All roads lead to River Krishna. The Pushkarams have brought the river into the spotlight. The pristine river, its embankments and the vicinity have acquired a new avatar, greeting lakhs of pilgrims pouring in from all directions.

Bureaucrat-cum-artist Regulla Mallikarjuna Rao chose a different mode to pay rich tributes to the river. He took to the canvas and acrylic colours to depict the delightful shades of the river, right from the point where it enters the territory of Andhra Pradesh State to its merger into the sea.

“The mighty and yet gentle river has seen it all—the different phases of the history of mankind along its course; man as a land-tiller, a potter, a sailor and a traveller,” says Mr. Rao, informing that his works would be exhibited from Sunday for public viewing in the gallery that has been created in the apron area of Prakasam Barrage.

The series of paintings, dominated by blue shade, portray magnificent stupas, rock-cut caves and temples, philosophers like Acharya Nagarjuna, dance gurus like Siddhendra Yogi, religious ideologies of Buddhism, Jainism, Saivism, Vaishnavism and Saktism, emperors like Gautami Putra Satakarni, Srikrishna Devaraya and Raja Vasireddy Venkatadri Naidu.

“The blue colour symbolises the river,” he says, adding: “The Satavahanas dominated the Deccan region for a significant part of the history of this region and the dynasty reached its zenith under the rule of Gautamiputra Satakarni and his successor Vasisthiputra Pulamavi. I have tried to bring into play all these aspects.”

Mr. Rao, who is also the Executive Director of AP Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC), has illustrated a vivid picture of the society that flourished on either side of the Krishna in terms of arts, crafts, the scripts they used and their culture.

The 125-ft Dhyana Buddha statue at Amaravati has been created by Mr. Rao.

Besides a tribute to the beauty and magnificence of the river, the paintings can also become a device to stimulate awareness and create interest in the history of the civilizations that existed on the banks of the Krishna.

Mr. Rao’s works, at the moment, are on display at the Cultural Centre of Vijayawada (CCV).