Andhra Pradesh

Medieval period Mahishasuramardhini sculpture in neglect in Prakasam district

Historical Mahishasuramardhini idol cries for protection at Peda Alavulapadu village, near PC Palle in Prakasam district.

Historical Mahishasuramardhini idol cries for protection at Peda Alavulapadu village, near PC Palle in Prakasam district. | Photo Credit: BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

A 10th century sculpture of Mahishasuramardhini, locally called as Paleti Ganga, hewn in a rock at Peda Alavulapadu village near PC Palle in Prakasam district is under serious threat of damage to its antiquity, according to archaeologist and CEO Pleach India Foundation E. Sivanagi Reddy.

Based on the information given by local historian Jyothi Chandramouli, Mr. Reddy visited the spot along with the former on Sunday as part of documenting the historical remains in the villages of Erragaddapadu, Lingalakonda, and Peda Alavulapadu associated with the popular folklore ‘Katamaraju katha’ that narrates the fight between the forces of Katamaraju and Manumasiddhi in the 13th century AD.

This is in continuation of the research carried out earlier by folklorist Prof. T.V. Subbarao, who revealed the historical significance of the sculpture.

The sculpture measuring 4.5 x 2.5 x 0.3 ft in length, breadth and depth respectively is standing at ease on the head of demon Mahishasura and holding sankham, chakram, khadgam, sulam,gada and a shield in her eight hands. Also called as Vishnu Durga, the idol belongs to the Eastern Chalukyan period (10th century AD).

Indologists lament that the idol is prone to deterioration due to deliberate coating of chemical colours every summer during the annual temple festival by the locals unaware of its historical importance.


Mr. Chandramouli said that there was an inscription on a boulder located next to this sculpture issued by certain Ravuri Raghavareddy in 1526 AD (Sri Krishnadevaraya’s reignal period) which records the gifting away of a village Gangapatnam in Kanigiri-Polacharla-Musunduru Seema, a territorial division of the Vijayanagara empire, towards the 16 rituals (shodasopachara) of Someswara Swamy and Bagadi Ganga of Lingalakonda.

They sensitised the villagers on the historical significance of the spot and the sculpture and appealed to them to take care of it by removing the chemical colours immediately to bring back the original look of the sculpture.

They offered to provide technical guidance needed in this regard and also to draft a legend with the historical and iconographical details for display for the benefit of visitors and research scholars.

Mr. Karunanidhi, an amateur historian of Kanigiri, participated in the documentation programme.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2022 4:34:56 pm |