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Preserving monument VUDA style!

Ramesh Susarla
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In a hurry to give a new look to Vijayastambham it painted the pillar

Victory pillar of Sri Krishnadevaraya at Potnur before and after restoration. The sculpture made out of sandy reddish Khondalite rock has been painted black to look like granite. — Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam
Victory pillar of Sri Krishnadevaraya at Potnur before and after restoration. The sculpture made out of sandy reddish Khondalite rock has been painted black to look like granite. — Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam

Sri Krishnadevaraya's Vijayastambham (victory pillar) that finds mention in works of several historians and sasanas of the king in 16 {+t} {+h} Century A.D. was left to fend for itself for five centuries and not many knew its exact location, but during the 500 {+t} {+h} year of coronation it became the centre of attraction.

The archaeological piece of sculpture made out of locally available khondalite rock rooted in the history of petrological research in the Indian subcontinent, has a sandy structure with reddish tinge. A decision was taken to restore and preserve the pillar during the ongoing celebrations to mark 500 {+t} {+h} year of coronation of Vijayanagar emperor, but the executing agency – Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority went a step forward enthusiastically to give it a new look.

A look at the photographs of the pillar before and after the restoration work explains the difference.

A pedestal with granite rock flooring was constructed in a record nine days and at the centre the cleaned five-foot sculpted pillar, with four hooded nagadevata idols on it, was installed.

Not stopping at that the pillar has been painted with black colour giving it a look of granite stone.

This has been objected to by people visiting the place. “The archaeological piece should not have been tampered with,” opined Jammi Ramakrishna Rao, a resident of Padmanabham.

A large pylon has been constructed to depict the Vijayanagara architectural pattern, which can house a bust size idol of Sri Krishnadevaraya so that visitors can relate the pillar with him.

A large plaque mentioning the names of all politicians in the region has been put up, but historical importance of the pillar has not been written on it, as is the practice at all sites protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Such a literature in English and Telugu would help the tourists/visitors understand its importance.


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