Chief Executive Officer of Cultural Centre of Vijayawada and Amaravati (CCVA) Dr E Sivanagi Reddy speaking at symposium held on ‘Saiva Cult in Andhradesa’ at the CCVA office here on Monday
Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh has the distinction of having India’s biggest ‘Sivalingam’, said Dr E Sivanagi Reddy, Chief Executive Officer of Cultural Centre of Vijayawada and Amaravati (CCVA), at a symposium held on ‘Saiva Cult in Andhradesa’ at the CCVA office here on Monday.
Reddy said that the 55-feet high Sivalingam, which was locally called as ‘Endala Mallikarjuna Swamy’ was located at Ravi Valasa village of Tekkali mandal in Srikakulam district.
The CEO, who visited Ravi Valasa, recently and examined the Sivalingam, said it was the biggest Sivalingam in India when compared to the one which is at Bhojpur (MP) and Thanjavuru (TN).
He said that the Sivalingam was in the shape of an erect phallus on which the form of Siva is seen at Gudimallam village in Chittoor district. He elaborated on the origin and spread of Siva cult in Andhra right from the period of Sathavahanas (1st century AD) till the Vijayanagara period in the form Siva Mukhalinga (with Siva's faces on it) and Siva in different aspects of iconic form as Artha Nariswara, Chandrasekhara, Nataraja and Gaja Samhara Murthy.
Dr Reddy also said that the earliest Nataraja sculpture also comes from Andhra Pradesh as seen at the Nataraja Cave, Moghalrajapuram in Vijayawada dating back to the 4th and 5th centuries of Common Era (CE).
In his lecture, Satavadhani Dr Palaparti Syamalananda Prasad enumerated the various Saiva rituals associated with the Shiva cult over a period.
In his speech, Andhra Loyola College Vice-principal Dr Gumma Sambasiva Rao, explained the various references to the Shaiva cult in Telugu literature by rendering poems from Telugu Prabandhas.
Participants who took part in the symposium included Amaravati Buddha Vihara secretary Dr Venna Vallabha Rao, Malaxi Infra-director M Tirumal Srinivas, Partha Tejam magazine Editor Dr Valiveti Sivarama Krishna, Lecture in the History department of the Andhra Loyala College Dr Movva Srinivasa Reddy and Andhra Arts Academy Secretary Golla Narayana Rao.