Gudimallam is a small village situated just 3 km east of Papanaidupeta which lies close to the Tirupati International Airport and Renigunta Railway Station. A Shiva Linga, discovered between the 1st century and 2nd century BC, is installed in the garbhagriha of the historical Parasurameswara Temple.

The main temple sanctum is situated at a lower level as compared to the main floor level of the Mukhamantapa and Antarala, hence the name Gudimallam which is derived from Gudipallam meaning 'Temple in Low Ground'. Some people say the name comes from Gudi Pallava, means the temple which was constructed by Pallava kings.

Legends believe that the Shiva Linga in the temple is a manifestation of Trimurti, with Shiva on the top, Vishnu in the middle and Brahma at the bottom.



The figure of Shiva carved on the linga resembles a vigorous hunter. The Linga is carved out of a hard dark brown indigenous stone. It is about 5 ft in height and one foot in thickness. The nut of the linga is clearly differentiated from the shaft by a deep slanting groove cut near the Linga. A beautiful two handed image of Shiva in sthanaka posture is carved in high relief. On the front portion of the Linga the God is standing on the shoulders of the apasmarapurusha.

The Deity holds a ram in his right hand and a small vessel in his left hand. There is a battle axe (Parasu) resting on his left shoulder. His head is adorned with Jatas arranged in the Jatabhara fashion. He wears a number of rings in his ears and a unique girdle with a dangling central portion. The God wears a dhoti fastened at his waist with a beautiful vastra-mekhala but the membram-virile lying down wards is clearly visible. He has no Yagnopaveeta.

The main lingam and peetham, which were once out in the open under a tree, are dated 3rd century BC, while successive rulers of Pallavas, Banas, Cholas and Rayas made later additions to the temple. The semicircular shrine is a clear feature of the influx of Buddhist architecture into Hindu ones, as was common in the period. The low railing surrounding the idol has floral patterns typical of Buddhist and Jain architecture.

The Gudimallam Linga combines several later aspects of Shiva; for example, the God's eyes focusing on the tip of his nose indicates the Virupaksha and Yoga-Dakshinamurthy aspects of latter years. The holding of a ram in his right hand indicates the Bhikshatanamurthi aspect of Siva.



There is an interesting story which narrates the origin of the Gudimallam Shiva Lingam. Legend has it that Parashurama’s mother Renuka was suspected of infidelity by her husband Sage Jamadagni. The Sage ordered Parashurama to behead his mother. Parashurama obeyed his father and when Sage Jamadagni wanted to reward his son, Parashurama asked him to bring his mother back to life. And she was brought back to life.

But Parashurama could not overcome guilt of beheading his mother and he felt remorse about his act. As a penance he was advised by other Rishis to worship Shiva at Gudimallam. After searching of several days, Parashurama found the temple in the middle of a forest. He dug a pond nearby and began his penance.

Every day morning a single divine flower used to appear in the pond and Parashurama offered it to Shiva. To guard the flower, he appointed Chitrasena, a Yaksha. Chitrasena was actually a manifestation of Lord Brahma. Chitrasena had kept a condition that to guard the flower he should be given an animal to eat and a pot of toddy. Parashurama agreed to it and he used to hunt an animal for Chitrasena daily.

One day when Parashurama went out to hunt, Chitrasena felt tempted to worship Shiva himself. He used the single flower to worship Shiva. An enraged Parashurama attacked Chitrasena when he found the flower missing.  The fierce battle lasted for a long period that a pallam, or pit, was created at the site. Thus ’Gudipallam’, or ‘temple in the pit’, became Gudimallam over time. Unable to choose the victor, Shiva is finally merged Chitrasena and Parashuram into the Shivling. The Gudimallam Shivling still shows Parashurama standing on the Yaksha with the hunted beast and toddy pot.

Brahma as Chitrasena, Vishnu as Parasurama and Shiva as the Lingam form the unique Shivalingam.



This temple has a 2,200 year old history as the longest continuously worshipped Shiva temple in the world. Historians disagree about the political history and the name of this place. There are several inscriptions which date to the Pallava, Ganga Pallava, Bana and Chola periods on the walls of the shrine and on stone slabs in the temple courtyard. The earliest inscription belongs to the reign of Nandivarma Pallava (802 AD). Inscriptions on the temple walls in ancient Tamil mention the keen interest taken by the donors and their gifts to the Temple. However, none of the inscriptions give the village name as Gudimallam. The village is referred as Viprapeeta (Brahmana Agrahara).

Some of the Copper coins obtained at Ujjain and belonging to the 3rd century of BC, contain figures which resemble the Linga of Gudimallam. A 1st century sculpture in the Mathura Museum also contains a figure resembling the Gudimallam Shiva Linga.



A mysterious event associated with the temple is that of the main chamber getting flooded every sixty years. A small underground tank and a duct connecting the tank to the Shiva Lingam can be seen even today. These remain stone dry except during the 60 year phenomenon when water suddenly gushes through with such force that it rises over the column of the Lingam, flows over the top and subsides as suddenly. The last time this happened was on December 4, 2005. According to the Monument attendant who has recorded the incident in the temple register, the episode lasted just a few minutes. The water then fell and remained at six inches for four hours, after which it disappeared as though it was never there. Oldsters in the village remember about a similar phenomenon happened in 1945, except that the entire chamber had got flooded then.

As per Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the water table in the area is at a depth of 300-350 feet, so there is no tangible explanation for the phenomenon. Devotees believe that the water comes all the way from Kashi to do Abhishekam to the Lingam.

There is yet another remarkable feature of the temple. The rising sun’s rays pass through the grills carved on the stone walls twice a year during the solstices (Uttarayana and Dakshinayana) and fall directly on the forehead of the main Shiva Lingam.



Gudimallam is located at a distance of about 31 Km from Tirupati and 18 Km from Renigunta. From Tirupati and Renigunta, travelers can find so many autos and buses to Papanaidupeta, a nearby village from where autos are available. Gudimallam village lies at a distance of 5 to 10 minutes journey from Papanaidupeta. A few direct buses are available from Tirupati Bus Stand to Gudimallam. An auto for the round trip costs around Rs. 250/- from Tirupati.