Panagal, Pachala Someshvara Complex: Restoration of Shrines and Mandapa
The temple at Panagal, on the outskirts of the town of Nalgonda, two hours’ drive from Hyderabad, is one of the forgotten treasures of Telangana. It dates from the 12th century, when this part of the Deccan was governed by feudatories of the great Chalukya rulers of Kalyan. The Panagal complex is one of the few surviving examples in Telangana of temple architecture and art from this period. Since those times, the complex became neglected, and in recent years it was poorly restored. The site is a living temple complex, popular with local worshippers, and with pilgrims at the Maha Sivararti annual festival. Despite its poor condition, the complex preserves its original quartet of small, towered shrines, one dedicated to Pachala Someshvara, a form of Shiva who is the principal deity. The four shrines face into a large, common mandapa that was originally open, but is now crudely walled in. Columns here have their shafts covered with reliefs, as do the basements and walls of the shrines. These well-preserved, exquisite carvings of Hindu gods and goddesses, and popular legends represent a sculptural tradition that has mainly been lost in Telangana.
In consideration of the historical and architectural importance of the Panagal shrines and the artistic glory of its sculptures, the DHF proposes to collaborate with the Telangana Department of Archaeology in a comprehensive restoration project. Funds are sought to support an extensive photogrammetric survey to assess the deterioration of the granite blocks of the temple. Moneys are also required to provide specialist advice to the Department on the best techniques for rehabilitating the existing blocks and developing a suitable policy of replacing those blocks that are missing and removing unsightly additions. The project will encourage the local community to appreciate the architectural and artistic value of the complex, and to better understand how to preserve its unique legacy in the future. In doing so, the project will enhance this temple complex’ role in the life of the community.
The entire budget for the project is $210,000; the Yadagirigutta Temple Development Authority has committed 40% of the funds, and the DHF is seeking to raise the remaining 60% or $126,000