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Timeless tales D. Kiran Kranth Choudary.
Timeless tales D. Kiran Kranth Choudary.

A.D. RANGARAJAN

D. Kiran Krant Choudary's book is on the Srikalahasti temple.

From the hymns found in Thiruvasakam and Devaram written by the Tamil Nayanmars of the 7th Century AD to the inscriptional evidence of 986 AD pointing to the temple's existence; from the first inscription on the first royal patronage by King Raja Raja I dating to 1001 AD to the inscription by the Srikalahasti Zamindars as latest as 1732 AD. — the book Srikalahastisvara Temple — a study based on epigraphs and sculptures acts as a ready reckoner on the famed Srikalahastiswara temple in Chittoor district.

The book, written by D. Kiran Kranth Choudary, a professor of ancient Indian history, culture and archaeology at Sri Venkateswara University, is packed with details on the temple's sculptural excellence, iconography and the socio-political conditions prevailing under the various dynasties.

Of the 232 inscriptions found in the temple, almost two-thirds are in Tamil and the rest in Telugu, Kannada and Sanskrit. The inscriptions bear testimony to the coronation of the Vijayanagara emperor Achyuta Raya in 1529 AD at the temple (the place is still referred to as ‘Achyutaraya Mandapam'), the construction of the southern temple tower by Srikrishna Devaraya, the endowment made by Samantha Bhoja, the major-general of the Kakatiya dynasty, besides the visit of Telugu Cholas and Yadavarayas.

While all temples expand proportionately with the sanctum sanctorum as the nucleus, this temple has grown vertically, owing to the presence of Kailasagiri hills and the Swarnamukhi River on either sides. The book sheds light on the adaptable nature of the architectural style as the outer precinct on one side was built all along and skirting the hills. The temple reflects a rich blend of Chola and Vijayanagara styles of architecture and has a lot of information to offer on the historical and contemporary incidents. “My book also discusses tax collection system, prevailing interest rates, irrigation facilities and the way the temple thrived as the hub of social, political and economic activities,” says Dr. Choudary.

In recognition of his painstaking research, Dr. Choudary was felicitated on the recent Maha Sivaratri day by Padma Vibhushan Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna, the asthana vidwan of Srikalahasti temple. The book, published by Harman Publishing House (New Delhi), is priced at Rs.1200. Details can be had at 98492 19677.

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