Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Thursday, May 26, 2022

936-yr-old Sun temple lying in ruins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atmakur: Surya Devalayam in Nallamala, which is on the verge of collapse, is said to be 936 years old.  Although there is no documentary evidence to prove this, legend has it that the Sun shrine in Pedda Anantapuram of Atmakur mandal was developed in 1080 by the Badami Chalukyas. Similar temples are located at Arasavelli in Srikakulam district and in Nandikotkur.

 

 

 

The ‘Janma Tithi’ of Surya Bhagwan is on Magha Suddha Saptami or Ratha Sapthami which falls on February 3. A researcher from Tamil Nadu in 1987 had submitted a report on the temple as part of world heritage identification describing it as ‘Trikona Gopura Adityalayam’. 

 

 

 

A visit to the temple site by The Hans India revealed that there is no idol left in it and the stone compound wall has collapsed. The shrine stands on the inner wall. 

 

 

 

The Vimana Gopuram has lost its shape and only the triangle is visible. Its sanctum sanctorum is spread over 12 sq ft. It has an eight-foot tall Gopuram. It was assumed that the temple belonged to an Agraharam comprising 100 Brahmin families.  

 

 

 

Spread over six-sq km the then city had a special ‘durbar’ for 100 servant-maids and facilities for people belonging to various communities. There used to be a huge bronze bell to wake up the citizens to start their daily chores. The temple tank had sufficient water throughout the year. It had stone steps 35 ft down with sculptures of lions on the four sides and the water could be used for irrigation. 

 

 

 

Its rock-made ‘Dhwajastambham’, which helped local residents to assess time based on its shadow, was vandalised by some miscreants for hidden treasure.

 

 

 

The Dhwajastambham shadow is said to have fallen over the village rendering all residents sick, following a curse by a sadhu. This forced them to flee Pedda Anantapuram, elderly persons of the village Pedda Subbamma, Bala Nagi Reddy told The Hans India. 

 

 

 

The gifts, including diamonds, to the temple sent by King Krishnadevaraya from Srisailam were stolen by Siddhapuram settlement gang. 

 

 

 

These were learnt to have been confiscated by the Nawab of Hyderabad. Later, the diamonds were allegedly shipped to England by the British Viceroy.

 

 

 

Local residents want the Archaeology department to focus its attention on the temple so that the future generations are enlightened about its historic background.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: The Hans India