Yadadri showcases skills of Allagadda sculptors

Deccan Chronicle.

Lifestyle, Books and Art

Due to commercialization of the traditional art practices, they are now influenced by calendar art or the Jaipur style of work

Work in progress at the Yadadri temple. — DC Image

KURNOOL: Allagadda in Kurnool district is famous for creators of art works that adorn temples around the world. Be it the Sri Venkateswara temple at Pittsburgh in the US or Yadadri in Telangana state, the idols and the stone-art were all chiseled by the sculptors in this region.

Stating this, sculptor Ravindra Achari from the area said  the Allagadda sculptors are credited with creation of Garbhalayam and the 60 pillars with intricate carvings and other works of divine inspiration.

Koilakuntla near Allagadda had made major contributions to the Yadadri temple. It had recently delivered 35 Vishnu idols, each of 3 feet height, said YADA chief stapathi Dr A Velu. With this, the contributions of Kurnool sculptors are permanently etched in history, said Ravindra Achari.

He said Allagadda is famous for stone art (sculpture) and Daru Shilpa (wooden sculpture). A top-rung traditional sculptor from this town was Mahasilpi Durugadda Balaveerachri (1926–1986) who won award at the first world Telugu conference in 1975 and was facilitated in Andhra Pradesh Rajatotsav celebrations in 1983.

Another famous sculptor was Durugadd Ramachari (1935–2008) who served as professor at the Telugu University.

The main contributions of Allagadda sculptors are the Mahanandi Ramalayam (the ceiling in the mandapa and garbhagriha; an exceptional work of art), the Srisailam Bhramarambha temple, the Chagalamarry Ammavarisala and the Ramalayam at Brahmamgari Matam in Kadapa district. In almost all these places, one can find their portraits carved on the pillars by themselves.

Their tradition was of the Vijayanagara style. Unfortunately, due to commercialization of the traditional art practices, they are now influenced by calendar art or the Jaipur style of work.

"Generally, the all temples including the Srisailam and Tirupati have Rajagopurams (galigopuram) made by stones till rope level and the rest of the constructions are completed with cement and other materials. Now, the Yadadri temple's Rajagopurams are erected only with stone sculptures," Raveendra Achari said.

This was a first time this type of stone works was made, he said.

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