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An iconic temple coming up at Yadadri

An iconic temple coming up at Yadadri
Highlights

People seldom notice when history in the making When they finally notice, its already a part of history The echo of chisel and hammer on Yadadri...

Yadadri: People seldom notice when history in the making. When they finally notice, it’s already a part of history. The echo of chisel and hammer on Yadadri hillock for the last couple of years is not just all about renovating Lord Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple, it should rather be called as reinventing a sculptural era of yesteryears. Such a behemoth of an activity is in progress at Yadagirigutta, 63 km northeast of Hyderabad.

Finally, when all that buzz comes to cease sometime either side of the 2019, indicating a magnum opus of sorts is ready for spiritual ecstasy, it’s for sure that even the bitter critics of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao would stand and salute him inadvertently. A lot has been written so far about the shrine and its metamorphosis but rarely it was discussed about the brainstorming that took place at the drawing board.

After all, ideas have to make it off the drawing board first, before they go to the boardroom discussions headed by none other than Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. Tasked with realising KCR’s vision into deeds is art director Anand Sai. This Chennaite who made Hyderabad his home understands that it’s a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for him to etch his name in the annals of Indian history. And it was no surprise that he gave up his film career and toiling at the sketch board consuming reams of paper and stacks of pencils to turn Yadadri a spiritual paradise.

It’s not overstatement to say that he is totally engrossed on his task for the last two years after he was entrusted with the responsibility of re-presenting Yadadri temple. Since then he had visited 50-odd temples across the country and browsed many a book related to art and culture in search of giving a unparalleled touch of finesse to the temple architecture. The architecture is all but a reflection of Pallavas, Cholas, Kakatiyas and the list goes on...

“All that designing reflected in pencil work is being shown to Tridandi Chinna Srimannarayana Ramanuja Jeeyar Swamiji for his approval. Then have a lot of committees - technical, engineering, endowments and demolition - to certify the design, needless to say most importantly KCR,” Anand Sai said who had a series of meetings, roughly 40-odd, with Jeeyar and the Chief Minister.

Structural development of the 4.5-acre temple premises that hitherto existed on half an acre, including the garbha gudi (sanctum sanctorum), will have Ramanuja Kootam and Nithya Agnihothram on southeast, Yagashala on southwest, Nithya Kalyana Mandapam on northeast and Addala Mandapam on northwest.

In all, the temple will have six Raja Gopurams, 12 Alwar pillars, 58 Yali pillars and 154 Balapadam pillars. The total area of the hillock is 14.4 acres. The retaining wall on southern side is the biggest in the country. Barring more than 1000-year-old Thanjavur’s Brihadeeshwara temple, Yadadri is the only shrine being built completely in Krishna Shila (black stone) brought from Gurijepalli of Prakasam district.

While everything on the hillock is being spruced up, upholding the faith of the devotees, the sanctum sanctorum which is known as Swayambhu will remain untouched. Dwelling on his task, Anand Sai said: “It’s a godsend opportunity and a binding promise.” He said the designing of sculptures and structures reflect a mirror image of famous Vaishnavite shrines across the country. They all comply Agama Sastra stipulations. Presenting design in CAD drawing is the toughest part, but it’s that even a layman can understand it.”

“Drawing, detailing and see that it happens with pinpoint accuracy is my job. No one else has a say in this matter after it was approved by the CM,” he said, explaining the delegation of work. “To me, KCR is Sri Krishnadevaraya in whose dynasty the radiance of sculptural elegance spread to all corners of the globe. If not KCR, the project wouldn’t have been a reality,” Anand Sai said.

He expressed confidence that the temple that comply the Agana Sastras would certainly become a referral to the next generations. Referring to the progress of work, he said that a temple of this sort, which would have easily consumed the toil of at least one generation, had it been taken up half-a-century ago.

Modest to accept a compliment, the art director said: “It’s a teamwork. Stapathis, sculptors, engineering, civil contractors and the administrative structure all have their distinct role to play. It’s ridiculous if anyone undermines the others’ role.”

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