Penukonda, meaning 'Big Hill', is a small town in Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh. Penukonda is about two hour's journey from Anantapur town and is well-known for an ancient Fort. The town is situated at the foot of the hill on which stands the Penukonda fort, which is one of the major tourist attractions of Andhra Pradesh.
Penukonda is a historical land as this place was ruled by various dynasties in different times in the history. Penukonda has an ancient Jain history probably because it was ruled by Hoysala Kings who were practitioners of Jainism. You can see many Jain Temples in Penukonda as a result of which it became a sacred land for most of the Jain community. Penukonda is religious for Jain because of the presence of famous Pache Parsvanath Swami Temple (Parsvanath Swami was the 23rd Thirthankara in Jainism).
Penukonda is equally sacred for Muslim community because of the presence of Babaiyya Dargah. Hazrath Baba Fakruddin was a great Sufi Saint of 12th century and a king of Sistan and Shahpur in Iran before coming to Penukonda. This saint was given a twig by his teacher who asked him to settle in the place where this twig would turn into a big plant. When Hazrath Baba planted the twig at this place, where the mausoleum now stands, it turned into a tree and hence he settled here. Over a period of time, he gained followers and was called as 'Babaiyya' out of respect.
This is not all. Penukonda was once marked by about 365 temples, which were worshipped each day in the year. Probably all of them seem to have vanished in the ravages of time and negligence by the following generation. The temple of Lord Yoga Narasimha swami, Lord Kashi Vishwanatha, Lord Rama Temple and Lord Yogarama temple are some of the surviving shrines of the bygone era. The architecture of some of the temples is awe-inspiring. But right now most of these temples are unknown to many people except local denizens of Penukonda.
Just few metres from the fort, there is a recently founded Sri Kaleshwar Aashram of one Kaleshwar Anupati swami which is famous among the people these days.