Rare sculptures of Rani Rudrama Devi unearthed in Khammam village

A very rare portrait Sculpture of Kakatiya Sovereign Rani Rudrama Devi in devotedly venerating the deities of Panchakutesvara temple at Teerthala Village, Khammam District, Telangana – datable to 13th Century A.D.  

Two rare sculptural portraits of Kakatiya queen Rudrama Devi were unearthed and identified by an archaeologist on the premises of Sangameswara Swamy Temple at Teerthala village in Khammam district recently.

Speaking to The Hindu about his recent explorations, D Kanna Babu, former Superintending Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India, Chennai, said that the celebrated Sangameswara temple is panchakuta – a five-unit marvellous shrine monument consisting of wonderful architectural features and requisite components for the comfortable worship of divinities.

The shrine stands on a well built jagati platform now being covered under flooring and the most baffling aspect of the shrine is its complex enriched with two most marvellous sculptural representations.

“Although both the sculptured slabs are abraded due to ravages of nature over the passage of time, the portraits have safely retained queen Rudrama Devi`s (A.D 1262 – 89) imperial personality and her characteristic gesticulation as an ardent devotee of Lord Siva - otherwise it could be a great loss to the history of Kakatiyas,” he said.

Narrating the uniqueness of these sculptures Mr. Babu said the first sculptured panel is in an oval frame and depicts the majestic personality of Rudrama Devi. “She is seated on her forefeet while her hands are in Anjali mudra (a gesture of worship). The face is oval, eyes are closed in deep meditation, and dress and ornaments of the queen are quite stunning,” he noticed.

She wears elaborate earrings, beaded necklaces, armlets, wristlets and anklets. Her typical royal upper robe is very handsome and the lower garment covers up to ankles and tied with a waistband. The most interesting aspect is that the queen bears a very striking royal crown on her head and some circular plaques are hanging from the lower edge of it, and cover part of the forehead of the queen. The sculpture indicates that Rudrama Devi visited the Sangamesvara temple at the time of its sanctification. While the second sculptural panel is in a rectangular frame representing arrival or the Rudrama Devi on a royal elephant to this temple site, and probably a provincial chief under her control is welcoming her by stopping the running elephant with his hands. “As per the Ganapati Deva`s Malkapuram inscription, Chaitra Bahula Ashtami is her birthday. This year it has fallen on May 4. It is appropriate to remember the brave general, administrator, strategist, trendsetter and philanthropist Rani Rudramadevi - the mighty Kakatiya sovereign on this occasion,” Mr Babu added.

Teerthala is a non-descriptive village popular for the historical temple dedicated to Sangameshwara- Shiva, the temple which was constructed during the reign of Rani Rudrama Devi on the banks of Akeru river.

The place is venerated as ‘Triveni sangama sthali’ confluence of three rivers – Akeru, Munneru and Buggeru.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 10:20:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/rare-sculptures-of-rani-rudrama-devi-unearthed/article34522374.ece

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