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Rope suspension bridge at Pushpagiri

M. V. Subramanyam
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New facility approved by State under the Heritage Tourism Circuit programme

Sri Lakshmi Chennakesava Swamy temple at Pushpagiri near Kadapa.
Sri Lakshmi Chennakesava Swamy temple at Pushpagiri near Kadapa.

Pushagiri Matham, a seat of Advaita philosophy, popular as second Hampi, with 17 ancient temples dating to the 11th to 16th century in Vallur mandal, about 15 km. from Kadapa, will get a wire rope suspension bridge and a motor-driver battery car to link the temples on either banks of the Pennar next year.

The suspension bridge of 285 metres length and 2.50 metres width, estimated to cost Rs. 5 crore, was approved by the State government under the Heritage Tourism Circuit programme from Sri Kamakshi Vaidyanatha Swamy temple on the banks of Pennar river to Sri Lakshmi Chennakesava Swamy temple on the other bank, superintending engineer of Panchayat Raj S. Jagath Kumar told The Hindu . The 20-km travel from the Sri Lakshmi Chennakesava Swamy temple to reach Sri Kamakshi Vaidyanatha Swamy temple by road, without venturing to cross Pennar river, which has several whirlpools, would be cut down to half km. due to the bridge.

Several temples

The pilgrim centre brims with devotees during Sivarathri and Vaikuntha Ekadasi. Pushpagiri has a Trikooteswara shrine opposite the Pushpagiri Matham. There are also temples of Sri Kamaleswara, Sri Hachaleswara and Sri Pallaveswara dating to 1255 AD. The Sri Bhimeswara temple has figures of elephants, lions and sages and the ceiling is decorated with pastille design with a lotus medallion in the centre and its entrance has parapet walls lined by elephant heads with long trunks. Sri Kamakshi Vaidyanatha Swamy temple dates back to the Chola period.

The main attraction of Sri Chennakesava Swamy temple dedicated to Lord Mahavishnu on the other bank of the Pennar, which can be reached by crossing a shallow pool of water with a flight of steps and a beautiful gopuram gateway, is the sacred Amrit Sarovar.

This pool is believed to have magical powers to reverse ageing, as legend has it that when Garuda was carrying nectar from Indraloka, a drop fell in it and turned into a sacred pool.

Narrative sculpture

Pushpagiri has ancient temples of Sri Indranatheswara, Sri Rudrapaada, Sri Vishnupaada, Sri Bhimeswara, Sri Saakshi Malleswara dating to the 10th century. The temples of Sri Uma Maheswara, Sri Santana Malleswara and Sri Lakshmi Chennakesava Swamy abound in narrative sculpture of the Vijayanagara kingdom from epics like the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagavatam, besides Saivite mythology. Pushpagiri, which derives its name from hills appearing like a flower, finds a mention in the Sundarakanda of saint Valmiki’s Ramayanam and had 101 temples in ancient times.

A general tender was called and two companies have offered to build the suspension bridge, Mr. Jagath Kumar said. Another tender would be called with detailed estimates, designs and drawings, followed by a third one with material quantity and rate, he said.

The tenders would be finalised by September-end and the bridge would be completed in nine months, the SE said. The ropeway proposal is on the agenda of the meeting with the engineer-in chief at Hyderabad on August 6, he stated.


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