Worship of Lord Brahma, Part 12

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BY: SUN STAFF - 7.12 2017

Chaturmukha Brahma
12th c. Sandstone

A serial exploration of places of Lord Brahma's worship.


Lord Brahma on Kanappa Hill

In the famed temple town of Sri Kalahasti, 30 miles from Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, is another very obscure temple dedicated to the worship of Lord Brahma. The Kalahasti complex is visited by many of the pilgrims who visit Tirupati. It is surrounded on either side by prominent hills, and sits along the banks of the Swarnamukhi River. The main temple at Sri Kalahasti is dedicated to Lord Shiva, in the form of Vayu Linga, one of the five great Lingas representing the five elements (water, fire, air, ether and earth).

The main temple at Kalahasti sits between the river bank and the foot of the hills, and is popularly known as Dakshina Kailasam. The three towering Gopurams of the temple are praised for their remarkable architecture, having been built during the reign of King Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagar. An expansive hundred pillared mantapam is also part of the main temple complex.

Sri Kalahasti

There are many other ancient temples and shrines found all around Sri Kalahasti. One of the most prominent land features is the imposing Kanappa Hill. Among the various small, nearly hidden temples and shrines on the Hill is an ancient temple of Lord Brahma, in which a Chaturmukha (four-faced) linga, or murti, of Brahmadev resides as the presiding Deity.

Known as Chaturmukeshwara Temple, Lord Brahma is said to have worshipped here himself, in an effort to regain his ability to create, after a pastime in which he had some difficulties. No images have been found of the Chaturmukeshwara Brahma deity, however the Charurmukha linga pictured above is of the same style (wall carving) residing on Kanappa Hill.

The Chaturmukeshwara Temple is staffed by priests, who give darshan of Lord Brahma each day from 6:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Devotees can drive part of the way to the temple, but must climb some 80 steps to reach the temple itself.

At the top of Kanappa Hill is a shrine dedicated to Bhakta Kannapa, and the presiding Goddess of this holy hill is Jnana Prasunamba, who bestows jnana, or knowledge of the self upon sincere devotees.

Kanappa Hill at Kalahasti