Telangana

Chiselling out the dividing lines

Sculptor Sheik Rabbani and his team busy at work at Chaya Someshwara Swamy Temple, Panagal in Nalgonda district, Telangana, on Saturday. Photo: Singam Venkataramana

Sculptor Sheik Rabbani and his team busy at work at Chaya Someshwara Swamy Temple, Panagal in Nalgonda district, Telangana, on Saturday. Photo: Singam Venkataramana  

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Sheik Rabbani has restored 20 temples and constructed 15 new ones

Amid growing tension between the majority and minority communities, here is an example of perfect communal harmony with a 32-year-old Muslim man from Guntur embarking on the task of restoring historical and dilapidated Hindu temples in Telangana as well as Andhra Pradesh.

With a team of 40 workers, all of them Muslims, Sheik Rabbani of Turkapalem in Guntur is credited with restoring 20 historical temples in both the States and constructing 15 finest new rock-built temples. All this has been accomplished by Mr. Rabbani in the last 10 years.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Rabbani said his great grand parents had learnt the art from some Tamil sculptors probably in the late 19th century.

"I grew up seeing my grandfather and father having mastered the art of sculpting rocks and stones and turning them into marvellous structures. All this was done to earn their livelihood. As my parents were not in a position to support my education, I dropped out of school in Class VII and started helping my father,” he said.

To hone his skills, Mr. Rabbani took the guidance of Murthy, a noted artisan of Guntur. Having learnt the finer aspects of sculpting, he started working in close association with the Archaeology Department to restore temples from 2003.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 3:53:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/a-muslim-sculptors-monuments-of-faith/article6689630.ece

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