- ASI awaits Govt NOC to restore the sixth-century temple
Hyderabad: A temple, which is very much in Telangana, that is believed to be the inspiration for Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia is in a dilapidated state and absolute ruins. The temple was built 550 years before the Angkor Wat temple in the 12th century.
Despite a crying need for such a measure, renovation works were never taken up, ostensibly in the absence of a suitable mechanism. A bigger blow is that although the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is willing to restore the centuries-old temple to its former glory, it is yet to get a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to go ahead with their proposal.
“We are ready to begin the works on reviving and protecting the structure. But, we have not received the mandated NOC from the government. The architecture has a striking resemblance to the famed Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia. However, there is no evidence of the king, who built the temple before the one at Cambodia,” said an official from ASI.
Devuni Gutta temple is near Kothuru village in Mulugu district. No evidence of who built the temple as there are no rock inscriptions to signify the same.
“This is the only temple in India that resembles the architecture of Angor Kot temple”, said the official. Historians believe that the architecture of Telangana temple was the inspiration for Angor Kot temple.
The Devuni Gutta temple came to light just three years ago.
Going by its architecture, historians opine that it was probably built in the sixth century during the period of Vakataku ruler Raja Harisena. The south face of the temple looks like Bodhisatva Pamapani of Ajanta statue. Some argue that the figure is Dakshinamurthy, another form of Lord Maha Shiva. A significant aspect is that there are no idols in the temple.
ASI officials visited the temple three years ago and expressed interest to revive it and restore the original architecture. Since the temple is not in the list of heritage structures, the ASI officials wrote a letter to local Gram Panchayati representatives with their proposal.
Devunigutta: A Recently Discovered 6th Century #Temple in #Telangana.This Temple Sculptures recembles to Angkor Wat temple.But to our surprise this temple is built 600 years before #AngkorWat in 6th Century perhaps during the reign of the Vishnukundin kings or thereabouts. pic.twitter.com/php1tRgeIR
— srikanth (@srikanth04131) December 16, 2019
Responding to this, the Gram Panchayati gave NOC and applied for approval to the District Collector, where it is still pending.
The recent prolonged spell of rains further damaged the temple. Despite the sorry state, the site is already attracting foreign tourists.