Situated on the banks of the Godavari river, Koti Lingala is a popular Hindu pilgrimage site in the Jagtial district of Telangana. Nestled in the lap of nature, amidst hills and lush greenery, it is considered one of the 16 great janapadas of the country's ancient heritage. Best known for the Sri Koteswara Siddeshwara Swamy Temple, the religious town also holds significant historical importance. The town remains especially crowded and vibrant during Mahashivratri.
There is an archaeological site at Koti Lingala. Articles like ancient pottery, beads, bricks and other artifacts were found at this site. It is believed that Koti Lingala was a town of the ancient Assaka, or Andhra. The artifacts reveal the fact that this place must have been an important commercial and industrial site. Many of the artifacts, like metallic coins, reveal the presence of the Satavahanas in the ancient region. Henec determining the fact that Koti lIngala was, one of the capitals of the Satavahana dynasty. Coins issued by the Kanha and Satakarni were also discovered from this site. These coins attribute to the 2nd and 3rd centuries BCE.
The word 'Koti' means many or several, while ?Linga? in Hindu scriptures is used for lord Shiva.
Hence Koti Lingala is synonymous for several Shivas. The place gets its name, from the very fact, that there are several shiva temples and hundreds of Shiva devotees here. This place is a popular tourist attraction during the festival of Shivaratri.
Places to See
1. Sri Koteswara Siddheshwar Swami Devasthanam Temple
This is a popular temple and attracts a number of pilgrims throughout the year. The temple is exclusively dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple has a beautiful backdrop. It lies in Velgatoor mandal, near Koti Lingala. The temple is an approximately 3 km drive from the main road. The locals in the nearby areas hold great faith in the Shiva Lingam, and pray for their prosperity, peace and happiness. If you plan to visit the temple, it is advisable to carry your own food and water, as there are no shops nearby. It is one of the oldest and most historical pilgrim spots, in Telangana. You are not allowed to take photographs inside the temple premises.
2. Koti Lingala Fort
The temple is placed within the fort. The fort is known by the name of the place itself. The Koti Lingala fort is made of mud and dates back to 2nd and 3rd centuries. There are several gates to the fort. You can also see a watch tower at the fort. It speaks of the magnificent architecture, without the use of any metals, that was undertaken during the reign of the Satavahana dynasty.
3. Archaeological Museum
Located in Karimnagar, a few kms away from Koti Linga, this museum is just the perfect place for history and archaeology enthusiasts. It is also called the archaeological exhibition hall. You can click pictures here. Do not forget to capture the remarkable displays of this exhibition hall. You can get to see beautiful scenes, props, etc. You can also access the nearby stores and buy souvenirs. It is a nice place for people of all age groups. There is no entry fee to the archaeological museum.
Things to Do
1. Celebrate Mahashivratri
The festival of Mahashivratri holds immense importance for people at Koti Lingala. Mahashivratri is one of the festivals that is celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm at the sri Koteswara Siddeswara Swamy temple.
2. Participate in the Temple Rituals
The devotees visiting the shiv temples at Koti Lingala, can install shiva lingas, or idols of Lord Shiva, made of metal, marble or stone. The price differs for different material and different sizes. You can seek the priest's blessings and offer the temple with a small Shiva Linga. Shiva Lingas are easily available outside the temples or at nearby shops. Also, you can Buy Shiva Lingas as a souvenir.
The government has undertaken the project of starting boating points from the bank of river Godavari, two tourist boats with a capacity of 50 and 35 seats, have been made for this purpose. You can enjoy the beauty of nature while boating in the river Godavari. The boats have been inaugurated and name after two great kings of the Satavahana dynasty, Satakarni and Pulomavi. The fare is Rs. 50 for elders and Rs. 30 for children. Also, several speed boats will soon be started to allow more tourists to enjoy the ride at a particular time.
If cultural heritage is what attracts you the most, then you are bound to visit Koti Lingala once. Not only is this place culturally and historically rich, it is also spiritually and religiously rooted. Tourism has seen a growth spurt in the past years, amd koti Lingala continues to attract a large number of devotees. It also lures in a lot of nature lovers. It is one of those travel spots which can be visited with family and friends as well. You should visit this place for sure. If solace and a dip into spirituality is all what you are looking forward to, Koti lingala might just be the perfect travel destination.