Hanamkonda: A rare sculpture of Veeragallu (hero stone), believed to be of pre-Kakatiya era, is the latest addition to Warangal’s repertoire of heritage, culture and royalty that has many such unexplored horizons.
Much before Kakatiyas made Orugallu Qila (Warangal fort), their seat of power, Jainism has its presence in Hanamkonda region. Buttressing the fact was Aggalaiah hillock, also known as Gaggilaiah Gutta, which have the carvings of 35 feet 3rd Tirthankara, 13 feet 23rd Tirthankara and seven other sculptures, believed to be of 4th century.
It suggests that Jainism has flourished in the region even before Kolanupaka, one of the popular Jain centres in the country. A walk through the winding lanes of Machili Bazar adjacent to Aggalaiah hillock is a bit laborious; albeit it’s worth trudging to have the glimpse of the Veeragallu that was carved out on the rock of the foothill.
In ancient times, it was a practice to sculpt Veeragallu commemorating the honourable death of a hero in war or in an effort to protect their village or fighting cruel animals.
Kandi Kumaraswamy, resident of Machili Bazar, who stumbled upon the Veeragallu concealed in buhes, informed about it to the district tourism consultant Aravind Arya Pakide.
Speaking to The Hans India, Aravind said: “The carving depicts a scene of war with Veeragallu’s right hand on sword. By appearance, he appears like a king. The style of sculpting is also of pre-Kakatiya times.”
The region witnessed ruling of various kingdoms and wars, according to historical evidences, Aravind said. Further, he said that it could well be a few centuries before the dawn of Kakatiya dynasty in the 12th century.
Warangal Urban district In-charge Tourism Officer D S Jagan who also visited the Veeragallu site took it to the notice of the Collector Amrapali Kata. Considering the rarity of the sculpture, the Collector told the officials to clear the site that is full of bushes and arrange a fencing to protect it.