As I was doing my research on temples around Khammam, I found the Anantharam Venkateswara Swamy Temple. Initially, when I went through the pictures, it looked like a new multi-storey building, but as I tried to get more information, I realised that the temple is, indeed, quite an old one.
We left early from Hyderabad and covered the Chaya Someshwara Temple in Panagal, Erakeswara Swamy Temple near Suryapet and the temples in Kusumanchi.
After spending the night in Khammam, the next morning we covered the beautiful cave temple of Lord Laxminarasimha Swamy in Narasimha Swamy Gutta in Khammam, and the Khammam Fort.
Anantharam Venkateshwara Swamy Temple was our final destination – and what an end to our trip! Once you get off the highway, the road becomes narrow but very scenic. You can see the hills filled with green trees on one side and the railway track that runs almost parallel to the road. Soon, we reached the temple nestled on the side of a hill.
Not much is known about the history of the temple. It was built during the 11th century by the Shalivahanas. The temple apparently was in a very bad state – almost crumbling down. So, in 2006, it was given a new lease of life. Thanks to timely help by the government and donations from locals, now it’s a four-storeyed building. There is a picture inside the temple of how it looked before with the old crumbling pillars, and how the present state is.
As we enter the temple, the tall statue of Garuda welcomes us. We take the stairs to the fourth floor where the temple of Lord Venkateshwara Swamy is. It was a peaceful place without much rush. The priest offered us some prasadam, which we savoured.
We then moved to the roof where there was a temple of Lord Rama. Further ahead is the temple tank. The whole place looked quite scenic and we could get great views of the surrounding hills from there.
While coming down, we stopped at the Kalyanamandapam which occupies one of the floors in the temple complex. There is also a pond there. In the middle of the pond, a gigantic statue is being sculpted. As it was covered, we could not see it. Hopefully, it would be ready for public view the next time we visit.
How to Go: The Anantharam Venkateswara Temple is about 200 km from Hyderabad and takes about 4.5 hours to go. From Khammam, it’s just 51 km and takes about 75 mins. From Mahabubabad, it’s just 3.5 km and takes about 10 mins to reach. There are many autos available at Mahabubabad. You can also find some transport from Khammam. But yes, it’s a good chance to drive down exploring and enjoying the scenic beauty.
When to go: You can go there any time of the year. Summer afternoons can be really hot; try going there during the mornings.
Where to stay: There are a lot of options to stay in Khammam in all budgets. Mahabubabad also has a few options to stay.
Other places to visit: Khammam has quite a few places to visit, including the Khammam Fort and the Lord Laxminarasimha Swamy Temple at Narasimha Swamy Gutta.