HYDERABAD, INDIA, June 21, 2018 (The Hindu): The Department of Archaeology and Museums (DAM) has roped in Endowments Department (ED) officials to ensure that the State’s rich temple heritage spanning more than 1,000 years is protected. “We wanted an integrated approach. One way to aid the ED officials in doing their job would be to enlighten them about temple architecture and maintenance. What better way than roping an authority on the conservation of heritage as well as Agama shastras?” Director Department of Archaeology and Museums N.R. Visalatchy said about a two-day workshop conducted for ED officials starting Wednesday.
Speaking on the sidelines of the workshop, Mr. Nagaswamy said: “The Agamas are a comprehensive guide to deal with temple architecture, upkeep and deal with all aspects of worship. The Marichi Samhita was first published in Telugu in Tirupati and later it was codified in Sanskrit. The origin of Shaivite Agama shastras is in Manthana Kaleeshwaram. If we follow the principles codified in these treatises we will not go wrong. Some temples are over 1,000 years old and they are still intact.” Telangana’s temple legacy includes the Sri Raja Rajeswara temple in Vemulawada from the Chola era to Ramappa temple built in the Kakatiya era, and Bhadrachalam temple built by the Qutb Shahis. While the bigger temples have higher footfalls and better maintenance, it is the smaller temples where the ED officials need to focus on. As many temples are being modernized by adding more facilities, or torn down to be rebuilt or modified, Mr. Nagaswamy has a simple mantra about them. “Agamas are very clear about intervention. Small flaws in idols and other structures of the temple can be overlooked. If there is a minor damage don’t do anything. There should be no unnecessary intervention.”