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India: Restoration of two Kakatiya era temples in full swing
After much delay, work has finally begun on restoration of two ancient temples of the Kakatiya era in Kusumanchi mandal headquarters in the district.

Restoration of two Kakatiya era temples in full swing
The historical Mukkanteshwaralayam being restored at Kusumanchi
 in Khammam district [Credit: G.N. Rao]

The Department of Archaeology has sanctioned Rs. 60 lakh under 13th Finance Commission to restore Sri Ganapeshwaralayam and Mukkanteshwaralayam in Kusumanchi to revive their lost glory.

The two ancient temples, reportedly dating back to the 12th century, were built during the reign of Kakatiya dynasty.

Although declared as protected monuments by the Department of Archaeology several decades ago, the two historical shrines have been lying in utter neglect due to apathy of the departments and agencies concerned.

The Mukkanteshwaralayam had become a target of treasure hunters over the past couple of years.

Though presently lying in a dilapidated condition, the historical Mukkanteshwaralayam bears testimony to the rich architecture that flourished during the Kakatiya regime.

Thanks to the initiative of some local devotees including philanthropists, the Ganapeshwaralaym had undergone minor renovation over a decade ago.

The temple attracts hordes of devotees during Sivaratri festivities every year.

Restoration of two Kakatiya era temples in full swing
The statue of Nandi at Sri Ganapeshwaralayam
[Credit: G.N. Rao]

The area surrounding the two temples is dotted with some archaeological monuments including a megalithic menhir (a vertical standing stone).

The entire stretch of the area known for its archaeological significance has been left in shambles due to lack of proper protection, rued V Sagar of Kusumanchi.

The departments entrusted with the task of protection of the monuments should earmark adequate funds for their conservation and appoint a watchman to protect the historical structures of archaeological heritage, he said.

The ongoing restoration works will help revive the lost glory of the two historical temples, said S Rangacharyulu, consultant, Department of Archaeology.

The works are being carried out under the supervision of the engineers of the Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation.

The works include strengthening of the foundations of the structures and reassembling of disturbed stones to restore the temples to their original glory, he noted.

The Circumambulation Path (Pradakshina Path) will be restored at Mukkanteshwaralayam encompassing three small shrines in a single complex with a common mandapa.

He said a plan is on the anvil to lay a pathway between Ganapeshwaralaym and Mukkanteshwaralayam for the benefit of devotees.

A proposal has been mooted to appoint a temple development committee to ensure proper maintenance of the two shrines after completion of the ongoing restoration works.

Author: P Sridhar | Source: The Hindu [March 19, 2015]

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India: Restoration of two Kakatiya era temples in full swing + South Asia