After spending the night in Dharmapuri and visiting the temples there, we decided to go to Kotilingala which I imagined to be a scenic place on the banks of the Godavari River.
As per Google Maps’ suggestion, we took the highway and a small detour on the left. After going a little ahead, we found that the road was closed, so asked a few locals and got to know the alternative way to reach there – which was a dusty kutcha road through villages, and we loved it for its beautiful landscape. Isn’t travel more about the journey than the destination?
With the foreground of green fields and the background of beautiful mountains, it made a perfect place to stop and capture some awesome views before reaching the temple.
This quite old temple was painted with vibrant colours and whitewashed at places to give it a new look. I personally love to see temples and monuments in their pristine look.
We first went to the bank of the Godavari River where people were offering prayers while kids were playing and running around in the water. I remember doing it when I was a kid – we used to go the river banks to take a bath during the festivals.
There was a Tourism Department boat that looked like it was not operational anymore. River banks always fascinated me – since we worship rivers like gods because of their role in a human being’s life. No wonder, all the great civilisations of the world developed along the rivers. On the other hand, when the river changed its course or got dried, they perished.
As there wasn’t much crowd in the temple, after a quick darshan, we spent time watching people circumambulating the premises, a regular practice of the devotees who want to have their wishes fulfilled. This place gathers huge crowds during Pushkaralu.
Substantial archaeological findings reveal that Kotilingala was a prominent town in the ancient past, during the period of Assaka mahajanapada and the Satavahanas. It was the first capital of the Satavahana dynasty. The river was the means of transport and trade with the neighbouring States. Buddhism and Jainism flourished in these regions.
According to local folklore, the sadhus, who used to come to the Godavari River for bathing, constructed the temple. They requested Lord Hanuman to bring a Shiva Lingam to be installed here. Despite a long wait, when he failed to come, the sadhus themselves installed the lingam made of sand. Hanuman came later and was enraged to see that they had already installed the God. To pacify him, the locals decided to worship the Lingam brought by Hanuman first.
How to reach: Kotilingala is located at a distance of 220 km from Hyderabad and takes about 5 hours to reach. It is just 60 km from Karimnagar which can be traversed in about 90 mins. We went there from Dharmapuri and it took us half-an-hour to reach.
When to go: This place can be visited through the year. Being located beside the river, the weather is fairly moderate. The cool breeze will help you keep the heat at bay even in summers.
A good time go to this place is during the Pushkaralu as it is an auspicious occasion.
Where to stay: As there aren’t many options to stay here, the best is to make a day trip from Karimnagar.
Other places to visit: There are some places nearby which can be visited in the same trip. Dharmapuri is a popular destination just 20 kms away. Sri Anjaneya Swamy temple, Kondagattu is 50 kms from here and takes an hour to go.
Apart from there there are several places in Karimnagar that you can visit. The most interesting is the Elgandal fort.
In terms of options for eating, there is nothing much around. Generally people bring their own food or cook here.