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Isn’t it time we start thinking seriously about what we are doing to preserve the rich heritage of our country?

This was the immediate thought that struck me when I went with my family on a short trip to Lepakshi Temple in Anantapur district recently.

Monuments are a part of our ancient heritage, something which is closely associated with the identity of the state, a community and a population. Monuments bring the elegance and beauty of a bygone era to the forefront. We get to understand India’s past through them and they have to be taken care of.

The government of Andhra Pradesh named its handloom and handicrafts selling shop as “Lepakshi”, which indicates its significance. Unfortunately, the temple of Lepakshi is not as well maintained, something this rich cultural monument deserves. This is sheer apathy from people who claim to boast about our heritage.

The temple is an age old structure built in the 16th century on a hill in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. It was built during the reign of the Vijayanagar Empire. With a profusion of carvings and paintings on almost every exposed surface, the temple has plenty of interesting historical elements such as the hanging pillar and beautiful fresco paintings.

The fresco paintings are an integral part of the roof and the details are rendered in bright colours.

Though the temple of Lepakshi is just a 80-minute drive from Bengaluru and a 45-minute drive from Hindupur (used as the base point by most tourists), it does not get the attention it deserves.

The gardens and parks built around the temple are so beautiful you feel you are in one of the most serene places. Unfortunately, the temple is not at par with the gardens in terms of maintenance. As you enter the temple, you look at its walls which are high and made up of granite stones. When the guide asks you to look at the structures carved in the walls and paintings on the roof of the temple, you can barely see anything. Though the sculptures are visible, the paintings have been affected by rain water.

Just possessing such monuments is not enough, preserving them should be given equal priority.

K.V. S. Mouli,

Class XI, DAV Public School,

Safilguda, Secunderabad.