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Shortage of ‘silpis’ hits Rajagopuram work

G.V.R. Subba Rao
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Deadline for completion of works extended by three months from March 2013

Daunting task:A view of Rajagopruam and Mallikarjuna Mahamandapam being constructed by Sri Durga Malleswara Swamyvarla Devasthanam in Vijayawada.— Photo: Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar
Daunting task:A view of Rajagopruam and Mallikarjuna Mahamandapam being constructed by Sri Durga Malleswara Swamyvarla Devasthanam in Vijayawada.— Photo: Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar

The acute shortage of silpis (designers) has hit the construction of Rajagopuram of Kanaka Durga temple atop Indrakeeladri.

Sri Durga Malleswara Swamyvarla Devasthanam here has been encountering various problems ever since the Rajagopuram works were commenced. The technical scrutiny, proposals to restrict height of the Rajagopuram, and changes in the designs were a few problems faced initially. Later, sand scarcity also marred the construction. ‘One step forward and two steps back’ is the progress, if the pace of works were any indication.

The Rajagopuram was to be completed by March 2013, now the date is extended by three months.

The temple officials agree that there is an inordinate delay in execution of the works. The skilled labour is available in Anaparthy and Peddapuram. At least 10 of them are required, but only five to six are available at any given point of time. Even those available are taking too many breaks.

The contractors too were ready to make extra payments, but the skilled labour was not available. To tide over the situation, the temple has provided the supporting labourers, says an official.

The skilled workmen at the site agree there was a delay. Currently seven masters are working.

“As soon as we complete the basic work like designs, the sculptors will carve the icons and images on the gopuram,” said Jakkam Srinu, a silpi.

The temple pays Rs.350 per day to each worker, which is much higher compared to the regular construction workers. The temple is providing food and shelter.

The Endowments Department has asked the temple authorities to “restrict” the height of Rajagopuram under construction to 55ft, as against the originally planned 88 ft.

The project will cost Rs.9.6 crore. The Rajagopuram was supposed to be completed by 2011. Former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy laid the foundation stone in 2008.


  • Rajagopuram was originally supposed to be completed by 2011

  • YSR laid the stone for the project costing Rs. 9.6 crore



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