The Mogilisvara temple, an elegant edifice is located in Mogili, a small village 22 k.m. away from Chittoor on the Chennai-Banglore national highway. Among the two inscriptions found in the temple, the earliest-belong to the 6th year of Rajaraja I (A.D.991)2. In this record, the temple is referred to as Tirumaniyural Nayanar and the village as Mulibil. The other record belongs to the Vijayanagara king Vira Harihararaya3.

The temple contains two courtyards one behind the other. The outer courtyard has an entrance in the east surmounted by a gopura. Passing through this gopura one can enter the outer courtyard which contains the dhavajasthambha, balipitha and nandimandapa.  The entrance to the inner courtyard is through a dvaramandapa.  To the north of the entrance there is a pillared verandah abutting the eastern wall.

The Mogilisvara shrine is situated in the centre of the inner courtyard. The shrine oriented to the east consists on plan garbhagriha, antarala, mukhamandapa and a closed circumambulatory on all the sides of the three parts. The adhisthana of the garbhagriha and antarala is plain. There are niches on the outer walls of the garbhagriha and antarala. The images in these niches are Ganapati and Dakshinamurti on the south, Vishnu on the west, Brahma and Durga on the north. Over the niches makaratorana is absent. The kapota over the walls is being interrupted by the slabs packed up in the ceiling. The vimana  which rises above the garbhagriha contains a single tala with the series kuta, panjara, sala, panjara and kuta. Above this ekatala, is the phalaka containing nandis in the four corners. The griva and sikhara are round and belong to the vesara order. The square garbhagriha houses linga on a vedi. The antarala in front contains the metal image of Siva and Parvati.

The main entrance of the mukhamandapa is in the east with a doorway. There are two dvarapalakas flanking the entrance of the mukhamandapa. The mandapa contains four pillars with Chola capitals. The pillar in the north-east corner has on its middle square two figures,a male and a female standing in anjali pose. The pradakshina surrounding the garbhagriha, antarala and mukhamandapa contain pillars with Chola capitals. In the western side of the pradakshina are found loose stone images of Mogilappa, Mogilamma, Virabhadra, Bhairava and a linga on a somasutra. The Chandesvara shrine is situated to the north of the main Shrine and houses two armed figure of Chandesvara.

Mogili
Mogilisvaara temple, Pillars
Koneru

Mogilisvara temple, Koneru

The Kamakshi shrine is situated to the north-west of the main shrine and faces the east. On plan the shrine contains garbhagriha, antarala and mukhamandapa. The walls of the garbhagriha and antarala are decorated with chamfered pilasters having Chola capitals. There is a step above the griva containing lions in each of the four corners. The sikhara is round and belongs to the vesara order. There is a single kalasa above the sikhara. The garbhagriha houses a standing image of Kamakshi. The mukhamandapa contains two rows of four pillars each with Chola capitals. There is a lion in the centre of the mukhamandapa facing the Devi.

The Kasi-Visvanatha and the Devi shrines are situated in the north-east corner of the main shrine. Both the shrines, facing east, consist of garbhagriha and antarala. The garbhagriha of the Kasi-Visvanatha shrine houses a linga on a vedi. The garbhagriha of the Devi shrine enshrines an image of standing Devi. To the west of Devi shrine is a small room for navagrahas.

The ground structures of the entrance gopura are of stone and plain. Above the walls the cornice is decorated with simhalalata gables. The superstructure of the gopura is built with brick and mortar in four diminishing tiers with kuta, sala and panjara elements. At the entrance of every tala there is a doorway flanked by dvarapalakas made of stucco. There are four bulls facing out on the four corners of the first tala and four squatting lions on the four corners of the top most tala. The crowning member is ablong and there are five kalasas above the salasikhara.

The temple tank is situated to the south of the main shrine. The tank is surrounded on the south and west by a pillared verandah. All the pillars have the Chola capitals.

The Mogilisvara temple may be dated to the middle of the 10th century A.D. for the earliest record in the temple is dated A.D.991. The prakara  wall, gopura, Kamakshi, Kasi-Visvanatha and Devi shrines and pillared verandah may be dated to about 12th or 13th century A.D.

News Reporter