Architectural Heritage of India 2013
A Miniature Sheet consisting of 2 nos of commemorative postage stamps on Indian Architectural Heritage : Arasavalli and Srikurmam temples in Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh :
Issued on Apr 11, 2013
Issued for : Department of Posts is happy to release a set of Commemorative Postage Stamps featuring the Arasavalli and Srikurmam temples in the series on Architectural Heritage of India.
Stamp/FDC : Brahm Prakash
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Miniature Sheet, Mint Condition
Colour : Multi colour
Denomination : 500 & 2000 Paise
Stamps Printed : 0.4 Million each
Miniature Sheet : 0.21 Million
Printing Process : Wet Offset
Printer : Security Printing Press, Hyderabad
- In the early Indian society, religion was an inclusive presence whose role went beyond faith and worship – it was in itself a way of life. Temples in ancient and early-medieval India were not just abodes of God, but thriving hubs of social activity as well. It is no surprise then, that temples represent some of the finest samples of architectural heritage from that era.Two such examples are the Arasavalli and Srikurmam temples in Andhra Pradesh.
- Arasavalli Temple :
- This Sun temple from 7th century AD takes its name from the Arasavalli village near Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh, where it is situated. It is believed to have been built by Devendra Verma, the ruler of Kalinga. The unique design employed in the temple ensures that twice a year, in March and September, the sun’s rays touch the feet of the deity, the Sun God.
- This temple is a testimonial to the architectural skills of the Maharanas, the Vishwakarma sculptors of Orissa. It is a Panchayatana temple with Aditya in the centre and Ganesh, Shiva, Parvati and Vishnu in four corners of the quadrangle. The five feet image of Surya bearing lotus buds, carved out of a rare ancient stone called Arunashila, flanked by his consorts on a seven horse driven chariot is the main idol for worship.
- It is believed that the Sun God is the God of health. People worship here to heal their diseases. It is also believed that a dip in the holy waters of the Pushkarini pond in front of the temple fulfills all the wishes of the devotees. Suryanarayanaswami Kalyanotsavam, an important five day annual event, is celebrated at this place during March-April.
- Srikurmam Temple :
- Situated in Srikurmam village near Srikakulam, it is the only temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the avatara of Srikurmam, i.e. tortoise. The temple is believed to have been built before 2nd century AD, and re-developed in 7th century AD. Rulers of the Chola and the Kalinga dynasties have contributed to its construction and development.
- This is the only temple in ancient Dravidian architectural style in this region. The temple is noted for its imposing five storied gopuram. The two hundred granite pillars in the temple premises have inscriptions in Devnagri script, carried out over the period from 11th to 19th century AD. The 41 panels of mural paintings on the walls of the temple depicting mythological events resemble the frescoes of Ajanta caves in Maharashtra. One unique feature of the temple is that it has Dhwajastambams (flag masts) in front and back of the temple as the deity faces the back of the temple on the west side.
- Dolotsavam is the most important festival celebrated here, falling in the month of March every year, when around 50,000 pilgrims congregate.
- Text : P.N. Ranjit Kumar.