Splendid art pavilion of Kakatiyas needs urgent restoration
Skilfully painted murals have faded away due to seepage of rainy water over centuriesby Abhinay Deshpande
The Trikuta Temple at Muppram village in Warangal district is a living testimony to the Kakatiya rulers’ passion for promoting and preserving natural paintings from the episodes of Ramayana in pristine forms.
The paintings of Ramayana, which are etched on the ceiling of the temple, are a connoisseur’s delight. However, this precious and unique treasure of art now lies in shatter due to the apathy of officials concerned while nature’s vagaries over the years have made them fade out. The temple itself is also in a state of neglect, which needs urgent restoration for preserving the Kakatiya heritage for future generations, said former Superintending Archaeologist, Temple Survey Project (Southern Region), Archaeological Survey of India, D.Kanna Babu.
Telangana has a hoary history and possesses several ancient monuments of great archaeological, historical as well as cultural significance, he said. “In fact, some of the most praiseworthy architectural marvels located in the remote regions of Telangana are unfortunately facing nature’s onslaught and subjected to severe human vandalism, crying for attention from the authorities,” Mr. Babu told The Hindu, adding that the mural heritage belongs to the Kakatiya emperor Ganapati Deva’s period (1199 A.D. to 1262 A.D.) He said that the shrine portrays the epic Ramayana’s stories in the most amazing and colourful way, which are embellished on ceilings.
All the narrative murals like – Fight of Vali and Sugriva, Rama shooting arrows on Vali, Ravana’s appearance at Parnasala etc., most skilfully painted with natural colours have completely faded away beyond recognition due to seepage of rainy water through the shattered roofs since centuries, Mr. Babu said and added that the remaining few feeble painted lines are also in a bad state of preservation and nearing extinction. “Both the ferocious nature and disruptive human elements were solely responsible for the plight of the most exalted art pavilion of the Kakatiyas,” he said.
He said that the temple has an entrance portico, dance hall as well as three members of Sanctum Sanctorum. “The sanctums and vestibule are decked with decorated doorways and the temple is highly momentous for its typical architecture, sculptures and wonderful mural paintings and it is the lone shrine which contains all the finest facets of the creative art of contemporary society,” he said. According to him, there are no parellels to this trinity shrine in this region and the village itself is named after Kakatiya queen Muppamba, wife of Prola II and grandmother of Ganapati Deva.
He said that locals have dug out the meticulously formed stone floors and disfigured sculptures of the Gods kept out of the Sanctum Sanctorum. The majestically seated Nandi was also damaged.
Currently, bats are the permanent residents in the shrine and foul smell of their dropping permeates the entire temple complex. “Eight hundred years ago Ganapati Deva created this architectural splendour here by employing excellently skilled artists and architects of his time, but the modern man with his apathy and destructive activities has driven it to this present crumbling state,” Mr. Babu added.