam Temple is located near Papanaidupet Village, Locals travel to Papanaidupet by bus. Buses and Share Autos run with high frequency from Renigunta to Papanaidupet.
How to reach Gudimallam Temple by Private Vehicle?
1) From Tirupati -> Tiruchanoor Bypass -> Towards Renigunta Junction in Bypass ( Well before Junction, take Right to Papanaidupet) -> From Papanaidupet, it is a single stretch Road in one direction to Gudimallam Temple. You can ask the Locals for Sri Parasurameswara Swamy Gudimallam Temple as everyone knows this place.
Sri Parasurameswara Swamy Temple, Gudimallam
Daily Rudrabhisheka is performed along with pooja of all the Jyotirlingas. Varieties of sevas are also performed to the lord. During the festivals, special poojas, homas etc. are also be performed. Pradosha poojas and Sankashtahara Ganpati poojas are done regularly. The temple is open for darshan from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM.