The historically-important ‘Vijaya Stupa’, which had been erected by Vijianagara (Karnataka) emperor Srikrishnadevaraya on the Simhachalam Hills near here, is being neglected by the State government as well as the Sri Varahalakshmi Narasimha Swamy Devasthanam. Due to lack of interest and commitment by the administration to conserve the historical monuments, the centuries-old historical ‘Vijaya Stupa’ has now become an example of ‘towering’ negligence by the authorities concerned.
Srikrishnadevaraya is reported to have travelled as far as Cuttack of Odisha as part of his drive to expand his kingdom between 1516 and 1519. He along with his two wives stayed at Madhavadhara about three weeks as he was much impressed by the beauty and pleasant atmosphere. Later, he visited Sri Varahalakshmi Nrusimha Swami Temple of Simhachala through the old trekking route crossing three hills. He offered most precious stones-encrusted jewellery and a crown to Lord Simhadri Appanna.
Later, while traversing through the Simhachalam Hills, he ordered his sculptors to erect a commemorative ‘sthupam’ on his victories over the region till Cuttack. The sculptors then chose a spot near the temple and erected the ‘Vijaya Stupa’.
The temple administration which acknowledges Srikrishnadevaraya’s gift of jewellery to the Lord, has not bothered about the upkeep of the ‘Vijaya Stupa’ area.
There is no dearth of funds to develop the ‘Vijaya Sthupam’ area as a tourist spot. There is a enough place around the monument to develop a park and install a fountain and for making seating arrangements for the devotees who flock to the Simhachalam temple.
“The Devasthanam and the district administration are concerned only about land issues, but are not interested in the development of the temple area”, lamented D Srihari Raju, who is a frequent visitor of Simhachalam temple. He pointed out that there were several medicinal plants and flower plants on the hills and that they could add to the beauty of the place if a tourist spot is developed at the ‘Stupa’.
Minister for Infrastructure and Investments Ganta Srinivasa Rao, who is looking after the arrangements for the Simhadri Appanna’s forthcoming annual festival “Chandana Yatra”, responded on the issue.“Yes, the historically-important place has not been developed. Now, we have decided to develop the area around the ‘Stupa’ and also decided to develop a nursery to conserve the medical plants on the Simhachalam hills,” Srinivasa Rao told Express.