HYDERABAD: The Archaeological Survey of India, Southern Region, has stumbled upon a distinctive limestone idol of Kakati Devi, the family Goddess of Kakatiya rulers. The idol was discovered on the premises of Balusulamma Temple at Dharanikota village on the right bank of Krishna river in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. As part of the temple survey project, the ASI is surveying the shrines in Amaravati region in Guntur district, which flourished under the regime of Kakatiya rulers between 11 AD and 13 AD.
“We started the project recently, the main purpose of which is to carry out a comprehensive field survey, detailed digital documentation and create a database on these architectural details,’’ D Kanna Babu, in-charge, temple survey project of the ASI, said. The Balusulamma Temple was built by Kakatiya rulers.
“The ceiling bears decorations of lotus medallions. The architectural features are akin to their counterparts found in the shrines at Hanamkonda and Warangal Fort, the homeland of Kakatiyas,” he said.
Narrating the charm of the sculpture, Babu opined that the goddess was gracefully seated in Padmasanam with eight hands. “Her facial physiognomic features are oval, distinguished with slender cheeks, wide open eyes, an elongated nose and closed tender pair of lips,” he said, adding that the idol has eight hands and possesses eight different special attributes never found in the contemporary shrines of the Kakatiya period.
“Her lower right hand is benevolently blessing the devotees and on the basis of its unique characteristic features and style of depiction it can be definitely dated to the Kakatiya period,” the official said.
Explaining on what occasion the idol was consecrated at the temple, Babu said Dharanikota had played a vital role and served as an important political centre during medieval centuries including the Kakatiya rule.
He said Ganapati Deva, an illustrious king of Kakatiya dynasty, had made matrimonial alliances with Kota chiefs of Dharanikota region by marrying his daughter Ganapamba to Kota Beta Raja.
“It is quite reasonable to infer that probably on this jubilant occasion he constructed the present Balusulamma temple and sanctified the idol of their tutelary goddess Kakati Devi,” he said.
Babu added that Ganapati Deva was the first king to worship Kakati Devi in Andhra Pradesh and outside the dominions of his kingdom — Orugallu Nagaram.