The temple surfaces in the foreshore area of Srisailam reservoir

Member of Parliament Kotla Jayasuryaprakasa Reddy and Collector Ramsankar Naik, accompanied by their immediate family members, worshipped at Sangameswara temple which surfaced in the foreshore area of Srisailam reservoir on Tuesday. Kotla Sujathamma, former MLA and wife of the MP, and Padma, Collector's wife were also present.

The VIPs made it to the temple on the invitation of priest Telekapalli Raghurama Sarma who requested them to visit the shrine and contribute their mite to save the temple from dilapidation. The temple is swallowed by backwaters when the Srisailam reservoir level crosses 840 ft.

Mr. Raghurama Sarma, acting as the priest of the temple, performs the rituals every day in May and part of June when the temple surfaces. The sojourn ends with celebration of kalyanotsavam.

The temple is considered one of the oldest in the area as the first generation fossilized log is worshipped as idol here. The temple has its mention in the oldest scriptures revealing its antiquity.

In fact, the temple was ordered for relocation in 1980s when a package was declared for Sangameswaram village for relocation along with scores of villages in Kurnool and Mahabubnagar districts after the Srisailam reservoir was constructed.

According to residents of Sangameswaram, the village with 150 families, was bustling and prosperous in those days with complete irrigation support from KC Canal. The village was surrounded by beautiful stone temples like Sangameswara and Rupala Sangameswara.

G. Seshanna, a rich farmer who lived in the village till its last days, recalled that Sivararatri used to be a big festival in those days. The temple had patronage from devotees of nearby places. The main temple was surrounded by several minor temples devoted to Subramanyeswara, Mruthyunjaya and Suryanarayana. A huge and majestic chariot adorned the temple. The idols in minor temples were taken away by individuals and organisations once confusion set in during the relocation. Rupala Sangameswara temple was relocated on Jagannatha Hill on the outskirts of Kurnool while Sangameswara temple was allowed to remain at the original place.

The temple surfaced for the first time in the summer of 2003 when the dam authorities drained it to the bottom to use more water for power generation. It has been a pilgrimage for many during summer since then. Mr. Raghurama Sarma asked for cleaning of silt which had accumulated in the last three decades, and sinking of a borewell to meet the water needs of the devotees.

The Collector promised to get down to work after reviewing the status of the temple in the endowments records.