Lepakshi heritage site proposal in balance

ANANTAPUR: With no serious initiatives from the state government to prepare documentation on Lepakshi, the only site included in the tentative list-2022 of UNESCO, its final placement in the prestigious list looks doubtful.

The Telangana government had succeeded to get the historic Ramappa temple of Warangal in the final list last year after following all the necessary procedures in time. Obtaining a place in the final list is mandatory for proper documentation of the historic site, which can be of great help in satisfying the experts committee of UNESCO in this context.

Though the Lepakshi, the only site from AP, was in the tentative list of three sites from India along with Geophytes of Konkan region and the Living Root Bridge Cultural Landscapes based on proposals mde on February 12, there was no further progress to this move in the past 10 months.

The state government has to form a committee along with experts for making the documentation. An effective documentation can be done only by involvement of expert agencies. So far, no such moves have been made except state and central governments replying to representations from lovers of history.

Sources from Telangana revealed that the authorities there completed the process of documentation with the help of a Hyderabad-based expert agency, well in time, and impressed upon the committee to get UNESCO’s heritage site status a year ago.

The Lepakshi is located in Hindupur assembly segment of Sri Satya Sai district. None of the elected representatives put in efforts to persuade the state government form a committee along with allotment of necessary funding for documentation.

A senior official from ASI (Archeological Survey of India) opined that the initial steps for the documentation should be done purely by the state government. “Without local pressure from Lepakshi and district authorities, there was prolonged delay at the preliminary stage though the historic site has all probabilities for its inclusion in the list,” the official observed.

He said the Sri Veerabhadra Temple with its exclusive structures of mural paintings, hanging wall and the world’s biggest Nandi will help it
get recognition.

The Area was under Mauryan Rule in the 3rd Century BC. From them, it came under the Satavahanas, Chutus, Gangas, Chalyukas of Badami
and the Nolambas. The Nolambas possessed it till the 10th Century. From the Nolambas, it was passed on to the Chalukyas of Kalyani and then to the Hoysalas, who ruled the region till the first quarter of the 13th Century.

In 1346, King Harihara constructed a fort at Penugonda, his second capital, marking the start of the Vijayanagara rule over the region. Major building activites took place from 1350 - 1600 CE.
Local activist Lepakshi Ramprasad stressed the need for immediate steps to complete the documentation process by the state.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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