King Parikshith, the grandson, of Arjuna ruled over Hastinapura after
Pandavas retired to Kailasa. One day, Parikshith was thirsty while on a hunting
trip to the forest. He found a saint in deep meditation. He asked for water
and the Rishi (saint) did not reply. Parikshith got frustrated and played a
prank by putting a dead snake around the neck of the Rishi. He was cursed by
the Rishi that he would die of a snake bite within a week and he died
consequently at the hands of the Naga prince Takshaka.
When Janamejaya, the son of Parikshith became the King,
he wanted to avenge the death of his father and performed Sarpa Yaga (serpent penance).
Things then took a fateful turn. Astika, who was born of a man and a Naga
woman, came to the snake sacrifice and seeing what was happening, explained to
Janamejaya that Takshaka was safe under Indra's protection. Janamejaya was
extremely pleased to have gotten this valuable information and granted Astika a
wish. Astika asked to stop the snake sacrifice, instead of asking for gold or silver.
Then Saint Vasista asked Janamejaya to perform consecration
(Prathista) of Vishnava temples to redeem the sins of killing innocent snakes
during Sarpa Yaga. Consequently, Chennakesava
idol was consecrated in Koundinya Asrama to perform regular pujas. After
many years, the idol was covered by an ant hill (putta). In 11th century
A.D., Golla Koulutla observed that his cow was letting its milk flow to the ant
hill (putta). That night, Lord Chennakesava (Vishnu) appeared in his dream and
told him to remove the anthill and re-consecrate His idol. Koulutla dutifully followed
the instructions and from then on the deity was known as Koulutla Chennakesava
The great Vijayanagar King, Sri Krishadevaraya,
constructed a temple complex for the deity. This temple is located in the
Kappatralla reserve forest in the Devanakonda mandal in Kurnool District of
Andhra Pradesh. There are 3 Siva shrines in the same temple complex. One of
the Siva temples houses Lord Mallikarjuna Swami with Bhramarambika Devi, Vijaya
Vinayaka and Shanmukha Subrahmanyam. There is also a shrine of Lord
Dakshinamurthy whose powers will provide relief (Dosha pariharam) for those
suffering from Naga Dosha, Rahu or Kethu Dosha and Kalasarpa Dosha. In the 19th
century, Sringeri Sankaracharya constructed a shrine for Lord Viswanatha.
Every year, Brahmathsovams are performed during
Magha Pournima (full-moon day) by the trustee of the temple from the funds
raised from the public. The Dharani family has been the trustees of the temple
for several hundred years. We earnestly request donations from the devotees
for the upkeep and improvement of the temple.
Dharani Nagabhushana Rao (Trustee)
c/o Dharani Ravindranath V.A.O.
(via) ERAKALA CHERU
KURNOOL(dIST) ANDHRA PREDESH