A Study of Select Temples of Chittoor District (Chola and Vijayanagara Art and Architecture)

Item Code: NAK931
Publisher: Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, Tirupati
Author: Dr. P.N. Naidu
Language: English
Pages: 231 (53 B/W Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.0 inch X 5.0 inch
Weight 380 gm
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Book Description
About The Book

In this detailed, intensive survey, documentation and study of the temples of Chittoor region of South India, from 10th to 17th century, Dr. P.N. Naidu, attempts to compare the Chola temples with the earlier styles of architecture, trace the survival of Chola features in the Vijayanagar temples and also indicate the innovation made by the Vijayanagar artists in their temples.

This book make highly informative and useful contribution to our knowledge of the architectural, sculptural and iconographical achievements of the Chola and Vijayanagar artists.

Illustrated with fifth three photographs, ten ground plans and seven figures, all at appropriate places for easy reference and guidance Chola and Vijayanagara Art is a very logists, Historians, Research Students and others interested in the subject.


About The Author

Dr. Pathipati Neerajakshulu Naidu (b. 1953) obtained his Masters degree and the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 1975 and 1985 respectively from Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati. He is presently Reader in the Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology, in the same University.

Dr. P.N. Naidu has contributed several research papers to leading scholarly Journals, Seminars and annual sessions of History Congresses. He specializes in Temple Architecture, Sculpture and Iconography.



This book is devoted to a study of the architectural, sculptural and iconographical features of the Chola and Vijayanagara temples located within the present Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. The material included in the book formed part of the thesis submitted to Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati,

I have great pleasure in sincerely acknowledging the guidance, suggestions and assistance which I received from a number of persons during the preparation of this work.

First and foremost, ram deeply grateful to my research supervisor Prof. V. Kameswara Rao, Department of History, S.V. University, for his valuable guidance through out the period of this study. I am also thankful to Prof. (late) V.M. Reddi, Prof. P.Ragunatha Rao (Retd), Prof. S. Sankaranarayanan (Retd.) and Prof. S. Gopalakrishnan, for their advice and encouragement during the course of this study. Prof. B. Rajendra Prasad has also given me valuable suggestions in revising the voluminous dissertation. I offer my thanks to him.

I am extremely grateful to Prof. K.V. Raman, University of Madras, Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy, University of Mysore and Dr. Douglas Barret, Director, British Museum, London, for kindly going through the thesis and making their valuable suggestions. I owe a special debt to Prof. T.V. Pathy, Marathwada University, Aurangabad, for constantly encouraging me to complete this work.

In writing this work, I was fortunate enough to draw upon the rich and varied experience and erudition of Prof. (late) Niharranjan Ray, Emeritus Professor, Calcutta University. I recall with pleasure many long hours which I spent with him during his stay as a Visiting Professor to the Department of History, S.V. University in the year 1978. I express my sincere thanks to him for his wise counsel and scholarly directions.

I may not have completed this work but for the kind help and co-operation given to me by the priests and officials of the temples during my field study. I owe them more than I can easily express. I tender my thanks to Sri P. Ramakrishna, Draftsman, for his help in the preparation of ground plans and figures of the temples included in the book.

The authorities of Sri Venkateswara University kindly accorded permission to get the thesis published, for which I sincerely thank them. I acknowledge my gratitude to the authorities of the Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanams for providing me a grant to meet part of the cost of publication. I wish to express my thanks to my wife Smt. P. Vijayalaksmi, Lecturer, S.P.W. College, Tirupati and to my sister-in-law, Smt. P. Indira, Head of the Dept. of Zoology, S.P.W. College, for their help in various ways.

Lastly, my hearty thanks are due to Dr. S. Srinivasan, for agreeing to bring out this book as a New Era Publication.



The scope of this book is confined to the study of the Architecture, Sculpture and Iconography of a few Chola and Yijayanagara temples situated within the modern Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. The Chittoor district, one of the twenty- three districts of Andhra Pradesh, is the southern most district of the State. This district, deriving its name from Chittoor, its head-quarters town, is situated between the northern latitudes of 12°37' and 14° 8' and between the eastern longitudes of 78°3' and 79°55,. Out of 106, 052.4 sq. miles which is the total area of Andhra Pradesh, this district covers 15.136 sq.kms and constitutes about 5.51 per cent of the total area. It is bounded on the east by the Chingleput district, on the south by the North Arcot district of Tamilnadu and on the west by the Kolar district of Karnataka State. Anantapur, Cuddapah and Nellore districts of Andhra Pradesh form the northern boundary of this district.

Consequenty it exhibits the influence of three different languages because of its location at a point of configuration of three languages: Kannada, Telugu and Tamil. The trilingual character is more marked in the west, north-western parts of this district. On the basis of the language of inscriptions, it may be stated that the west and north-western regions in general, the border areas in particular are subject to the influence of more than one language. Since inscriptions are noticed in all the three languages (Telugu, Tamil & Kannada) in the district, it is likely that the people living in this district were familiar with more than one language during one and the same period. And also because of its geographical situation it was inevitable that this district came under the influence of the major dynasties of the south.

The Chittoor district can be divided into two natural divisions namely (l) mountainous plateau and (2)the plains. The eastern ghats is the most extensive range of hills in this district. This range enters the district from the south-west, passes northwards and then bends towards the east as far as the hills of Tirupati. Beyond Tirupati this range is broken into a broad valley known as the Mamandur valley. Towards the east of the Mamandur valley, the ghats once again rise and follow a north-easternly direction and enter the Nellore district. The general elevation of this part of the district is about 2,500 feet above the sea level. On the eastern side a range known as Nagari Hills, which present an appearance of having been suddenly upheaved by volcanic action, overlook a valley with high precipitous cliffs. The prominent cliff, popularly referred to as 'Nagari Nose' is a land mark that can be seen for miles around. Another range, the Horsley Hills (4,100 ft.) has been developed into a hill station.

No major rivers flow through this district. But the district is drained by about a dozen of minor streams and rivers like the Arani, Bahuda, Koundinya, Kalyani, Kusasthali, Pincha or Gargeyanadi, Papaghni, Palar, Ponna, Nagari and Swarnamukhi. Though several of these rivers are not perennial but still major part of the Chittoor district is rendered fertile by them.

Political Background To understand and appreciate the art and architecture of the Chola and Vijayanagara temples of Chittoor district, it is essential to know about the political background of this region. This aspect has been worked upon in detail by M.D. Sampath in his book Chitioor Through the Ages. Hence a very brief survey of the political fortunes of major dynasties that held sway over this area from the earliest times to the 17th century is given below.

The Mauryas
The early history of Chittoor district is lost in obscurity. However, the regular, datable and continuous account of the political history of this region begins with the Mauryas. Excavations (1974) by I. Karthikeya Sarma within the sanctum of the temple at Cudimallam, Sri Kalahasti taluk, brought to light a silver punch marked coin of the early Mauryan series. The excavations also proved that the main Linga in the sanctum of the Cudimallam temple was of the Mauryan times (2nd-3rd century B.C) and is the earliest known example of its kind in the entire country, This shows that this area formed part of the Mauryan empire. The Mauryan period is thus the starting point in the history of Chittoor district.

The Satavahanas
After the decline of the Mauryas, the district then passed under the Satavahanas (3rd century B.C - 3rd Century AD.). This is evident from the ceramic materials particularly Andhra ware (Russet coated painted ware) unearthed from layer-2 in the excavations in the sanctum of the Cudimallarn temple. I. Karthikeya Sarma states that "for the first time, a brick apsidal temple was built around the extent railed linga of Gudimallam in the 2nd century A.D., during the Satavahana rule. In the reign of Gautamiputra Satakarni (78 -102 A.D), the Satavahana empire included Rayalaseema districts (Anantapur, Chittoor, Cuddapah and Kurnool)". The steeds of Gautamifutra Satakarni are said to have drunk the waters of three seas and this implies that he must have led some expeditions across Tondaimandalam into the Tamil country. This is corrobrated by the find of a large number of Satavahana coins on the coromandal coast between Madras and Cuddalore and from the excavations at Karichipurarn''. All these evidences indicate that this region was included in the Satavahana empire in the first and second centuries A.D.

The Pallavas
The next epoch in the history of this district was that of the Pallavas who held control over this region from 260 to 900 AD. In the time of Siva Skandavarman (first half of 4th century A.D.) of the Prakrit charters, the Pallava kingdom extended upto the Krishna in the north and the Arabian sea in the west9. This vast kingdom flourished for a long time; and was ruled over by his successors till they were conquered by the Cholas about 890 A.D. The Parasurarneswara temple at Gudimallarn which is said to have been built with bricks in apsidal plan during Satavahana period (2nd century A.D.), was greatly elaborated and rebuilt in stone in the Pallava period (8th c. A. D).

The Cholas
In the last quarter of 9th century A.D. (about 890 A.D.) the early Chola King Aditya I (AD. 871-907) invaded Tondaimandalam (the kingdom of the Pallavas), defeated the later Pallava King Aparajita (A.D. 885-903) and put an end to the Pallava power by annexing their kingdom and extended his power to Tond ainad (i.e., the present Tondarnanadu near Sri Kalahasti) into the modern district of Chittoor. Tenceforth, Chittoor district became part of the Chela empire and remained so till about the middle of 13th century A.D. Aditya I was succeeded by his son Parantaka I (907- 955 A.D.). Parantaka I, during his reign extended the boundaries of the Chola empire, from Kanyakumari in the south to the present Ncllore district in the north. However the Rastrakuta ruler Krishna III led a campaign against Parantaka in 949 A.D and defeated him at Takkolam in the North Arcot district13. The fact that no inscription of Parantaka I dated in his years 42 to 44 (A.D.949-51) has been discovered anywhere in the kingdom is perhaps indicative of the magnitude of the disaster. The recovery of Chola territory lost to the Rastrakuta King Krishna III in the Takkolarn battle, began under Parantaka II and his son Aditya II and Tondaimandala m of which the Chittoor region formed part, was partially regained. By the time of accession of Uttamachola in A.D.970, the re-establishment of a settled and prosperous social and economic life seems to have been complete.

Uttama Chola was succeeded by Rajaraja I (AD. 985 - 1014). During the reign of Rajaraja I the Chola empire was extended upto the river Tungabhadra, well beyond the frontiers reached by Parantaka 1. In the north, the whole of Tondairnandalarn was secured and the areas of the northern subordinates were annexed.




  Preface vi
  Abbreviations viii
  List of Figures and Plates ix
1 Introduction 1
2 The Adityeswara Temple, Bokkisampalem 17
3 The Parasareswara Temple, Jogimallavaram 30
4 The Mukkantiswara Temple, Kalavagunta 43
5 The Kulandiswara Temple, Kattamanchi 57
6 The Mogiliswara Temple, Mogili 67
7 The Kapileswara Temple, Kapilatirtam 78
8 The Manikantheswara Temple, Kanipakkam 91
9 The Varadarajaswami Temple, Yadamari 101
10 The Krishna, Varadaraja and Padmavati Temples, Tiruchanur 110
11 The Kodandaramaswami Temple, Tirupati 131
12 The Bhimeswara Temple, Putalapattu 141
  Conclusion 151
  Reference Glossary 199
  Bibliography 209
  Select Index 217

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