Hyderabad: HC orders snubbed; Khajaguda temple to be reconstructed

When asked about the heritage of the rocks, the trust chairperson remarked that he cared about it but stated that that was no reason to "sideline the temple or the gaushala" present there.

Hyderabad: The trust which runs the Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple located at the Khajaguda rocks has stated that they have the support of the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) and as such, the temple will be rebuilt on one acre of land.

The trust had destroyed the existing temple over supposed bad Vaastu earlier in May.

“It is an 800-year-old temple. The Rudralayam (Shiva arena) is proof of that and I can show the same to anybody. Even the revenue records bare proof to the same,” said Satyanarayana, chairperson of the trust. He also claimed that the temple covered over 170.28 acres of land eons ago. However, this has been disputed by activists, who said that the land belongs to the state government as it is a protected heritage site.

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The temple at Khajaguda has been a bone of contention between the temple trust and activists hoping to safeguard the heritage of the rocks, a good chunk of which have been destroyed by local builders in recent months. Earlier in January, activists held a series of protests against the destruction, and even placed boards citing an order from the Telangana High Court, which directed the state government to ensure that the site is protected.

When asked about the heritage of the rocks, Satyanaryana remarked that he cared about it but stated that that was no reason to “sideline the temple or the gaushala” present there.

Ikada ammayiluani techukovadam, mandu tagadam ani appeyali (Men have to be prevented from getting girls here, drinking regularly),” he said. He further remarked that the activists fighting for the rocks were “unaware” of the temple’s heritage.

“The temple has been protected by devotees and members residing in near by villages,” he added.

Activists dismiss trust’s claims

However, activists who are fighting a legal battle to save the rocks said that there are mentions of the temple at the Khajaguda rocks going back 40 years.

“The trust authorities have one old document which they furnish as proof each time someone brings up the validity of the temple. The temple is built atop a hillock which comes under a single survey number. That document states that there is a temple there. It however, offers no clarity on how much land the temple occupies,” said Arun Vasireddy, one of the activists who is fighting to save the rock site.

Arun further remarks that as per the high court ruling on April 7, no construction can take place. The catch however is that the ruling isn’t being implemented and the HMDA inspectors are unwilling to interfere with the temple issue.

HMDA officials feign ignorance

When contacted by Siasat.com, two officials from the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) however feigned ignorance on the matter and said that “they are not involved” in matters pertaining to the Khajaguda site. These were the same officials who earlier told this publication that the department is undertaking a survey of the heritage site for the purpose of fencing it.

The HMDA has been tasked to undertake a survey of the Khajaguda site, so that after proper demarcation, it can be fenced to avoid further destruction of the ancient rocks.

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