13th century temple a picture of neglect

Despite being an architectural marvel, the shrine remains unknown to many

January 17, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 08:31 am IST - ANANTAPUR:

The Vimana of the Vaishnava temple built in the Vijayanagara era at Gorantla in Anantapur district.- PHOTOS: R. V. S. PRASAD

The Vimana of the Vaishnava temple built in the Vijayanagara era at Gorantla in Anantapur district.- PHOTOS: R. V. S. PRASAD

With the lack of tourist infrastructure and initiative to promote the historical places in the district, the 13th century Vaishnava temple in the Gorantla mandal headquarters has remained a picture of neglect.

Of the many marvels of the Vijayanagara temple architecture in the district, only a few can match the architectural brilliance of this temple which hardly gets 10 visitors a day. The finest of cornices and carvings on pilasters and the mastery in stone art go unnoticed by the tourists.

The temple, built by king Narasimha of the Saluva dynasty of the Vijayanagara empire in Saka 1276 (1354 A.D), says the district gazette and the Mysore Epigraphical Report of 1912. The shrine used to receive many donations and regular processions used to be taken out on the ‘dasami’ day every month, says records which date back to 1610 A.D. “However, in the intervening period (from 1610 A.D to 1904 A.D), the nose of the presiding deity (idol of Madhavaraya Swamy) was broken which had made the idol ineligible for puja,” said Mr. O. Ramasubba Reddy, technical officer in the Archaeology Department.

The temple was declared a protected monument by the British govt. With the nose of the presiding deity being chiselled away, the daily rituals have been eluding the temple

O. Ramasubba Reddy,Technical Officer,Archaeology Dept.

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