First Telugu inscription missing

Special Correspondent
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Writer Vempalle Gangadhar showing a research paper carrying the photograph of the “missing” Telugu inscription.
Writer Vempalle Gangadhar showing a research paper carrying the photograph of the “missing” Telugu inscription.

The first Telugu inscription known as ‘Kalamalla’ , dating back to 575 AD, found in Sri Chennakesava Swamy temple premises in Kalamalla village in Kadapa district is missing, Kadapa writer and Central Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar recipient Vempalle Gangadhar claimed on Saturday.

Researchers from Chennai conducted a study in 1904 on the inscription made by Renati Chola King Erikal Muturaju Dhanunjaya Varma and deduced that it was the first Telugu inscription.

Local people were of the opinion that the research team took the inscription to the Government Museum at Chennai, he said.

When Dr. Gangadhar addressed a letter to the Commissioner of Museums at Egmore in Chennai whether the inscription was preserved and on display , he was taken aback on receiving a reply from S. Selva Arasu, Assistant Director (Admin) of the museum, that no such inscription was available in the Chennai museum.

He later wrote to the Deputy Superintending Archaeologist of Archaeological Survey of India at Hyderabad and received a reply that the ASI was unaware of the whereabouts of the inscription or has details such as its dimensions, weight and shape.

The only information available with ASI on the Kalamalla inscription was that two researchers K. Neelakantha Sastry and M. Venkataramaiah examined the inscription in 1947-48 and published an article about it, the ASI official said.

ASI officials in Mysore too had stated that the inscription was not with them, Dr. Gangadhar said.

He lamented the neglect of the officials concerned in preserving such a historical and archaic inscription.

“Known as ‘Kalamalla’ inscription, dating back to 575 AD, it was reportedly sent to a museum in Chennai which has however denied knowledge of any such inscription in its possession”



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