ANANTAPUR: A 500-year-old Lord Hanuman statue was found during the desilting of Pasakkirabavi, a large well in Penukonda, summer capital of the erstwhile Vijayanagara empire, in the district. The well is believed to have been built during the reign of the emperor Krishnadevaraya and was the main source for drinking water for Penukonda.
Even as rain deficit hit groundwater sources and wells dried up, the Pasakkirabavi continued to have a little amount of water even during summer. In the wake of heavy silt, the Bhogasamudram Jala Samrakshana Samithi took the initiative to remove silt from the deep well. During the excavation, the labourers noticed a seven-feet tall Hanuman statue at the end of the steps of the well two days ago. Locals consecrated the statue, naming it Jala Abhayahanuman and are offering poojas.
Tens and hundreds of devotees thronged the well. Experts say the statue was among 732 statues consecrated by Sri Vyasraja, Rajguru and also emperor of the Vijayanagar empire to clear the Kuhu dosha of Srikrishna Devarya. It is believed that Sri Vyasaraja established about 732 hanuman idols across South India. He also consecrated more than 365 idols in surrounding Penukonda, the summer capital area. In a bid to stop the onslaught of the jains who were flourishing, he took the initiative to establish his philosophy. In one year alone he installed 365 hanuman idols.