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Updated: April 7, 2014 19:11 IST

Raghunayaka temple gets facelift

S. Murali
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Sculptors giving finishing touches to reconstruction of historic Raghunayaka temple at Chadalavada in Prakasam dsitrict. Photo: Kommuri Srinivas
The Hindu Sculptors giving finishing touches to reconstruction of historic Raghunayaka temple at Chadalavada in Prakasam dsitrict. Photo: Kommuri Srinivas

The temple is endowed with a beautiful Mukhamandapam and Vimanagopuram constructed at a cost of about R 85 lakh

The historic temple of Raghunayaka in Chadalavada, a sleepy town in Prakasam district, has a hoary past, shedding light on the socio-cultural history of Andhra. But the south facing temple has suffered neglect for long.

However, thanks to the combined efforts of the Endowments Department and philanthropists, the 11th century temple has a now got a facelift ahead of the temple's annual festival beginning on April 9, a day after Sriramanavami, says temple executive officer Karnam Venkateswara Rao while speaking to The Hindu.

The bilingual inscriptions, which throw light on land grants for maintenance of the temple, were recovered from sanctum sanctorum and other parts of the temple during its reconstruction. The temple also has stone images of Vaishnava cult saints Sudaralvar, Nammalvar and Andal as the place was an important seat of Vaishnavism since the medieval times, Mr Venkateswara Rao said.

Now the temple is endowed with a beautiful Mukhamandapam and Vimanagopuram constructed at a cost of about R 85 lakh thanks to sustained efforts of the Raghunayaka Seva Samiti headed by Mr J.Kanakaiah.

Visit of eagle

The religious significance of the temple is that an eagle visits the temple each year on ‘chaitra bahula vidiya' (which falls on April 16 this year). The marriage of the celestial couples are performed only after sighting of the eagle according to the temple priest Bagavathula Arunacharyulu. The event attracts huge crowds and sustains the temple, he added.

“We are planning to construct a magnificent seven-storey Rajagopuram after completion of the festival,” adds Samiti Secretary Chadalavada Venkata Krishnaiah.

The bilingual inscriptions in the temple in Telugu-kanarese (old Kannada script) and Tamil Grantha script sheds light on the socio-cultural history of the people in these parts, says historian Jyothi Chandramouli.

The place derives its name from Chuturveda Patashalas attracting scholars for study of Vedas and Vedangas then. According to a legend, the place was known as Chaturvatika as Lord Rama had directed his Vanara sena to go in four directions in search of Sita from here, adds the temple priest.

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