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Letter to C.M. to save Gali Gopuram

Save Mangalagiri Gali Gopuram From Its Demolition

Mangalagiri is one of the oldest Vaishnavite Temples in South India. Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy is the deity in this holy place. 11 storied lofty Gali Gopuram (Temple Tower) is a main attraction to pilgrims as well as tourists. It was built by the then Zamindar Sri Raja Vasireddy Venkatadri Naidu during the period 1807-1809 and it has completed 200 years of its construction. While the people are looking forward to celebrate its Bi-Centenary of its construction, it was learnt through media that the Government of Andhra Pradesh has taken a decision to demolish it and to reconstruct a new Gopuram in its place, which is not being digested by the devotees and public.

The background for the decision of government is - an old gali gopuram at Srikalahasti constructed during the period of Vijayanagara Kingdom was fallen down causing heartening feelings among devotees and public. Then the government has sent an expert Technical Committee to inspect Mangalagiri to give report on its strength. The expert Technical Committee has given its recommendations suggesting some measures to protect the same. To the surprise of public, instead of taking remedial measures suggested by the committee, Government has taken a hard decision to demolish Mangalagiri Gali Gopuram and to construct a new one in its place with an estimated cost of Rs.10.5 crore.

Some voluntary organizations and public are agitating against government's decision. An expert committee which inspected the Gali Gopuram, on behalf of public has given its opinion that there is no immediate danger to the Gopuram. They have suggested that the Gali Gopuram can be protected with an approximate cost of Rs.1 crore by Ground Improvement Methods.

Mangalagiri Gali Gopuram Protection Committee is formed to lead the movement of protecting the Gali Gopuram and working to sensitise the public.

We are requesting the interested persons to strengthen the Mangalagiri Gali Gopuram Protection Committee by giving suggestions and other help. They may contact Sri Sinde Lakshmoji Rao, the Convenor of the committee. He can be contacted by 09440264336/09440263131 or email mavardhan@yahoo.co.in.

About Mangalagiri

Download Mana Mangalagiri book by Govardhan Rao Madiraju.

Mangalagiri is situated between Vijayawada and Guntur on Chennai-Kolkata national highway No.5. It is at 19 kilometres from Guntur, and 12 kilometres from Vijayawada. It is at an altitude of 30 meters above the sea level. Latitude is 16.44 degrees North, and longitude is 80.56 degrees East.

In the east-west direction, the main parts of Mangalagiri town are Bypass Road, Main Bajaar, Old Grand trunk road, and Railway station. In the North-South direction, the main parts are Old Mangalagiri, New Mangalagiri, and Kotha Peta. The boundaries for Mangalagiri town are --- East - Atmakuru village, West - Navuluru village and Bapuji Nagar, North - Hill and Over bridge and South - Chinakakani village.

In 2001, the Municipal town population was enumerated as 61,981. Including floating population, it counts to one lakh. The area of the Town is 10.49 sq.km. There are 32 municipal wards, and 43,724 voters.

The main occupation in the town is Hand-loom weaving. Nearly 50% of the population dependent on this cottage industry only. Because of the Hand-loom dress material produced in the town, Mangalagiri is placed in the world map.

Mangalagiri is a pilgrim centre. There is a temple on the hill dedicated to Lord Panakala Narasimha Swamy. Here, jaggery water is offered to the lord by the devotees. It is said in the scriptures that, the lord is being worshiped since Satya Yuga (The first of the four yugas). In the down hill there is another temple dedicated to Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy. It is said that, Yudhishtira (Dharmaraju, the eldest of the Pandavas) installed the main deity in this temple. The temple has a very tall tower with beautiful sculpture which has 11 stairs. It was constructed by Raja Vasireddi Venkatadri Naidu, during the years 1807-09.

Around Mangalagiri, the places of tourist interest are Chinna Jeeyar ashram in Seeta Nagaram, Vundavalli Caves, Bhavani Island, Kanakadurga temple in Vijayawada direction and Jain Temple, Uppalapadu Birds sanctuary, Amaravati in Guntur direction.

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