Andhra Pradesh

Soon Lepakshi mural paintings will narrate their tale

The murals on the ceiling of the main mandapa of the Veerabhadra temple at Lepakshi in Anantapur district.

The murals on the ceiling of the main mandapa of the Veerabhadra temple at Lepakshi in Anantapur district.  

ASI to arrange audio-visual commentary in Veerabhadra temple

The Veerabhadra temple at Lepakshi is known for its architecture and mural paintings, but very little authentic information is available on it. This scenario is set for a change as the mural paintings will soon speak. There will be an authentic audio-visual commentary relating to every panel of painting.

For understanding the cultural practices, the religious beliefs and the popular mythological stories of the 16th century Rayalaseema region, one needs to take a keen look at the mural paintings on the walls and roof of the mandapas of the Veerabhadra temple.

Very soon people can listen to an authentic version of the history and story behind the mural paintings with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) proposing a project to help all tourists and pilgrims know about it by listening to a commentary in popular languages for a small price.

Conservation

Unfortunately the vagaries of nature have spoiled the richness of these paintings. The ASI laboriously protects these paintings by giving a chemical treatment to the surface and plugging some leaking holes on the roof to stop further deterioration of the quality of the murals.

A chemical coat was given in 2017-18 financial year and another coat is scheduled in 2020-21. The Veerabhadra, Ramalingeswara temple, the ceiling of the mahamandapa of the Raghunatha temple, sayanagara, Parvati shrine around the Veerabhadra temple, and the mahamandapa between the main temple and natya mandapa are the places, where one needs to look for these paintings.

Many pilgrims visit the temple to worship the presiding deity Lord Shiva and barely notice the skills of the artisans of the Vijayanagara kingdom.

The authentic history of the temple and the place is not easily available for visitors. There are guides who do not have the official authority from the ASI or government agencies, but they are engaged by the tourists or pilgrims to satisfy their urge for some information.

“There is no consistent version of history or mythology that is told by these guides leading to the visitors taking home several different versions of the stories about the place and temple,” said Krishna Chaitanya representing the ASI.

Survey done

The ASI has proposed a kiosk on the outer edge of the temple where an audio-visual display would be available corresponding to every panel a visitor wishes to understand. A preliminary survey has been done and the audio-visual equipment would be placed there by the end of the next financial year.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 2:24:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/soon-lepakshi-mural-paintings-will-narrate-their-tale/article30966347.ece

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