Andhra Pradesh

Apathy hits Bugga Ramalingeswara Swamy temple

The temple spreads over several acres in the eastern end of Tadapatri town, on the banks of the Penna river. —Photo: R.V.S. Prasad  

The Bugga Ramalingeswara Swamy temple at Tadipatri town, a Siva shrine built in all architectural splendour during the reign of the Saluva dynasty of the Vijayanagara kingdom.

The Bugga Ramalingeswara temple is one of the very few temples whose exact date of start and completion of construction have been known.

The temple was estimated to had been constructed between 1490 and 1509. It not only presents itself as a picture of the political struggle the region went through ever since its construction till the advent and culmination of the British period, but also as the one of the very few temples in the district to be plundered by Muslim armies.

The Tadipatri Kaifiyat, collected by Col Mackenzie in 1802, narrates the story and events that led to the construction of temple. According to the Kaifiyat, Ramalinganayudu, a chieftain of the Vijayanagara

empire tasked with the administration of the Gutti – Gandikota seema (referred to as Yadikiseema in some accounts) had built the Ramalingesvara temple as a result of an unusual event.

“When Ramalinga’s cows were taken to the fields to graze, one particular animal used to empty its milk on an ant-hill. The cowherd had hurled an axe at the ant-hill. The night Ramalinga has a dream in which the Lord told him the cowherd had harmed him. Ramalinga was asked to build a temple at the spot,” the Tadapatri kaifiyat says.

True to the story of the Linga, the presiding deity, being a ‘swayambhu’ (naturally occuring or self originated), the Linga is unhewn. The Linga, having been consecrated at a small perpetual spring, called ‘Bugga’ in local parlance, the temple came to be known as the ‘Bugga Ramalingeswara Swamy’ temple.

The imposing temple spread over several acres in the eastern end of the Tadapatri town, on the banks of the Penna river, is characterised by its huge gopurams on three sides of the temple, north, west and south, termed as ‘wonders’ by James Fergusson, an architectural historian who wrote the famous book ‘History of Indian and Eastern Architecture.’

On the other hand, Lord Siva being portrayed in his various forms such as Kevalamurti, Sukhasanamurti, Dakshinamurthi, Uma Maheswaramurti, Vrishabarudra murti, Natarajamurti and Ardhanarimurti, is a rarity of sorts in terms of the architectural expression of Sivaite temples during the Saluva dynasty.

“The Haryardha Murti (The concept of Lord Siva and Lord Vishnu being indivisible parts of the same body manifested throughout the cosmos) also signifies the change of the Sangama dynasty, who patronised

Saivism and the kriyasakti order of monks to the Saluva dynasty during which period the emergence of Sri Vaishnavism took roots and enjoyed the patronage of the rulers,” said O Ramasubba Reddy,

technical officer of the Archaeological Department, speaking to The Hindu .

Todays temple is, courtesy the British, under Thomas Munroe, who renovated and restarted the worshipping in 1800, after the plundering of the temple by the Muslim rulers.

Nonetheless, in spite of the architectural beauty and the history behind the temple and its existence, the temple has very few visitors besides the local people, thanks to the apathy, both in the upkeep of the temple, as is apparent, and due to the sheer lack of information to tourists across the country and the world.

Despite the architectural beauty of the temple, it has very few visitors, owing to the indifference of officials when it comes to upkeep of the temple

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 9:37:36 AM |

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