Mutharam: The ancient temple of Andalamma has become a popular location for filming folk songs, short films and pre-wedding video shoots.
The picturesque sanctuary attracts tourists from different parts of the state as it is surrounded by hills, in addition to its unique architecture. It is located in Dharmabad-Mutharam, five kilometers from the town of Peddapalli.
As locals celebrate birthdays, picnics and other rituals at the temple premises, choreographers and photographers choose the location to record short films, folk songs, pre-wedding video shoots and more. .
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The popular folk song “Sarangadariya” was filmed in the premises of the Andalamma temple while some scenes from the “Bilalpur Police Station” were also filmed in the temple. In addition to a song about educating people about Covid drugs by Krishnapatnam Anandaiah, a number of short films have also been filmed in this picturesque religious location.
Interiors run to seeds
However, the temple looks beautiful from the outside due to its unique architecture, the interior part is in poor condition. According to locals, the temple was built around 300 years ago by the local owner at the time, Erabati Narsinga Rao, who ruled over neighboring areas including the villagers of Mutharam, Dharmabad, Kanagarthi and Kasulapalli.
As the Ranganatha Swamy Temple already existed in the village, the owner built a separate temple for Andalamma, which across Asia is considered the second west-facing temple, the villagers said.
Surprisingly, there is no idol in the temple. There are two different stories circulating about the absence of the idol of the deity. Some say that the installation of the idol was not carried out due to the death of the owner who built the shrine while another version is that the idol was stolen by treasure hunters.
Speaking to Telangana Today, Yerram Venkataiah, 75, recalled his childhood where the temple was more attractive. The mandapam had attractive glass panes, but they got damaged by people over time, he said. Stating that the idol in the temple had not been installed due to the death of the owner at the time of installation, he said loot hunters dug up the sanctum sanctorum in search of hidden treasures. During the period, the roof of the mandapam was also damaged, he said.
Another villager, Chilumula Sagar, said there was no road, electricity and clean water on the temple premises. Some people prefer to celebrate birthdays here. He wanted the district administration to provide basic facilities to attack more tourists.
Although the interior part has become dilapidated, the temple looks more attractive with the planting of various types of flowering plants under Palle Prakruthi Vanam.
Apathy of the administration
Sarpanch of the village, Eddu Kumaraswamy, said that no government department is proposing to develop or protect the temple because it does not fall under either endowment departments or archeology departments. It takes around Rs 5 lakh to repair the roof, mandapam floor and other works. He had already given a representation to the former district collector asking him to sanction the amount. Two months ago he also met with the current collector but there has been no response from the administration, the Sarpanch said.
Besides repairing the rare architectural gem, it requires a 500 meter CC road between Hanuman temple and Andalamma temple, drainage and other works, which require another Rs 15 lakh, he said.
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