The unearthing of the statue of Lord Mahaveera in Kotla Narsimhlupalle village of Gangadhara mandal in Karimnagar district has once again brought focus on the need for more excavations and investigations by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to unravel the history of the region.
On Saturday, an idol of Lord Mahaveera was unearthed in the fields of Voggu Anjaiah while ploughing by using a tractor. Incidentally, an idol belonging to the 23rd Jain Theerthankara called Parshvanatha was found in the same fields on June 13, 2007. This spot is just 15 km away from Bommalammagutta, which was the first capital of Rashtrakuta dynasty, which ruled the Telangana region and adopted Jainism.
Surprisingly, the Kotla Narsimhlupalle village is known for historical reasons because of location of the hillock ‘Devuni Gutta’ which houses the ancient Sri Laxmi Narasimha Swamy and Sri Annapoorna Vishwanatha temples dating back to 7th and 8th century of Imperial Rashtrakutas. The unique and rare sculptures (Bas-Relief) of Shodasha Babu Pancha Mukha Ugra (Bhargava) Narasimha seen here belongs to 4th and 5th century of Rashtrakutas.
On top of the hillock, one could find the remains of an ancient fort. It is said that after the fall of Nanda dynasty and installation of Mourya dynasty, one of the Nandas fled from Pataliputra and had taken shelter on this hillock. The village is surrounded by a mud fort (kota) and hence the village is called Kotla Narasimhlupalle.
Kirti Kumar Kalvakota, a native of the village and hereditary trustee of the temples on the hillocks, said that following his representation, ASI officials from Chennai and Hyderabad have inspected the hillock on April 23, 2015; October 11, 2017; and on March 11, 2020. The ASI officials have confirmed that the Ugra Narasimha temple dates back to 8th century AD and stressed on the need for preservation of the rare sculptural panel of the temple.
Mr. Kirti Kumar urged the government to clean the temple chemically to remove the thick coat of lime plaster on the walls of the temple which may bring out hidden sculptures and inscriptions if any, on the walls and pillars. The open Bas Relief panel of Ugra Narasimha is rare sculptural evidence of the early period and it has to be preserved for the future generation, he opined.