Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao to enter Narasimha Swamy temple complex on Dasara next year to mark its inauguration
An ambitious architectural and religious marvel is taking shape just outside Hyderabad as the State government develops the Narasimha Swamy temple in Yadagirigutta as a religio-tourist site.
“Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao will enter the temple complex on Dasara next year to mark its inauguration,” says G. Kishen Rao, vice-chairman of Yadagirigutta Temple Development Authority.
It is nothing short of an engineering feat as the old temple which existed on 0.59 acres, including the ‘garbha gudi’, is being enlarged to 4.14 acres with a 26-ft ‘Mada Veedhi’ and 1.7 acres ‘Brahmotsavam’ area. “We are building a retaining wall that at places plunges down to 110 feet. At places, it is three layers,” says B. Ravi, the project director, as workers assemble iron rods for the massive retaining wall. To put things in perspective, the hillock is 504 metres above the sea level. A jib crane that towers over four storeys pours concrete into the completed sections. “It will be a black granite temple with the main ‘gopuram’ reaching upto 77 ft. We are following the ‘agama shastras’ and Vedas for design elements according to Vaishnava sampradayam (tradition). The garbha gudi is not being touched as it is ‘swayambu’,” says Anand Sai, who is the art director for the project. Mr. Sai, who was earlier the art director for Telugu and Tamil movies like Badrinath , New and Yamadonga , has been roped in for visualising and executing the project. “I learnt about the Chief Minister’s plans for Yadagirigutta and I got in touch with Chinna Jeeyar Swamy with whom I am working on another project. He gave me the idea and I drew a rough plan. I have never been to the temple, it just clicked and the Chief Minister liked the plan and asked me to get the plan approved by ‘sthapatis’ and people who know ‘agama shastras’,” says Mr. Sai, narrating the sequence of events about how he got to design the prestigious project which will transform the area.
Already, ribbons of freshly laid asphalt girdle the hill. The two-way path to the hill is being made one-way by creating another road for the return journey. The first part of the project is the temple, a township at the foothills sprawled over 250 acres is the next step. “Once it is finished, it will be a marvel visible from a radius of 10 km,” says Mr. Ravi as he talks of the 108-feet Anjaneya statue in the south east corner.
On the outskirts of Hyderabad, off the ORR in Koheda village, sculptors are giving shape to the blocks of black granite in a makeshift workshop. Amid the roar of stone cutters, chiselling sounds and the dust floating in the air, K. Pothuliah says: “About 60 per cent of the work on five small temples is done. In other locations, nine supervisors/ sculptors, 500 workers on three shifts in 14 work segments are working to execute the project.” On the wall of the workshop, a line drawing shows the final shape of the pillars and the workers are executing it accordingly.
The cost of building the new temple runs into hundreds of crores with just the granite costing Rs. 250 crore and the retaining wall Rs. 200 crore.
The granite quarried from Kammavaripalem in Guntur district and other places is being shaped in multiple locations. The blocks of stone can be seen as Lego blocks that will be assembled on top of Yadagirigutta for a brand new temple ready for inauguration on Dasara, September 30, 2017. The existence of Narasimha Swamy temple is wrapped in mythology which speaks about a rigorous penance by a sage called Yadava who wanted to worship Vishnu avatar as Narasimha Swamy. After years of penance, the Lord presented himself in three avatars – Jwala Narasimha, Gandabherunda and Yogananda Narasimha. All the three forms are present in the ‘garbha gudi’ of the temple.