KADAPA: The Mahaveer Archaeological Museum in Kadapa, a treasure trove of Rayalaseema history and culture, is in dire need of policy-makers’ attention. The nearly-four-decade-old building is in a dilapidated condition and urgently needs renovation.
The museum, inaugurated by the then chief minister Bhavanam Venkatarami Reddy on June 8, 1982, houses rare artefacts, including stone sculptures dating back to the first Century AD. For the last 38 years, the museum attracted history buffs, students and scholars to Kadapa.But the structure housing the museum now looks like it could collapse at any moment. Because of this, some precious stone artefacts have to be stored under sunshades or trees. Besides, the main building doesn’t have enough space to store the artefacts.
“The danger of these artefacts getting stolen or damaged is high with the museum in disrepair. It has been safeguarding our hoary past and is where future generations can learn about our history and culture. It is imperative that the government takes steps to get a new building for the museum and streamlines its maintenance by sanctioning more staff and funds,” said M Pawan Kumar, a postgraduate student.His opinion was echoed by several people in Kadapa district, and most of them said Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, a native of the district, should prioritise the issue.
The museum, located on the Kadapa Railway Station lane, houses artefacts found during excavations in Cheyur, Mylavaram, Pincha projects, old buildings, temples, and some items found during excavations in other parts of undivided Andhra Pradesh. Many of the exhibits in the museum reflect the past glory of Nandalur, Gundluru, Timmayapalle, Attirala, Mantapalle, Poli, Kotturu and Anantapur between the 5th and 18th Century AD.
The museum has four galleries, and houses rare stone sculptures, bronze artefacts, clay figurines, inscriptions, coins and weapons. The first gallery is dedicated to sculptures of deities, the second to Jain heritage, third to Veerargal (history of village protectors of yore), and the fourth has weapons and coins from the Nawab era. The museum also has a board depicting the development of the Telugu language and script over centuries. The Jain gallery has idols of Jain Tirthankaras dating back to the 12th Century AD. The museum also houses an 11th Century statue of Gangadhara Murthy, which was found in Atthiarala of Rajampet mandal. Idols of various deities dated between the 7th and 16th Century are also housed in the museum.
Speaking to TNIE, the museum additional in-charge assistant director Shiva Kumar said that besides him there is only a junior assistant to take care of the museum. “Wear and tear over the past 38 years has resulted in the dilapidated condition of the museum. We have conveyed this to senior officials and submitted a detailed project report for a new building to house the museum. We expect funds to be sanctioned shortly, after which construction of the new building will begin. Recently, funds were sanctioned to Anantapur district for a similar purpose. We have also requested for more staff to maintain it,” he said.
‘DPR for new building submitted to officials’
The additional in-charge assistant director of the museum Shiva Kumar said senior officials have been informed about the condition of the museum, and a detailed project report (DPR) for a new building has been submitted. We have conveyed this to senior officials and submitted a detailed project report for a new building to house the museum. We expect funds to be sanctioned shortly, after which construction of the new building will begin,” he told TNIE.