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400-year-old water tank in Andhra’s famous Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple being revived

The temple tank which is more than 400 years old and was in a bad condition in the last 50 years is being revived by authorities (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@RK1247_official)

Keeping in mind the religious, historical and heritage significance of Kalyana Pushkarini – a water tank spread over one acre and located in the well-known Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple in Guntur district’s Mangalagiri area in Andhra Pradesh — authorities are now reviving it.

This koneru or stone-faced tank with steps is said to have been built during the time of Sri Krishnadevaraya who ruled the region in 1564 CE, according to Madinei Govardhan Rao’s book “Mana Mangalagiri” which talks about the rich history of the temple.

The tank which is more than four-century- old was in a bad condition for the last 50 years is being revived with full vigour with its desilting and repair work progressing at fast pace. While the State Government has allocated Rs.1 crore for the renovation, the temple authorities have contributed Rs.50 lakhs. More than 35 workers are working day and night on the site.

The repair work assumed further significance as during excavation two ancient Shivalingas, carvings of Lord Hanuman and Shila Mandapas, a tunnel-like structure and inscriptions have been unearthed. To study these artefacts, the State’s Endowments Department has set up a five-member committee to study them.

Till now more than 3,000 trucks have removed silt from the pond which is 125 feet deep. The officials feel that another 30 feet deep silt is still remaining. Apart from the ongoing desilting, plans are afoot to reconstruct the steps on the north side of the pond which were destroyed due to lightning and develop a Lord Hanuman temple.

In the past, water from this holy tank was used for spiritual rituals and also preparing the temple’s famous panakam, which was offered as prasadam.

The Lakshmi Narasimha Temple is believed to have been founded during the Mahabharata era by Yudhishthira, the eldest Pandava brother. It was patronised by the Vijayanagar rulers and there is an inscription at the temple from the time when Krishnadevaraya visited it.