Ramadasu `Karagruham' in Golconda fort vandalised

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CURIOSITY: Visitors watching engravings at the Ramadasu Bandikhana inside Golconda fort in Hyderabad.
CURIOSITY: Visitors watching engravings at the Ramadasu Bandikhana inside Golconda fort in Hyderabad.

Staff Reporter

Cigarette butts and litter seen in the cell

It is the first stopover for people visiting Golconda fortNames of commoners written all over holy figurinesPeople throw junk through opening in the roof

HYDERABAD: The figures of Lord Rama, Lakshman and Hanuman chiselled out of stonewalls of the Golconda fort by `Bhakta' Ramadasu during his solitary confinement in prison remain mute spectators to the decay that has set in.

Ramadasu `Karagruham' is the first stopover for people visiting the majestic Golconda fort where the saint poet had spent 12 long years.

It is the place where many go, gape in wonder before offering a silent prayer.

Sadly, the place glorified by the presence of an acclaimed `Vaggeyakara' whose lucid verses captured the ecstasy and agony of devotion has been vandalised.

Cigarette butts and litter are seen in the cell though swept to a corner.

The walls that have the holy figurines now have the names of commoners sticking out like sore thumbs.

The opening in the roof, which is said to have provided ventilation to Ramadasu, is also not left out.

People throw junk or stones from atop unmindful of the injury it may cause to visitors inside, leave alone the sanctity of the place, reveals the watchman.

Astounding architecture

Yet those who visit the historic Golconda fort are mesmerised by its astounding architecture and the tale of devotion of Ramadasu it immortalised.

The jail where Kancharla Gopanna, a tehsildar of Bhadrachalam during the reign of Abul Hasan Tanah Shah, was imprisoned for spending the official revenue on constructing a Ram temple at Bhadrachalam, has always been a major attraction for tourists.

The latest Telugu film `Bhakta Ramadasu' featuring popular filmstar Nagarjuna apparently renewed visitors' interest.

A group of engineering students Yedukondalu, Kavitha and Kalpana who recently watched the film were seen animatedly discussing that Ramdasu jail looked just as it was shown in the film.

Well comparison should be vice versa as some scenes were said to have been actually shot in the historical stone prison.

500 visitors

However, the release of the film has not exactly been bringing in more number of visitors than the average 500 with the summer vacation yet to begin, says an Archaeological Survey of India official G. Kamaraj.

The watchman Ramesh says that film or no film, people are always curious to look into the premises where Bhakta Ramadasu spent so many years.

While the place remains popular, it can certainly do with more respect from the visitors in memory of a devotee who took devotion to divine heights.



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