Date: 18/04/2013

Historic Rama temple cries for attention

S. Murali


A view of the Rama temple covered by sand dunes at Kanaparthi, a silpakala Kshetram in Prakasam district. Photo: Kommuri Srinivas A view of the Rama temple covered by sand dunes at Kanaparthi, a silpakala Kshetram in Prakasam district. Photo: Kommuri Srinivas arts, culture and entertainment
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A Rama temple replete with history in this coastal village, covered by sand dunes, will vanish from public view forever unless urgent steps are taken to protect it.

Located some 100 to 150 metres from the sea tide level, only the temple tower is visible now.

The sleepy village is full of artefacts of both pre-historic and historic periods throwing light on the rich culture of the Andhra Pradesh people down the ages.

"The temple seems to belong to the period of Chalukyas or Telugu Cholas and calls for a detailed study,” said State Archaeology and Museums in-charge Director G.V. Ramakrishna Rao told The Hindu.

'Worthy of protection'

“The site is worthy of protection,” said Mr. Rao, who recently visited the village to take stock of the condition of the State Archaeological Museum, named after Andhra Pradesh’s first Chief Minister T. Prakasam Pantulu in the village.

“I have instructed the Assistant Director [Museums] to send proposals and necessary information,” he added.

“The museum’s caretaker has been asked to liaise with local revenue officials and get boundary and other particulars after perusing the revenue records for us to go ahead with preparation of a historical note,” explained Assistant Director [Museums] S. Bangaraiah.

“Once they are ready we will go ahead with preparation of a detailed project report for consideration by a State-level committee,” he added.

Collection of artefacts

The museum in the village with a wonderful collection of stone inscriptions in Prakrit and Brahmi and other artefacts would be expanded and renovated to showcase the political, socio-economic and cultural aspects of the life of Andhra people for several centuries, Mr. Rao added.

Centre of Buddhism

The archaeological evidence found in and around Kanaparthi show that it was a flourishing centre of Buddhism and also Jainism and could be put on the international tourism circuit, felt social activist Komatla Trinatha Reddy, national Gram Ratan awardee.

“The flat beach is an ideal one for sea bathing,” added the former MPTC member and Bharat Nirmal Volunteer.

The museum houses statues of Ganesh, Kumaraswamy, Narayani, Brahmini, Surya, Parasurama, and Varahini, besides numerous Sivalingas of different sizes and shapes, including a finely chiselled “Dhara sivalinga,” with 32 dimensions. Non-indigenous stones were imported for making attractive Sivalingas by expert sculptors at the Yelleswara temple before exporting them to different destinations in south-east Asian countries.

Keywords: Rama temple, Chalukyas, Telugu Cholas, State Archaeology and Museums

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