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Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Shivalingam installed by Pudhu Periyava shifted elsewhere for personal motives!
Devotees have been seeking solace and support of Brahmalingeswara Swami for over a millennium. The temple is on the banks of a 1,200-acre freshwater lake on the Vijayawada-Nuzvid Road.
Several devotees and picnic-goers are attracted to the shrine and the lake for its serenity. A hill is visible a few kilometres ahead, at the base of which is the famous Agiripalli Vyaghra Narashima Swami temple.
Unfortunately for the devotees of Brahmalingeswara Swami, there is no Sivalingam in the temple. A couple of weeks ago, the Sivalingam, said to be the biggest in South India, was unceremoniously lifted by a crane and put in a shed atop a hill about 4 km away. Rumours of hidden treasure seem to be behind the shifting of the idol.
People who moved the Sivalingam had converted the top of the hill into a perfect picnic spot with space to park over 100 cars. The view of the lake, which literally surrounds it, is breathtaking. Once developed, it will be one of the biggest attractions in Krishna district.
Brahmalingeswara Swami Temple donor Kothagiri Prasada Rao said this was not the first time that the ancient Sivalingam had been shifted. There are reasons to believe that treasure was found in the 800-year-old temple from where the 1,100 Sivalinga was removed, he said.
According to legend, the Sivalingam self manifested (swayambhu) over a millennium ago. Nearly 150 years after it manifested, a king, Naga Devaraju, built a little temple on the edge of the lake and the foot of the Kota Gunta hill. He later built a fort on top of the Kota Gutta. Over centuries, the fort collapsed and was reduced to rubble.
The temple built by Naga Devaraju remained, but very few devotees worshipped the deity because it was on the inaccessible side of the lake.
About 20 years ago, it was proposed that the Sivalingam should be shifted to the other side of the lake, closer to the highway.
The villagers were divided over building a bigger temple at the current location or shifting closer to the road. It was collectively decided to shift the sivalingam.
A bigger temple was built and the Sivalingam was installed in it by none other than the Kanchi Seer Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal.
A few days after the shifting of the Sivalingam, a big pit was found dug up near the temple built by Naga Devaraju, said Mr. Prasada Rao. “The people who argued for the shifting of the Sivalingam became rich out of nowhere. Today, they own over 200 acres,” he said. This gave credence to the hidden treasure theory.
Then treasure hunters began digging in the fort at various places. About a year ago, the hill was leased for quarrying. Now the fort area is being systematically searched with excavators and bulldozers for hidden treasure. All the excavators are fitted with video cameras, Mr. Prasada Rao said.
Andhra Pradesh Mahila Congress president Sunkara Padmasree, who belongs to the area, said the two groups who were fighting to gain control over the area which is supposed to have hidden treasures were behind the unceremonious shifting of the Sivalingam.
The silence of the officials and the local MLA seems to confirm the allegations of Mr. Prasada Rao and other villagers.
In the above picture, an ancient Nandi kept outside the shed in which the 1,100 year old Sivalingam has been kept locked atop the Kota Gutta near Brahmalingam Cheruvu in Gannavaram.
Source: The Hindu
Thanks to Shri Hariharan for the lovely black and white picture of Pudhu Periyava.