Narayana Swamy writes to Union Minister of Tourism and Culture G. Kishan Reddy
Mularam Narayana Swamy, the author of a book on Veerabhadra Swamy temple at Lepakshi in Anantapur district, on Wednesday wrote a letter to the Union Minister of Tourism and Culture G. Kishan Reddy, seeking action to restore the paintings that adore the ceiling of the 16th Century temple.
“The temple is a testimony to the rich culture and history of the Vijayanagara kings who ruled Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The inscriptions suggest that the Veerabhadra Swamy temple was constructed by Viroopanna-Veeranna, brothers of Penukonda, under the patronage of king Achyutadeva Raya between 1529-42 AD. However, the sculptures and paintings at the temple are fading and their restoration is the need of the hour to preserve them,” said Mr. Narayana Swamy. He also sought the release of a postal stamp so that the importance of the temple is spread far and wide. The Lepakshi temple is a living example of Vijayanagara architecture. There is a painting of Veerabhadra Swamy on the roof of the maha mandapa. The 25-foot-long and 15-foot-wide painting is considered as the biggest mural painting in Asia.
Lord Siva as Bhikshatana Murthy, Veerabhadra Anugraha, Vatapatra Saayi, Bhoo Kailas, Kaala Bhairava, Droupadi Swayamvaram, Kiratarjuniyam, Manu Neeti-Dharma Chola Gaatha, Markandeya Rakshana are some of the famous paintings in the Natya Mandapa and all these need to be protected, he said.
The Bhikshatana Murthy is one of the finest sculptures in India, he said, adding that he had spent several months researching the place for his book.
The Lepakshi Basavayya, a colossal monolith, is a remarkable piece of art from the Vijayanagara era. It is the largest Nandi monolith in India decorated with bells, garlands and ornaments, he said.
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