That the foundations of Indian culture were deeply embedded
in Dravidian culture is now an incontrovertible fact. Dravidian
culture is one of the most ancient cultures of the world. Those
cultures, slightly contemporaneous to one another, slowly started
fading out. However, the primordial Dravidian culture continues to
thrive without losing its quintessence despite the apparent changes
in systems of dress and address.
Dravidian University was established in 1997 to mirror the real
and rich picture of Dravidian culture not only in its linguistic, literary,
cultural and philosophical facets but in science and technological
The spirit of integration is the guiding force behind the creation
of the University. The linguistic and cultural integration, not at the
regional but at the national level is the cherished objective of the
The Government of Andhra Pradesh started Dravidian
University, with the co-operation of the sister States, to research
and reflect on the inherent oneness of the cultures of the four States
whose languages number up to 27. Its endeavour is to promote
unity and amity in the family of several languages. The main
objectives of Dravidian University are to augment the common weal
and social well being of the communities of marginal languages
and to build bridges among the Southern States. While working on
each language separately in varied areas, it aims at a synthesis and
a discovery of the common heritage through Comparative Studies.
Prasaranga (Publications wing) and Anusyjana (Translation
Bureau) are the two most significant wings of the University from out
of its several on going progressive activities.
Dravidian University’s Prasaranga has already brought out a
masterly work, Hoysala Art by Dr. M.S. Krishna Murthy. Among
such scholarly works on Temple Series, this authentic book,
Conservation of the Ancient Temples in India with Special Reference
to Andhra Pradesh by Dr. K. Lakshmana Murty is the second one.
Prasaranga believes in print. Print preserves. Publication and
distribution help augmentation of all values be they culture, history,
tradition, literature or language. It is good to know the past, the
glorious past. It is better to preserve it. The best is to propagate it.
Conservation is the first step of preservation. Since all temples
are houses of prayers — prayers full of man’s aspiration for realization
of truth and beauty, we should see that the ancient temples continue
to stand erect in solidarity. This exactly is the call given by Dr.
Lakshmana Murty in whom we have a rare combination of a Civil
Engineer and an Archaeologist. He is professionally trained to be so
unique. He made the best use of the UNESCO fellowship awarded
and the Post-Graduate training given to him at International Centre
for Conservation, Rome. The long and fruitful years he spent with
A.P. State Archaeology Department as conservation specialist are
reflected in this book.
‘Transplantation’, ‘climate’ botanical, biological ‘deterioration’
debris, ‘erosion’, ‘seepage’, ‘drainage’, ‘re-erection’ ‘submergence
these are some of the problems which a good conservationist like
Dr. Lakshmana Murthy faces. Dr. Murthy looks like a plastic surgeon
for temples! The long list of 260 temples he has given in the appendix
is a mark of his care and concern for them.
Prasaranga is happy and proud in issuing this valuable volume
of a writer, archaeologist and a rational thinker who holds free, frank
and fearless ideas such as 1) commending the British for introducing
democratic institutions and developing democratic spirit, 2) proving
that the founders of Vijayanagara Empire were not of Telugu origin
and 3) stating that Partition would have taken place even without
I congratulate and thank Dr. Murthy for giving us an
opportunity to broadcast his timely call.
As Hinduism is a living faith in India there are temples all over the
land including Andhra Pradesh. While a good number of temples
that have come up in A.P. State during the last 50 to 100 years are
generally built with present day building materials like cement, steel
etc., there are some ancient temples dating back to 7" cent. A.D built
of stone with out any binding material. Whether these ancient
temples are in the custody of the state Endowments Department or
not, those identified as Ancient Temples are declared as protected
Monuments. There are about 260 ancient temples and temple re-
mains declared as protected Monuments in Andhra Pradesh.
Broadly speaking, the preservation work undertaken in ancient
structures declared as protected monuments can be termed as Conservation.
Conservation of protected ancient temples is being done
by Central or State Archaeology Departments or under their guidance,
according to the principles of Conservation that apply to all
protected monuments. So, to comprehend the Conservation work
being done in ancient temples, it is necessary to have a broad idea
with regard to what is an ancient Monument and what is Conservation.
The 1* part of the study attempts to outline the Ancient Monument
and its relevance to the present day world, and also about
Conservation and its application to Indian monuments.
To evaluate or assess the Conservation work being done in ancient
temples, it becomes imperative to know about the Indian temple
as a structure, which means how it was built. Though the spirit behind a
7th cent AD Chalukyan temple and a 16" cent AD Vijayanagar
temple is the same, the structural form is not same. While the 7"
cent temple is a simple structure with a Cella and Mandapa, 16" cent
temple is a widely enlarged temple complex. So, it is essential to see
Through the development of the temple form and also its construction technique.
As Conservation work in ancient temples is directly related to its
deterioration, it is also necessary to have an idea of the various
causes contributing to the deterioration of the temple structure.
The second part covers all these things. To have an idea of the
ancient temples in Andhra Pradesh, the architecture of a few ancient
temples is outlined and the Transplantation work of temples undertaken
in the submergence area of Srisailam Hydel Project is also outlined in the end.
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