VIJAYAWADA,: Rajamahendravaram is to get the Heritage City tag soon, with state archaeological authorities collecting concrete evidence of the city being once ruled by Chalukya dynasty in 10th and 11th centuries. Proof of this, along with evidence of ancient monuments, will be submitted to the centre, so that it could declare Rajamahendravaram as Heritage City.
Archaeological department has prepared a plan to look for remnants of Chalukya dynasty in the city. It is seeking permission from Archaeological Survey of India to undertake excavations near Chitrangi Palace for unearthing antiquities and relics. Authorities are confident of finding relics of Budha underneath the city, as Buddhism was practiced in the area during the 2nd Century BC. An underground tunnel was also there from Chitrangi Palace to Sarangadhara Metta, which could form part of the proof.
Rajamahendravaram has many historic structures from subsequent periods, like Royal Mosque of 1353 A. D. near One Town police station, residential building of social reformer Kandukuri Veeresalingam, Markendaya Swamy temple, Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple of 18th century, Mrukundeswara temple building in 1053, over 100-years’ old Gautami Library, residence of Sir Arthur Cotton, Damerla Rama Rao Art Gallery, Kotilingala Ghat, Rallabandi Subba Rao Archaeological Museum, Havelock Bridge across Godavari River, Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage and Cotton Museum, among others.
Rajahmundry MP Margani Bharat Ram said, “As the city was ruled by Chalukyas in 11th and 12th centuries, and Buddhism was practiced in 2nd Century BC, we are trying to zero in of proofs in this regard. This will help us in getting Rajamahendravaram declared as Heritage City. I have already met the Union cultural secretary and explained to him the significance of the city.”
State archaeology commissioner G. Vani Mohan said, “We are going to write to ASI seeking permission to take up excavations in the city for antiquities belonging to the Chalukya period as also to trace Buddhist relics. For that matter, the city already has several ancient structures. Once the centre declares Rajamahendravaram as Heritage City, it will help us to get funds from the centre under Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana. All findings discovered in the process will be preserved and put on display for general public,” Vani Mohan stated.