Endowments officials pin the blame on ASI

The historic 9th Century old temple of Lord Bheemeswara Swami in this tiny town, which is known as Dhakshina Kasi and about 45 km from Rajahmundry, is in a dilapidated condition and devoid of basic amenities.

The temple is under the Endowments Department which is blaming Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for the present poor condition of the temple. However, ASI officials refuting the charge and instead are advising the Endowments Department to approach their higher officials for taking up make-shift arrangements without touching permanent structures in the temple.

The temple was built by the Eastern Chalukyan King of Vengi - Bhima, during very troubled times (9th -10th centuries), when his kingdom was under attack by the Rashtrakootas. Inscriptions reveal that he had to fight as many as 360 battles. The Draksharamam temple contains as many as 400 inscriptions dating back to the 11th century. After taking over, the ASI officials did not allow Endowments department to take up any development work or provide any basic amenities. “We appealed to ASI officials several times in last two years about constructing a door in place of window on the west side of the temple to keep open only on festive days,” said K.N.V.D.V. Prasad, Executive Officer of the temple.

The temple authorities have sent proposals worth about Rs.1.30 crores to construct a drinking water tank, sulabh complex, changing rooms for women, foot-bridge from Bedamandapam to main entrance, construction of gosala, kesakhandanasala, Vahanasala, Yagasala, Nityannadanam hall and rest rooms, Saptha Godavari tank de-silting, high-max lights to temple, re-wiring entire temple and other works. But, there was no response from the ASI, Hyderabad even after one year, temple authorities said. Anjaneyulu, Conservatory Assistant of ASI, Kakinada said the higher officials in Hyderabad would give permission for make-shift arrangements without disturbing permanent structures.