Nalgonda: A rare sculpture of “Veera Vrataham” depicting ardent devotees of Lord Shiva (Veera Shaivulus) sacrificing their lives has been found by Archaeology Department officials at an ancient Surya Devalayam (Sun Temple) at Akaram village in Nalgonda district. The officials confirmed that the sculpture belonged to the 11th century.
Officials of the Archaeology and Endowments Departments focused on the conservation of the temple after Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan tweeted a story published in these columns on how the temple needed restoration. The Governor assured her help in protecting the temple.
Assistant Director of Archaeology Mallu Naik, accompanied by department officials, visited the temple at Akaram on Tuesday and inspected the premises looking for clues that would help in tracing its history.
Speaking to ‘Telangana Today’, he said the Sun Temple at Akaram dated back to the 11th Century when Kalyana Chalukyulu ruled the area. “Veera Shaivulus used to sacrifice their lives for the god. In the sculpture found at Akaram temple, a Veera Shaivulu is seen sitting in Siddasana and chopping his head off,” Naik said.
Veera Shaivulus sacrificed their lives in this manner when their king faced a defeat in a war or for some special occasions, he added.
So far, archaeologists had found only 10 such sculptures in the State in places such as Yadagirigutta, Challur, Wanaparthy, Lingampally and Velgatoor, he added. Efforts were on to decode an ancient script on a stone which was found on the temple premises.
Stating that a proposal for the reconstruction of the temple was sent to higher authorities, Naik said two sides of the temple were dilapidated, and hence, it was better to take up reconstruction instead of renovation.
Valishetti Kotesh Varma, a member of the temple protection committee, said that silver coins used during the period of Gowthami Puthra Shathakarni and Yajadri Shathakarni were also found at Akaram. A stone idol of Sri Suryanarayana Swamy was stolen by unidentified persons from the temple in 2016, he said, and urged the State government to take measures to bring back the idol to the temple.
Varma urged the State government to take stringent action against those damaging the temple periphery. District authorities should also focus on the protection of 57.4 acres of the temple land, he added.
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