In a country where every stone has a story to tell, it is impossible for government agencies dealing with archaeological finds to take note of the folklore and history that provide a glimpse into the ancient past of the enigmatic planet Earth. The two Telugu states have an army of historians and explorers whose pure passion for archeology has so far exposed many hidden facts.
Prehistoric limestone caves of Ginnedhari forest at Tiryani mandal of Kumram Bheem Asifabad district, 36 rock art forms, sandstone carvings from Devuni Gutta, a temple similar to Angkor Wat, Kothur in Mulugu district, traces of Jain Tirthankaras at Warangal Fort, Metla Bavi in ââWarangal, Shantinatha Statue on Aggalaiah Hill in Hanumakonda and the list goes onâ¦ Here are some of the important finds and alluring facts and things that would have gone unnoticed without these devotees of ‘story. They also helped bring in several archaeologists and historians from across the country and abroad.
Sriramoju Haragopal: One of the best epigraphists from Aler. Inspired by his friend and author of the Kolanupaka story, Viruvanti Gopalakrishna, Haragopal, a retired teacher, wrote Aleti Kampanam. Associated with the Telangana Jagruti, he covered the region extensively from 2013 to 2019. He never believes in the word âdiscoveryâ. âEverything exists and we have to correlate it with history,â says Haragopal, who believes in teamwork. Always within reach of the phone, Haragopal’s zeal for inscriptions and the in-depth study of history makes him special.
Aravind Arya Pakide: Aravind Arya, your name is an archeology obsession. It’s no exaggeration to say that even though Aravind, who is barely in his mid-twenties, lives in Hanumakonda, he wanders more historic places. The Untold Telangana, his book says a lot about his hard work, in addition to shedding light on some exhilarating things. His dream is to found an organization exclusively for the conservation of heritage sites. Whether it was the Metla Bavi (step well) of Warangal where Rani Rudrama allegedly bathed, or the Devuni Gutta in the thickets of Mulugu – he was the first to explore. He has the privilege of working with renowned scholars – Professor of architectural history at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University, Adam Hardy; Dr Corinna Wessels-Mevissen, a German whose expertise spans the iconology of Indian sculpture and the architecture of medieval temples; Professor Phillip B. Wagoner, Professor of Art History at Wesleyan University in the United States.
Reddy Ratnakar Reddy: A lonely crusader and a sort of mad explorer whose energies are difficult to assess. He wanders alone and invents something new. He is known as a man of discovery in his hometown, Jangaon. He collected a large number of stone tools and prehistoric objects. He wants to build a museum. He found remains of an almost 4000-year-old settlement at Gajagirigutta Hill under Bachchannapet’s Mandal. He recently found a dike on a rock formation spread over 2 kilometers behind the Trikutalayam, also known as the Rajanna temple, in the village of Veldanda under Narmetta mandal.
Vemuganti Muralikrishna: Born of the famous poet Narasimhacharyulu, Muralikrishna, originally from Siddipet, is an expert in the identification of prehistoric tools, rock art, limestone stalagmites and stalactite caves. He is part of a team that identified prehistoric traces, inscriptions from the time of Satavahana, and structures at Kondapaka temple. He worked with Sriramoju Haragopal for Telangana Jagruti. The duo wrote a Telangana Charitra in six volumes.
Katta Srinivas: A poet and a sort of versatile. Kusumanchi Ganapeshwaralayam and Talavanchani Nagulavancha – the two books he wrote indicate his love for history. He was part of a team that explored rock art sites in Ramachandrapuram, Baineetibanda and Onti Gundu etc. and botanical fossils. He was also engaged in dike studies in his native district of Khammam. He coordinates with members of Kotha Telangana Charitra Brundam (KTCB).
Samudrala Sunil: Sunil, who is owned by Godavarikhani, is an expert in identifying rock tools, dinosaur fossils, plant fossils, leaf prints, etc. It is also able to analyze inscriptions and sculptures. He explored two inscriptions on Munulagutta in Kotilingala. Sunil is also an expert in identifying dwellings from the Satavahana era. It also has a collection of rock tools. That aside, he took responsibility for the video recording of historical discoveries made by the KTCB.
Ahobilam Karunakar and Samaleti Mahesh: This Siddipet duo has been associated with the KTCB since 2014. Karunakar is an expert in the identification of rock art, Veeragallulu, megalithic burials, stone tools in addition to the analysis of sculptures. Besides his expertise in identifying Veeragallulu, Samaleti Mahesh has a passion for collecting antiques and autographs.
Chanti: Although he carries the KTCB team, he has developed a passion for archaeological study. Having worked with historians over the years, he has now become an expert in identifying megalithic burials, fossils, rock art, etc. He is an expert in taking fingerprints of inscriptions. Chanti explores the historical places of Krishna Basin whenever he finds the time. It belongs to Repalle in the district of Guntur.
Ragi Murali: Murali, originally from Pajjur in the Nalgonda district, is a journalist. He acquired expertise in the exploration of stone tools and megalithic burials. He developed a passion for archeology when the archaeological department conducted excavations in Pajjur in which they found pottery from the Satavahana period. It highlighted the inscriptions Akinapally Lingotam and Appajiet.
BV Bhadra Girish: Although his roots belong to Vinukonda in Guntur district, Girish was born and raised in Hyderabad. He is the author of a book on the history of Vinukonda in English. Attracted by the activities of the KTCB, he pursues his passion for exploration. Girish conducted an exclusive study on the Vishnukundins. He is also a follower of Bauddha Dharma.
B Venugopal Reddy: He explored microscopic fossils in the Sitagondi Forest under Mandal Gudihatnur in his home district of Adilabad. He found limestone shells in the densely forested area. He also found volcanic plasterboard at Varthamanuru of Bazar Hatnur, in addition to 6.50 crore year old rock formations known as columnar basalts. Basalts are the result of volcanic activity and the subsequent sedimentation of lava. He is also associated with the KTCB.
Kolipaka Srinivas: A new member of KTC, Srinivas who belongs to Siddipet had visited over 50 temples from the medieval period and published them with the help of Sriramoju Haragopal. He likes to analyze sculptures. He found Veeragallulu and Jain Choumukhis in Akunur.
Kusuma Suryakiran: Suryakiran of Hanumakonda is one of the musketeers whose resolve is to safeguard and popularize the architectural and archaeological wonders of the Kakatiya dynasty. Suryakiran, who did his master’s degree in tourism management, also heads the Seva Tourism and Cultural Society (STCS), an NGO aimed at popularizing tourist spots in the region. With a solid knowledge of sculpture and architecture, he is a perfect liaison with researchers.