Location and Significance of Kolanupaka Jain temple
Kolanupaka Jain Temple also known as Kulpakji temple is located at a distance of 83 km from Warangal and 81 km from Hyderabad. The history of the Jain temple roots back to medieval times. The Jain temple is 2000 years dedicated to Mahavira. The Jain temple is located in Kolanupaka village (also called Kulpak) in the Nalgonda district, Telangana.
Kolanupaka Jain Temple can be considered one of the important Jain pilgrimage sites in the country. The Jain temple is decorated with beautiful images of Tirthankaras all throughout the year. Kolanupaka Jain temple could be a peaceful place to visit around Warangal & Hyderabad. Kulpakji temple is an important pilgrimage center, especially for Swetambara Jains of South India.
History of Kolanupaka Temple
Historians say that the holy temple of Kolanupaka was built by Emperor Bharata, son of King Dushyanta and Queen Sakuntala. Before the 4th century, Jainism was prevalent in the Telangana region. Kolanupaka was one of the prominent centers of Jainism since ancient times. At the Kolanupaka site, 20 Jain inscriptions have been found. As per our mythology, Kolanupaka flourished as a Jain center during the Rashtrakutas period.
Kolanupaka Jain temple has three main idols of Jain Gods, called Tirthankars. The temple is dedicated to idols namely Lord Rishabha, Lord Neminath, and Lord Mahavir. The idol of Lord Mahavir has been made out of a single jade stone and is about 140 cm in height. The statue of Lord Rishabha, also known as Lord Adinath, has been carved out of a large green stone. Historically, Lord Adinath has been popular as Manikya Swami.
There are eight idols of various other Tirthankaras, placed at different places in the Jain temple. Every Tirthankara has been built with its own unique style with Jain architecture. The idol of Lord Mahavira has been carved with an image of a Lion, representing a bull on the pedestal of Lord Rishabha. We can also find a cobra with multi heads that has been carved as an umbrella over the statue of Lord Parshawnath.
Even today, the architecture of the temple is stunning with wonderful carvings on the temple walls. One of the key characteristics of the Jain temple of Kolanupaka is the red sandstone was used for construction and the pillars of the temple are made out of white marble.
After all the years of negligence, the temple was in a ruined condition for years. In the late 20th century, the temple was renovated. More than 150 artisans from Rajasthan and Gujarat were employed to renovate the temple. Although a completely new temple was created surrounding the existing tower, the old garbhagruha was preserved in its original form. The Jain temple was spread over a vast area. Although the main temple was spread over an area of 1 acre, the remaining land of 20 acres was used for Dharamshala and guest houses. All kinds of visitors are not allowed to enter the inner section of the temple. It is only permitted to the people wearing pooja clothes and priests.
Apart from the Jain temple, there is also a temple called Someshwara Temple established by Chalukya about 800 years back in Kolanupaka.
How to reach Kolanupaka
One has to take a diversion at Aleru town (the nearest Rail head) between Hyderabad & Warangal (75 km from Hyderabad & Warangal) and travel for 6 km to visit Kolanupaka. The Jain temple is 0.5 km from Kolanupaka Bus Station.