Tag Archives: Society

Tatikona — A Short Trek from Tirupati

The following Post was composed by Spandana . You can follow her on Twitter.


Photo Credit: Spandana

Tirumala Tirupati is a place that doesn’t need any introduction. It’s Kaliyuga Vaikuntam for devotees, one of the richest temples in the world, and the temple which draws huge crowds everyday. Apart from all these, Tirumala Seshachalam forest range has many unknown treasures, like Bio diversity, which are yet to be discovered. As a history lover, it’s always surprising to know the kind of historical treasure this place is…

Tirumala and Tirupati are very prominent places from the pre historic age itself. Many rock art shelters and pre historic dolmens in Seshachalam forest range are standing evidences for this. And it is a well known fact how Lord Venkateswara Temple made this place even more prominent in ancient and medieval periods for many dynasties. Every dynasty has left their own mark in this place, which is evident through many grand temples and forts around its vicinity.

Photo Credit: Spandana

Tirupati and Tirumala collectively are known as temple city, all temples function with all its grandeur. But how many are aware that there are so many wonderful ancient temples that were abandoned and left for ruins .Though neglected from centuries, these ancient marvels are still standing with all their past glory, waiting for some visitor to tell its story.One such place is Tatikona. Today I will tell you the story of this place, and how it fell from glory to gloomy.

Tatikona was once a grand temple complex with many temples, a pushkarini, and a mud fort on the hill (which is not present now). This place might be very, very important from the ancient days. It would have witnessed the ancient man and many powerful endangered animal species. It would have witnessed kings and their grandeur. It would have witnessed dedicated sculptors working and brave soldiers protecting. It would have witnessed grand temples with nithya puja & many devotees daily, for regular utsavams etc

Photo Credit: Spandana

But now this place is crumbled into ruins, completely camouflaged in the jungle, hard to find and harder to reach, and fully surrounded by thorny plants. Once ravaged by invaders, whatever has survived, it is reduced to wreck by present day hooligans (who dug all over for treasure) and conveniently forgotten by residents and authorities.

Photo Credit: Spandana

Tatikona at present

I seriously wish I could see this place 50 years back, it would have been in much better shape. With present remains we can infer there are 3 temples: 2 temples are big and the other is a small shrine. The two big temples are dedicated to Shiva. We can confirm by sculptures on the pillars, the sculpture of Nandi, sculpture of Kannappa, and Shiva linga. As for the small shrine, we can’t confirm the deity (probably for Ganesh or Karthikeya).

Photo Credit: Spandana

The beautiful Pushkarini (Temple tank) which now looks like lake, but as per locals it was very much in shape till very recent years. It is said there was a mud-fort on the hill for Vijayanagara Emperors (though it disappeared without a trace), and another interesting feature we can find a pre historic Megalith dolmen here. There is a small Shiva shrine on the hill, and as per locals  deep in the woods, another 2 temples. They are dedicated to lord Narasimha and local deity Yellamma, and are in better condition (we couldn’t visit due to the time crunch). One more unique feature of Tatikona is the style of building temple. The Shiva temple built by cutting the rock boulder, and the rock boulder is still visible around the gopuram. The only other temples of this type can be found in Hampi (Malyavanta Raghunatha Temple).

Even after facing so much destruction,this beautiful treasure can teach so many lessons. Beautiful temple walls, intricate carvings on the pillars and beautiful megaliths, all located in a very serene location, which in short reminds us of Hampi. Doesn’t this place deserves renovation, clean up, a sign board,and inclusion in tourist brochure of Tirupati?

Photo Credit: Spandana

Tirupati doesn’t need any theme parks. If  that money is spent on places like Tatikona they can be turned into beautiful learning centers, spiritual centers, and wonderful weekend spots…Eagerly waiting for that day.

       HERITAGE IS OUR PRIDE
#Heritageisourpride

              Jai Hind

Photo Credit: Spandana

Disclaimer: This article represents the opinions of the Author, and should not be considered a reflection of the views of the Andhra Cultural Portal. The Author is responsible for ensuring the factual veracity of the content, herein.

Temples, Antiquity, & Heritage

The following Post was composed by Spandana . You can follow her on Twitter.


Temples have been quite important parts of our lives from ancient times. Temples have always been the centre of many vibrant activities. They might be social or cultural or spiritual or sometimes even political.  In simple words we can say every temple has been a proto type of society (of that particular place, how it was and how it is).

I want to elaborate a point, which everyone may not understand or maybe don’t accept:  modernisation of our ancient temples in the name of renovations. Yes, in our state there are many ancient temples with a great past. The good news is these temples are very much functional and the chain of devotion is passing to succeeding generations without break. But are many of these ancient temples looking that ancient?? No they are completely looking ultra-new. But along with being worshiping places, aren’t these temples our standing examples of our past and our heritage?? Isn’t this our responsibility to maintain their art, architecture, unique construction, and grandeur in the way they were?? But instead of preserving we are damaging these architectural marvels in the name of renovation. The picture below, is the temple which is supposed to be one of the ancient temples in our state. New look of the ancient temple

Srikakula Andhra Mahavishnu Temple

 Photo Credit: highwayonlyway.com

I am not blaming the thought of renovating ancient temples, but am only saying that renovation should be done in the way that temple reflects its grand past with the help of new techniques, instead of completely demolishing and rebuilding. Here is an ideal example of renovation:

Photo Credit: Spandana

Chola period temple (Mulasthaneswara temple) in Gajulamandyam village, was renovated in a beautiful manner—anyone can get the inspiration. All these renovations were done by locals. They took extra effort to maintain the temple’s antiquity. They cleared all paint from the temple walls just to make the old carvings and architecture visible, which was a costly process. Locals taking pride of their past, and conserving their identity is a commendable act.

Photo Credit: Spandana

In the first picture u can see the temple before renovation, in the second picture after renovation (all the paint was removed.

Not all ancient temples are under Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Many are with state endowment department. Though it is the endowment department’s job to conserve these old temples, they hardly understand or care about the antiquity or sanctity of the particular temple. Here I am taking another example of the beautiful temple in Kadapa district in Meenapuram Village:

Rajarajeswari Temple

Photo Credit: Spandana

This ancient temple is very much under the umbrella of endowment department, but this temple is conveniently neglected, due to its low income from Hundi. This temple has a beautiful stepwell in the front and ancient Kalyana mandapa made out by carving a rock. This intricately carved centuries old Kalyana mandapa completely collapsed recently. Not even a sign board or direction board is present to know about the temple. If one wants to reach this place, it’s only with help of locals.

Photo Credit: Spandana

It’s not the story of Meenapuram alone. There are many ancient temples under endowment department facing similar situation. We have examples of 500 year old SriKalahasthi gopuram and Bhavanarayana swamy temple raja gopuram collapsed, due to lack of timely care. This topic is just unending. I can write pages about this.

Photo Credit: Spandana

In brief: as a heritage lover, as a devotee, I wish our temples function well along with maintaining their antiquity and our heritage. I sincerely hope the endowment department takes some responsibility with such temples. As people, who respect our past and understand our heritage, it is our responsibility to educate people in our little circle.

        HERITAGE IS OUR PRIDE
#Heritageisourpride #Heritagemustbepreserved

              Jai Hind


Disclaimer: This article represents the opinions of the Author, and should not be considered a reflection of the views of the Andhra Cultural Portal. The Author is responsible for ensuring the factual veracity of the content, herein.

Peddamudiam — Pride of Andhra Pradesh

The following Post was composed by Spandana. You can follow her on Twitter.


Photo: Spandana

Peddamudiam, a village if properly projected would have been a heritage village of our state, if properly maintained would have been bliss for researchers and heritage enthusiasts, if properly maintained would have been a great tourist spot that speaks to many interesting aspects of our glorious past. All these are possible only “IF” our government tends to show a little interest in our past.

Though I am against any kind of comparison with other countries…here I am left with no choice other than comparing. India is 11 times bigger than Italy, and if we check the monuments in both countries, the Indian monuments list is way bigger than Italy; but Italy being such a small country has the highest number of monuments listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is only because they respect their past in such a way. Forget about other countries, if we compare with our neighboring states, our state has huge lagging. The way Karnataka and Tamil Nadu maintain their monuments is remarkable. That is the reason both the states have recorded their entry into the UNESCO Heritage list. It’s not like Andhras don’t have monuments, it’s because we hardly make time to promote them and maintain them.

Coming to the present topic, Peddamudiam is 19 kms from Jammalamadugu, Kadapa district. This beautiful small village, originally known as Mudivemu, has numerous monuments with its unique style of architecture. It is really hard to find from Jammalamadugu that there is a beautiful village around, as no information board is installed. Most of the monuments in this village are ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) recognized monuments, waiting to come out of their neglect. Any heritage lover, any spiritual seeker can’t accept the present vulnerable situation of this age old wonder.

List of Monuments in Peddamudiam

  • Ugra Narasimaha Temple – The most neglected temple, but has beautiful architecture believed to be built by Cholas, later developed by Vijayanagara Emperors. Always deserted, but a pandit from neighboring village comes in the morning for performing basic Pooja for Lord.

  • Mukundeswara Temple Complex – There are 5 temples in this temple complex, 2 Shiva Temples, 1 Narasimha Shrine, 1 Karthikeya Shrine and 1 Shrine for NagaGrahas. This temple complex is the oldest temple complex in the village, Compared to Ugra Narasimha Shrine…these temples are in better condition. Though there is no Information board about the era or dynasty in which they were built, we can easily infer they are very early type of construction and very unique style of Architecture. After multiple trails of finding the basic information about these sites, the conclusion I came to was this:  they existed from Satavahana Era and later flourished in Pallavas and Cholas time.

  • Kodanda Rama Shrine and Old Village Site – Though these shrine looks like Vijayanagara Style, can’t say for sure, as the temple was closed(when we visited), and there is an ancient village site as well, but couldn’t get much information about that(only if ASI takes some strain)…it is just a barren land with fencing. There are big bastions (buruju) in the village—villagers said it is 300 years old.

PS – I personally want to apologize if anyone was hurt by my words .These words are not meant to hurt people, but are meant to showcase the emotions of a person who can’t see our heritage,our past,our identity dying like this.


Spandana also runs the GloriousIndianPast and NeglectedMonuments Blogs.

Disclaimer: This article represents the opinions of the Author, and should not be considered a reflection of the views of the Andhra Cultural Portal. The Author is responsible for ensuring the factual veracity of the content, herein.

Dear Modern Girls

The following Post was composed by £avanya garu. You can follow her on Twitter.


mychoice

Dear Modern Girls,

You are a Princess of your DAD
Love of your MOM
and trust of your Brother & Sister
 
But don’t leave all these amazing roles of your life for the sake of entertaining people in society and on social media.

Do you know that due to biological clock we girls have very little time to prove ourselves as young adults. Unlike guys, we have a span of 5 years hardly. This is the time between 18-25 max you are going to choose how you want to be throughout your life. Please bear with me, but as a young woman, have to say this: Today, technology ruined many intellectual youngsters making them addicted to their smartphones and social media and socializing.

Always remember that you are very lucky to born in a society where everything is modern and top of the line whereas our parents didn’t have many facilities to plan their careers. Choose career wisely, utilize the limited time to design your life (and what will really be important in your life) instead of just copying what is popular or fashionable.

Everyone should respect us girls for who we are, but we should also respect what others do for us. After all, using facilities and enjoying hard work of parents, we just ignore their time and work. They spent all their lives for us and we just sit on Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp quarreling for heroes and  publicity to get followers. And I wonder and am surprised to see few handles in Social Media like this: A girl name with some hero name.

A pity Dad doesn’t deserve to be our hero. He keeps on maintaining call balances and buying new smart phones to us by sacrificing his dreams , still we don’t care. We all need followers with some stupid publicity in the name of some hero fan. And we need an audience to clap for our stupid jokes and support us for useless topics. If any girl keeps a post or update there will be minimum 10 guys who replies and respond. Never think that they love your posts, they just love opposite sex to kill time when they are free.

The way you speak , the way you respond, the way you maintain relations and the attitude and culture you project tells about you and is what brings respect to you in every place.

durgadance

Stop entertaining every one, which is useless. As I first mentioned, you are the princess of your Dad, but unfortunately your actions make you an entertainment piece of many people on social media. Bad publicity is not something that works out for everyone. And remember it brings so much damage to your Character, which can’t be easily repaired. You may start with innocent intentions, but there are many dangerous people who pretend to love you online or in real life, but really wish to use you or even hurt you. They promise you the world and give you hell. Whereas our parents and siblings may speak harshly to us, but only want our safety.

Some poor girls may not have security in their own home due to bad family members, but most of us are fortunate in family. In seeing so many crimes around the world, we are very lucky to have such amazing parents, giving us everything that we want. Try not to spoil everything by fake relations, fake friends, and temporary thrills, and don’t get in to unnecessary trouble. At least we should try to be careful and keep within decency. Recently I came across one issue of a girl complaining that some guy is harassing on phone. I just want to know why we need to share our personal numbers to strangers on social media? Just for matter of two to three months, a person cannot be a trusted friend. Don’t you know that…seriously? Many times no one is going to help you in any troubles. You must stand yourself to survive. You should tell your parents or at least some family/friends, even they may not be able to help sometimes. Better to be safe than sorry. Be safe, girl.

Don’t take everything as a Point of MY CHOICE my life as some silly celebrities release videos. Our choice is our own—not what some stupid page 3 person or pop star tells us. Our choice need to keep us high but not drag us down to low levels where we lose respect and get treated as useless…and more importantly, feel worthless. Think for yourself. From a baby girl to middle aged woman, women must be careful not just in India but even in the Developed places like Europe. No matter where you go or travel,  be smart and at least try not to create problems by yourself. If you wear skimpy clothes, don’t demand that guys look at you as though you were his mother or sister. Even a girl can’t see a baby boy and grown up without clothes in the same way.

Be strong women, powerful women. But respect starts with Self-Respect.

A man should behave within his limits no matter what, but a girl should ask what image she wants to project. Our environment is meant to be fully covered, scientifically and traditionally from ages. How you dress for your husband and how you dress for others are two different things. It is possible to be fashionable without being foolish.  It is not just “My life, my rules, My choice!”.

Yes, it is your choice, but choices have consequences. Choose wisely.

Yes, men have their Dharma to women (men need to do better here though),
……………………………………but we women also have our Dharma.

Yes, we should have fun, but we should also remember our responsibilities.

Yes, we sometimes want to relax, but we each have some talent/potential to develop.
sarasvativeena

One last word:  Take it from a young woman who knows and can give good advice. Get knowledge and entertainment from social media, but don’t just remain as entertainment piece in social media. You’re not going to be a queen of hearts if you have 5k or 20k followers writing bad talk. You just remain as “item” or “maal” in mouths of the cheap guys who follow you.

It may hurt some, sorry for that, facts always hurt. It may hit someone in the heart, but start planning & enjoy true life. Be young, but be smart. Life was meant to be enjoyed…responsibly. We have many women role models to get inspired by,  from Rudramadevi to Indira Gandhi. Learn from them.

Live for youLive for your parentsLove your country.
Jai Bharat!!

£avanya


Disclaimer: This article represents the opinions of the Author, and should not be considered a reflection of the views of the Andhra Cultural Portal. The Author is responsible for ensuring the factual veracity of the content, herein.

Social Media & the Patriotic Bharatiya

The following Post was composed by £avanya garu. You can follow her on Twitter.


Indian Flag Images-02On average everyone has been into social media for the past 5-6 years. We have seen everything from Desktop sites to android apps, and many people with different mentalities.

And now – What was your first thought if I ask you this question: tell me in one line what is social media” to you ?

Okay everyone has their own answers now. But I am damn sure nothing related to country and patriotism. Is that not true?—at least, for the majority of you?

Sometimes I wonder..okay let me be more specific, every year in August I wonder why there won’t be any major trends until the great day, August 15th, arrives.

All the year, 24/7, we see trends on movies, actors, political scams, or politically biased views by journos. Most of the trends based on love and hatred, either-or, yes-no, left-right…everything except right-wrong.  But not even a meaningful, two day trend on our country… I wonder, nearly 200 years of our Indian struggles, and not one even eligible to be remembered and spoken about for a week at least? 

India Independence is not a simple history subject to be remembered at exams or on just Independence day – it’s a freedom we are enjoying everyday with every breath!!

But here no one speaks, or no one trends, or not even tweets single hashtags. Leave aside the common man, not even self-attested “intellectual” journos or celebrities. There are lot  more topics to spread. There are many leaders to be praised to remind us of their struggles to bring back our beautiful rich country that once was.

Hopefully a single post or single tweet per day is not so tough a task to anyone who visits and spends time in social media everyday.

I assume there is a problem with our education system too in this particular topic.  Patriotism is something to be taught from childhood as a subject. There is much more to teach than just Gandhi & Nehru dynasty in English subjects. And finally just assembling on Independence Day, and declaring holiday by giving chocolates to children, is not enough either. Technology brought many changes in society. And I think its time to change education system of India too.

Coming back to point: Using social media once in a while for good is definitely not a bad idea, friends. We have many browsing sites which gives us information on our fingertips…such as this one!

Patriotism is not just showing up one day; it’s a feeling that should be in our heart, every minute of our heartbeat.

Even we know that trends on silly things like actors or movies are in no way useful to our career or life. And politics are always politics. They became part of our awareness about what’s happening. My opinion does not mean to stop everything and to hold the flag and carry everyday. Just start reading about our freedom fighters or even people today doing good things for the country rather than for the camera . There are not only just fighters, there are leaders and inspirational people who can guide us in our day-to-day lives for good.

I just want to say that –

Social media is a powerful tool which can do good and bad, at our fingertips. Try to use for good. Try to use it responsibly to spread information that might be useful instead of only fun. There are many people doing useful things who need our support now, as they may not be around later. Even if you can’t do something big for Bharat, help those who are!

If you appreciate and Like my idea of posting, hope to see many stories of great freedom fighters in social media this August.

Happy Independence day to every Indian! JAI BHARAT!

£avanya!

940-Ashoka-Wheel-paint-splash-India-Independence-Day