Of morning aarthis and finger-licking prasadam

Resplendent carvings and a fascinating history surround the small but quaint town of Jatprole

By Author  |  Saurabh Chatterjee  |  Published: 8th Oct 2017  12:01 amUpdated: 7th Oct 2017  12:05 pm
Jatprole
Entrance of Venugopala swamy temple, a group of Lord Shiva temples in Jatprole. Photos: Saurabh Chatterjee

In my travels across the rural countryside, I have seen plenty of splendid architectural marvels both in temples and forts. But perhaps the grandest temple I have ever seen is the Venugopala Swamy temple in Jatprole.

Having passed by the town every time I took the NH7 to Kurnool, I decided to make a special trip to Jatprole. It is believed that Jatprole gets its name from Jatayu, the valiant bird who fought against Ravana when he was abducting Sita in this area. After spending a night in Mahabubnagar visiting the places around, we set out for Srirangapuram the next morning and reached Jatprole around 9 am.

Jatprole
Carving on the walls of Venugopala swamy temple.

As we were approaching Jatprole, we could see the majestic gopuram of the temple from quite far, it’s a small town so the temple of VenugopalaSwamy is the main attraction here. Built by the rajas of Jatprole in the 16th century, the temple has a huge tower and large wooden gates and an elaborate sabhamandapam with beautifully carved pillars in the Vijayanagara style.

They say the temple was shifted from the villages of Malleswaram and Manchalakota due to the flooding by the Krishna river during the construction of the Srisailam dam. Fortunately, the
temple has been restored to its original glory by The Archaeological Survey of India. Another good sign was that this particular temple wasn’t damaged by the invaders, probably because it’s in the interiors of the State.

Luckily, we were there at the right time and were able to catch the morning aarathi. As we stood there watching the aarthi, the grandeur of the temple struck us. Apart from us, there were no other visitors except a few village kids. After eating some of the finger-licking prasadam, we took a walk around the temple courtyard. There is another temple nearby which has five Shivalayas built during the 10th century. It was also relocated during the construction of the Srisailam dam.

There are several temples spread over a vast area and you can visit those as well.


How to reach


It’s best to drive there. Jatprole is about 200 kms from Hyderabad and takes about four hours to reach. We combined it with a trip around Gadwal where we stayed overnight. Jatprole also has connectivity by bus, but the service is not very frequent.


When to go


Best time to go is between September and March. After that, it gets really hot.
The VenugopalaSwamy temple is closed during the afternoon.

Jatprole


Where to stay


The only place to stay in Jatprole is the Haritha hotel operated by the Telangana tourism. However, when we went there, it was closed and no one was around. So enquire beforehand to avoid any hiccups.


Nearby places


The majestic Srirangapuram temple is 48 km from Wanaparthy. Kollapur is another historic town 14 km away which can be done in the same trip. Further 14 km ahead is Somasila which is famous for the Sri LalithaSomeswaraSwamy Temple.