Gudimallam village, situated approximately 30 kilometers from Tirupati via the Tirupati – Sri Kalahasti route near Papanaidupet, is distinguished by the revered Parasurameswara Temple, commonly known as the Gudimallam Temple. This sacred edifice holds a significant historical standing, tracing its origins back to the 3rd century BC, making it one of the oldest identified Shiva temples. The presiding deity, Lord Parasurameswara, is represented by an ancient lingam, symbolising the trinity.

Having said that, the temple houses a unique and ancient lingam, believed to be the second oldest associated with Bhagwan Shiva discovered thus far, dating back to the 2nd or 3rd century BC. This historic artifact predates many sculptures from the Pallava dynasty and is an unparalleled representation of Shiva in South Bharat. Archaeological findings like copper coins and ancient sculptures draw remarkable resemblances to the iconic lingam of Gudimallam.

While estimates regarding the temple's construction date vary, it is generally attributed to the later Chola and Vijayanagara periods, possibly a thousand years after the creation of the sculpture. The lingam, originally situated in an open-air setting, is now enclosed by a rectangular stone. The temple is open for worship and falls under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) since 1954.

The idol of Lord Shiva in a standing posture is a vivid embodiment of a fierce hunter, holding a ram and a battle axe (Parasu) in his hands. The uniqueness of the image lies in its distinctive depiction of Shiva standing on the shoulders of a crouching dwarf yaksha. The village of Gudimallam, also known as 'Viprapita' or 'Brahmana Agrahara,' is believed to embody the presence of Trimurthis - Bhagwan Brahma, Bhagwan Vishnu, and Bhagwan Shiva - in this ancient lingam.

The temple compound also encompasses smaller shrines dedicated to Sri Anandavalli (Parvathi), Sri Valli Devasena Subramnay Swamy, Surya Dev, and Bhagwan Ganesh. Historical inscriptions from various periods adorn the temple, reflecting the diverse epochs of its existence and renovation.

To reach Gudimallam Temple, one can conveniently access it via road, train, or air. Situated approximately 25 kilometers from Tirupati and 10 kilometers from Renigunta, the temple enjoys proximity to Renigunta and Tirupati railway stations, as well as Tirupati airport, making it easily accessible to pilgrims seeking spiritual solace amidst its tranquil and serene ambiance.

Source / Image Credit: TemplePurohit , HinduPost