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Conservation of the Ancient Temples of India with Special Reference to Andhra Pradesh

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Item Code: NAX082
Publisher: Dravidian University Campus
Author: K. Lakshmana Murthy
Language: English
Edition: 2008
Pages: 170 (42 B/W Illustrations)
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 230 gm
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Book Description

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 angles also.

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 University.

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 Jinnah.

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.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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