The PARSHURAMESHWAR TEMPLE GUDIMALLAI Andhra Pradesh India
A Gudimallam village about 30 kms from Tirupati in the Tirupati – Sri kalahasti route near to PapaNaidupeta, has got great prominence because it has a beautiful Shiva Temple, which is popularly known as “the Parasurameswara Temple.” This is considered as the oldest Shiva temple identified so far tracing to 3rd century BC. The Lord here is known as Parasurameshwara, and this lingam is believed to depict the trinity. The legend of the temple connects it to Parasurama, an avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu.
Renowned for its earliest extant sivalinga in India datable to second/third centuries B. C. the main temple consists an apsidal shrine in lower level with Ardha
The linga on its frontal faceta relief figure standing siva. He has two hands the right one holds a ram by the hind legs head hanging downwards. In the left a globular pot is held and a battle axe(parasu) rests on the left shoulder. The linga is fixed within two stone rings during the earliest phase inside the sanctum which served as arghapitha. The standing form of the god reveals Vedic and protopuranic concepts of Rudra. He is shown standing on the shoulders of a crouching dwarf Yaksha whose features are unique. He is seated on the knees body shrunken, and light teethed as if resisting the super lord. The ears are leaf shaped while the terminals of feet show their merman affinity this save dika linga set up was apparently in open during the early centuries B.C. and surrounded by allow three bared on slabs ecalling of baruhut and bodhgaya. The tops of the railing were found broken,but now renovated to its original height and matching color expect the main linga and the pithas surrounding by a stone railing all the other structural embellishments are later additions by successive rulers and the temple continued to be venerated from circa third century B.C. down to the present day.