Tuesday, 25 May 2010

1300 year old temple of Sri Chenna Kesava discovered at Terala in Guntur

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, May 25: A former history professor from the University of Hyderabad has discovered a 1300-year-old temple dedicated to Sri Chenna Kesava at Terala village in Durgi mandal of Guntur district.

Dr Ruchi Singh, who discovered the temple rather accidentally while she was working on archaeological sites in Palnadu region, says the temple belonging to the Chalukyan period was buried up to roof level. "The temple is locally known as Ankalamma Gudi or Poopalamma Gudi and lies in the Brahmanaidu cheruvu (lake). It is a Rekhanagara Prasada, representing the Badami Chalukyan architecture datable to the 7th century CE." she said.

Macherla and Karempudi, the temple towns of Palnadu war fame, are popular centres in Guntur district for Sri Chenna Kesava temple and Veerulagudi respectively. There are a few temples associated with Palnadu war and they have not seen the light of the day. Recently, the Nayakuralu Nagamma temple at Jittagamalapadu, a 11th - 12th century structure, was taken up for conservation.

Dr Ruchi Singh is currently working on a project on "heritage and cultural tourism in Andhra Pradesh" supported by South Zone Cultural Centre, Thanjavur. She had gone for studying Siddeshwara Swamy temple at Terala for her project.

Prof  E Siva Nagi Reddy, sculptor in the department of archaeology and museums, says the counterparts of the temple are seen at Pitikayagulla in Prakasam district, Panyam in Kurnool district and the group of temples at Alampur in Mahabubnagar district.

Square on plan the temple has a garbhagriha over which a typical Nagara style Vimana Sikhara with Amalaka is built. Until and unless the earth accumulated up to roof level of the temple is removed the details of the walls, mukhamandapa and adhishtana are not known, she said.

Moreover, the sculptors used iron dowels in the joinery of the stones used for construction of the temple, and this is a typical western Chalukyan feature.

Prof  KP  Rao, Hyderabad Central University, said the discovery is significant in two ways. First it attests the fact that Guntur district was in the domain of the early Chalukyas also known as the western Chalukyas or the Chalukyas of Badami, ruled from Karnataka, and secondly, the Chalukyan temples are also located in Guntur region.

Archaeology director Prof  P Chenna Reddy confirmed that the temple discovered by Dr Ruchi Singh is Chalukyan and dated back to the 7th century CE. He said this unique temple would be protected by his department.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Rosaiah proves his detractors wrong

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, May 15: Chief Minister K Rosaiah has proved his political detractors wrong by emerging as the Chanakya of AP politics through deft handling of murky party politics, sensitive public and crucial administrative issues, precarious finances and the sentimental Telangana agitation.

The empty State coffers notwithstanding, Rosaiah has been successfully managing to continue the populist schemes and welfare programmes launched by his predecessor, Dr YS Rajasekhar Reddy, except for downsizing the number of seats in the State-run IIITs. Contrary to the Opposition's criticism, he has in fact released more funds for irrigation projects, a pet scheme of YSR.

Rosaiah, who personally inspected the progress of Handri-Niva Srujala Sravanti irrigation project in Kurnool district on Saturday, reiterated that all the good schemes launched by YSR would be continued. "Even in the testing times, I have not scrapped or withdrawn even one welfare scheme in the last nine months. Though the finances are under strain, my government has decided to continue all the good schemes," he said.

When Rosaiah took the oath on September 3 last year, many thought it was a stop gap arrangement. The political situation was fluid. Even the Nature did not support him, with the State witnessing unprecedented floods in a millennium. Quick on the heels came the political turmoil in the form of Telangana agitation with Congress legislators submitting their resignations and his Cabinet colleagues taking sides on regional lines.

But the septuagenarian chief minister weathered away successfully all major storms, both Natural and political, to emerge even powerful. Even as he is faced with the charge of "watering down" popular schemes, Rosaiah makes it clear that he had not initiated the integrated survey to weed out bogus ration cards.

"I  have made it clear to officials that not even a single ration card of an eligible family should be withdrawn. If genuine cards are cancelled, I will take action against officials concerned," Rosaiah said.

He has grown stronger by the day through astute statesmanship and his friendly nature to win over arch rivals.  Rosaiah, who is “groupless”, has succeeded in taking along all the groups in the Congress in the last nine months of assuming power. His good equations with the Congress high command and his no-nonsense style of functioning back home has silenced even the main Opposition Telugu Desam.

Despite the industrial backlash the Telangana agitation has brought in its wake, Rosaiah turned the tide in favour of the State by creating an investment-friendly atmosphere. "I am happy that the investment environment has improved in the last two months. IT companies have been enquiring about the growth opportunities in Andhra Pradesh and many of them are willing to invest  in other cities, besides Hyderabad," the chief minister observed.

The silent achievements of Rosaiah, who has presented the State budget for a record 16 times thus far, include good fiscal management without going in for overdraft even during the hard times, controlling of the Telangana agitation without bloodshed, full grip over the State and district administration with his choice of officers, and reining in his Cabinet colleagues, who were divided on regional lines, with his characteristic carrot and stick policy.

Rosaiah, who has never faced any charge of corruption in his 50 years of political life, has reactivated the Anti Corruption Bureau, with raids regularly conducted on senior officials. 

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This Day In History

Mother's Care

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Minnu The Cat & Her Kittens Brownie, Goldie & Blackie

Someone with Nature

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Syed Akbar in an island in river Godavari with Papikonda hills in the background

Recognition by World Vegetable Centre

Recognition by World Vegetable Centre

Under the shade of Baobab tree

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At Agha Khan Akademi in Kenya

Gateway to the Southern Hemisphere

Gateway to the Southern Hemisphere

Convention on Biodiversity

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Syed Akbar at the 11th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity