A 3-day conclave Telangana Vaibhavam was organized by Pragna Bharati and Itihaas Sankalan Samithi in KSL convention center, Yelagandula, Karimnagar. The glory of telangana’s history, culture, literature, festivals, arts, architecture, textiles, science and technology didn’t get enough coverage in popular narrative and the conclave aimed to relive the glory
On 19th Sept 2019, a cultural yatra in Karimnagar town was conducted with widespread participation by people, especially schools, educational institutions and many other organizations with songs and folk dances. The sobha yatra campaign created the right ambience for the conclave in the town, reflecting the pride and respect for telangana culture and history. On 20th September, the conclave was formally inaugurated by Sri G. Kishan Reddy, Minister of State, Home Ministry, Govt of India. The minister addressed the gathering and spoke about the glorious history of telangana and the suffering of the region under the nizam. Sri Bandi Sanjay, Karimnagar MP, Sri G. Vivek, ex-MP were present on the grand occasion. Sri T. Hanuman Chowdary, Chairperson of Pragna Bharati, Sri Nand Kumar, All India Convenor -Pragna Pravah, Sri Boorla Dakshinamurthy from RSS, Sri Dattatreya Sastri from Itihaas Sankalan Samithi (ISS) graced the occasion and addressed the gathering. Sri Hanuman Chowdary spoke about the nizam’s atrocities and the subsequent liberation of Hyderabad. Sri Nanda Kumar said that every part of India has a civilizational continuum, and in the current period we need to defeat the divisive forces. Sri Giridhar Mamidi introduced the conclave theme and spoke about the past glory of telangana. On 21st September, Sri Prahlad Singh Patel, MoS, Culture Ministry, Sri Bandi Sanjay, Karimnagar MP, and many other dignitaries were present on the dias. The special souvenir `Telangana vaibhavam’ was released by the dignitaries. The minister assured that he would do everything possible to bring fame to the rich culture of telangana, thru arts, museums and academies. On 22nd September, Himachal Pradesh Governor Sri Bandaru Dattatreya graced the occasion in the valedictory session and assured all support.
A gala cultural event was organized preceding the main inaugural event. Several schools participated in the event and had presented vibrant cultural performances. A variety of cultural programs were presented reflecting Telangana culture including classical dance traditions like Perini Sivathandavam and Lasyam, folk dances, and traditional cultural themes like bonalu, bathukamma etc during all three days presenting the rich rural, tribal culture of telangana in a vibrant festive atmosphere. Folk songs depicting all the districts of telangana were performed. Folk songs depicting all the districts of telangana were performed. The highlight of the festival was the traditional play `prathaparudreeyam’ performed by eminent historians and scholars.
Sri Bhashyam Vijaya Saradhi, eminent Sanskrit scholar; Acharya Sri Kasireddy Venkatreddy, eminent scholar, writer and historian; Sri Yellapragada Sudarshan Rao, eminent historian, ex-chairperson ICHR; Sri Gannamraju Girija Manohar, eminent scholar and poet, were felicitated by the Hon’ble Minister Sri Prahlad Singh Patel, MP Sri Bandi Sanjay and others dignitaries. Acharya Sri Kovela Suprasannacharya and Dr Jaishetty Ramanayya, historians were felicitated by Pragna Bharati at their residence.
Glorious history, literature and culture of ancient Telangana
The academic sessions focused on the theme `Glory of ancient Telangana Literature’. Dr Kamalakar Sarma Sagi presented on Temples of Telangana , explained about the rich legacy of poets like Malinadha Suri who wrote enlightened commentaries on Kalidasa’s mahakavyas. He said our temples are also repositories of several shasanas and inscriptions, these are sakthi sthalas and give us energy. Dr Manohari Sagi, of Musi Patrika speaking on ‘Epigraphic literature – Inscriptions – historical and cultural importance’ explained the science of epigraphy and inscriptions to understand historical and cultural events. She described the various kinds of temple shasanas , and also about the 72 kinds of trades and occupations of the temple-dependent systems. Temples in those times were schools, arts and cultural centers as well as health centers. Acharya Dr Smt Surya Dhananjay, Osmania University spoke on the Jatharas in Telangana of various traditions – saiva, vaishnava, saktheya jatharas like komaravelli, ainavolu mallanna, nagoba, edupayala, vemulavada jatharas. They were places of congregation for people and cultural festivals and folk arts, many local legends and puranic deities are inbuilt into the histories of the jatharas. Dr P. Bhaskara Yogi presenting on `Sankeerthana literature in telangana’ said, Many people’s poets and song-writers were present all over telangana over many centuries, the verses are filled with vedantha and culture, and arose organically from people’s language and culture. Dr Yogi presented a few song-verses to illustrate the philosophies embedded in those.
Dr Gannamaraju Girijamanohar Babu gave a scholarly presentation on Telangana sathaka literature Including Palkuriki Somanatha, Sumathi sathakam by Bhadra bhoopaludu, Narasimha sathakam by Seshappa kavi, Dasaradhi sathakam by Kancherla Gopanna/ramadasu etc. He said sathakas were compulsory reading for generations of telugus and guided and moulded the character of children. Dr Remella VSS Avadhanulu of Vedabharathi gave a brilliant exposition on the Antiquity of Telangana and mentioned the four vedamantras by sumantha, jaimini, vaisampayana rishis for Kaliyuga. He said Basara saraswathi temple, which is a Vyasa prathishta is more than 5000 years old. Kalidasa padyatrayam – Kolachala Mallinadha suri has written Commentaries of Kalidasa’s mahakavyas. In 1890 Shankar Balakrishna Deekshit wrote in Marathi on astronomy and mathematics which gives life histories of 120 ancient Indian mathematicians. Kakatheeya Prataparudra, when faced with defeat, saved the veda pundits by sending them to godavari lankas in konaseema of east and west Godavari districts. Prathaparudreeyam as alankara sastram remains and is taught even today. Dr Sanghabhatla Narasiah speaking on Histories, Epics and Kavyas in Telangana spoke about Narasimha sathakam by Seshappa, on the presiding deity of Dharmapuri, Sri Laxminarasimhaswamy. Pampa mahakavi wrote the first puranam Jinendra Puranam in telugu. Gona Buddhareddy wrote Ranganatha ramayanam incorporating people’s oral literature into Ramayana. Marana mahakavi wrote Markandeya puranam. Illustrious Ithihasas -navanadha charitra, siddheswara charitra, prathaparudra charitra, panditharadhyula charitra, pothana charithra were written. Gangadevi, celebrated poetess wrote Mathura Vijayam in Sanskrit, and described the way muslim kings mistreated hindus.
Sri Konda Srinivasulu presented the early history of Vakataka, rashtrakuta and chalukyas before the advent of Kakatiyas. Sri Damaraju Suryakumar gave a detailed presentation of Kakatiyas lineage as well as the development of the times, including thousands of tanks and lakes, presence of trade and business guilds with trade links with other kingdoms. Recharla reddys, kayastha yadavas are some of the chieftain kings. Kakateeyas had marital relations with their chieftain kings.
Arts, sculpture and folk performances in Telangana
Dr Avadhani Avusula Bhanuprakash presented on traditional arts, music and folk-arts like Runja vadya, Baindla/bhavanis, Golla suddulu, Sarada kathas of Warangal and the famous Oggu kathas. He said not only bharatha ramayanas, but also heroic tales, ballads and purana stories like renuka yellamma and mandhatha reached people through the traditional folk arts. Acharya J.Ramulu gave a detailed presentation on Mallinadha Suri without whose authoritative commentaries the great classical poet Kalidasa wouldn’t have been known to the world. Mallinadha also wrote alankara sastras and wrote commentaries on Sriharsha’s naishadham and Bharavi’s and Bhatti’s works among others. Sri Dr Bhandaru Umamaheswara Rao presented on the architecture and dance forms, and the many great temples that Kakatheeyas built. Ramappa nandi is a most beautiful sculpture made from the hard black granite stone, he said only kakateeyas had the skill to polish black granite stones. The Warangal fort has 4 prakara walls, with swayambhu linga in the central area. Palkuriki somanatha – described 50 types of veenas and Jayapa Senani wrote nrutya ratnakaram on temple sculptures.
Dr Vadluri Anjaneya Raju presented on folk literature and performances, especially story telling on Ramayana &Mahabharata. There are also many historic songs on great freedom fighters like Gadvala somanadri and Sarvai papadu. Hundreds of Philosophical vedantic songs, occupational songs on agriculture and other trades thrived. Dr Sunitha Rammohan Reddy highlighted the worship of nature, Mother Goddess Gowri, floral festival of Bathukamma praying for protection of life and well-being and said the festivals reflect telangana culture, history and social traditions. Acharya Dr Kasireddy Venkatareddy gave a brilliant exposition on Veedhi Bhagavathalu and other folk performing arts and bards. Different types of yakshaganas –bhagawathulu in different parts of the telugu speaking regions – telangana, north Andhra, tanjavur, rajapalayam, rayalaseema etc Gayopakhyanam, Narada vivaham, Sasirekha parinayam, Prameelarjuneeyam, other legends from matsya, bhagavatha, markandeya, skanda, Vishnu and devi puranas were very popular. Nizam’s police prevented the Ramayana Mahabharata performances, while they allowed – sanyasamma, lakshmamma, tirupathamma, veerabrahmam tatvam etc. Tarigonda vengamamba wrote 12 yakshaganas and Cheriviraala Bagayya wrote more than 100.
Prof Dr Y. Sudarshan Rao speaking on Forgotten History of Telangana said that Indian history was more predominantly oral literature tradition, rather than archeological findings, we have the legacy from our rishis. Lakhs of epigraphs are found in india and history will remain a patchwork if we don’t study it comprehensively. Traders and merchant guilds were also well-developed. Prof KP Rao, Archaeologist presented an authoritative account of `Pre-history of Telangana’ thru paleo-lithic, Mesolithic and megalithic periods’ excavation sites. He said unique Mudumala of mahbabnagar provided clues to understand time cycles, solstices and the movement of sun and the position of Saptarshi mandala were understood by the ancients. Prof Dr D. Raja Reddy, Numismatist gave a unique presentation on the coins found in telangana region, and presented chronological timelines of historicity of satavahanas and their script with coins found in kotilingala. He also placed the history of the region in relation to mauryas and in reference to puranas. Prof V. Kishan Rao gave an overview of history as an inter as an interrelated discipline and needs multi-pronged approach. Prof S. Jaikishan gave a detailed presentation on Forts, Weapons and Artillery in deccan region and stated that Study on wootz steel revealed that many weapons, swords and daggers in the world were discovered and manufactured in Telangana. Indigenous cannon-building technology was developed. Golkonda was known for it’s diamond mining industry. Grain was collected and stored in the Ghadis. Forts were regarded as projecting Social and economic surplus and an index of urban development. Dr Mallam Veerender of Ithihas sankalan samithi presided over the session.
Dr Gandra Laxman Rao presented on the works of sciences and knowledge systems, he stated that sciences were expressed in slokas and poems by poets. He mentioned some Works on Grammar, mathematics, astrology, chemistry, sculpture, gemology, music and dance etc. Dr M. Panduranga Rao of INTACH explained in detail about the restoration work of Ramappa temple which was undertaken with the support of ASI, and said that the team has proposed Ramappa temple to be recognized as a world heritage site by UNESCO. They have collated information and submitted dossier describing the Universal outstanding values of Ramappa temple, including floating bricks and sandbox building technology. Sankyepalli Nagendra Sarma presented on the other religious traditions of Jaina and Bouddha present in ancient times in telangana. He mentioned the Jaina theerthankara statues in karimnagar, kolanupaka jain temple, jain idols in hanumakonda, bodhan, basara from 6th century CE; Dhoolikatta, kotilingala, phanigiri, vemulavada, nagarjuna konda and many other bouddha relics and chaityas are found. Some of the historic sites are deteriorating, as the sites are not protected. Dr P. Sankara Rao spoke on Tribal culture in Telangana including the museum developed in medaram on sammakka-sarakka, and another one on komaram bheem.
Sri Vedula Narasimham gave a short introduction to Dr Sreeram Sreepada Sathe, the founder of Itihaas Sankalan samithi, whose birth centenary year is being celebrated this year. Dr Sathe published more than 103 books, established the time periods of Mahabharatha and Gautama Buddha, history of Hyd Liberation and Ram-janmabhumi, Facts of Aryans etc.
The grand 4-day event was held in a festive manner and was a mix of academics, cultural programs and celebration of telangana glory.