Hyderabad: The Sri Renuka Yellamma temple in the historic Alladurg village in Medak district draws devotees from across states. Another unique feature of Alladurg, also called Silamkota, is that it houses a temple for Betala Swamy (Betaludu), the demon king.
Alladurg has many sculptures, some strewn across the village, besides ruined monuments and neglected structures. Situated 120 km from Hyderabad, the village is a treasure trove of history where traces of Jainism, Shaivisim, Vaishnavism and the Mughal reign can be found. Pre-historic rock paintings of 2nd century were also found in the village.
Besides the presiding deity Renuka Yellamma, whose footsteps are engraved in granite, Alladurg has a Shiva temple, temples for Veerabhadraswamy, Nandi, Betaludu, an array of snake gods with single, three and five hoods and Veeranjaneyaswamy, to name a few, are found in the village. Annual jataras of Renuka Yellamma and Betaludu are quite famous.
The Chalukyan king Tribhuvanamalladeva Vikramaditya VI’s chieftain Ahavamalla Permanadi held sway over the area. He reportedly donated land for the maintenance of a Jain temple called Jinalaya and his subordinate, Dandanayak Chillamadeva, gifted land to the temple of Chillesvara Deva built by him.
Mr Md Abdul Waheed Khan, a former director of archaeology and museums in undivided AP, wrote books in 1968 on the history of Alladurg and the mural paintings by Kalyani Chalukyas.
Before the Western Chalukyas of Kalyani, the village was within the domain of the Chalukyas of Vemulavada who ruled from Karimnagar from 825 AD to 950 AD. The rulers called themselves Chalukyas and adopted the titles as well. The Kakatiyas and Bahmanis had influence over Alladurg as is evident from the architecture of a mosque in the village.
It is said that during the Bahmani rule, the village was gifted to a saint, Allah Wali Shah, who subsequently handed it over to the Deshmukh family. The grave of the saint lies in the village besides those of the kin of the Deshmukhs.
Renuka Yellamma’s idol is beautifully carved in black basalt. The diety is seated in the Lalitasana posture and carries a bowl in the left hand and, probably, a sword in the right. In fulfillment of their vows, devotees present toddy to the goddess, which is also taken as “theertham”. Animal sacrifice is rampant despite a ban.
The temple is privately-run. Hereditary pujaris manage the temple in turns every year and share the donations.
“The village has rich historical past and the heritage department had made studies on it, preserved some of the sculptures and murals. Three mural paintings are in the State Museum at Public Garden,” said Mr S.S. Rangacharyulu, retired deputy director, TS department of heritage.
Many ancient sculptures and artefacts have come to light during tilling of land, digging for construction of house and other projects in the village and its surroundings.
In 1967, Laxma Reddy and Ranga Reddy, the Deshmukhs, found a pit and columns of an old temple while tilling land near the village tank. The department immediately took up exploration.
Officials found a toranam or gateway like the one in Kolanupaka and Warangal fort. On one of the columns was engraved the name of Sri Tribhuvana Malla Deva, the famous Chalukyan king of Kalyani. It was dated to the ninth year of the Chalukya Vikrama era, corresponding to 1084 AD.
According to Mr Pujari Ramakrishna, who made a video on the Renuka Yellamma temple and Alladurg, the village could be turned into a historically important place by preserving and renovating the temples and sculptures....