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Chieftain's tomb in state of neglect

By J.B.S. Umanadh

PATANCHERU, FEB. 20. The tomb of Amin Khan, a local chieftain, under whose rule all religions flourished and Telugu literature saw new heights, near Patancheru in Medak district, is in a state of utter neglect. Amin Khan ruled this area for the Sultans of Golconda between 1550 and 1581. Details of his rule and his deeds are narrated on the walls of the tomb in Persian. There is also recorded evidence that different sects of Hinduism, including Veerasaivism, Jainism and Islam thrived in this area.

Under Amin Khan's rule, a Telugu poet, Ponnaganti Teluganna, wrote a kavya - Yayathi - and dedicated it to Amin Khan. Details of Khan's love for literature and poetry is said to have been carved on the walls of the tomb.

Pitiable state

While historical records paint the story of Amin Khan in the most colourful manner, the only remaining memory of a local ruler now stands like a citadel ravaged by war. The compound close to the National Highway 9 has no walls to protect it. Only the signboard put up by the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Andhra Pradesh, stands there as a mute witness to the lack of public awareness towards national and archaeological treasures.

The premises is now being used by the local people as a public toilet. The writings on the walls, which could have given valuable information to students of archaeology, have been completely wiped off. The calligraphy, architectural design, the plaster, the Gol Gumbaz (the dome on the top) have all got discoloured due to pollution.

Restoration efforts

The former Medak Collector, Premchandra Reddy, and a Telugu daily undertook the cleaning of the tomb and its premises.

The collector also announced a sum of Rs 90,000 for the renovation of the tomb and decided to erect cement benches around the tombs. It was also announced that floodlights would be installed to illuminate the tomb. But neither the funds were released nor did the local administration bother to spruce up the surroundings of the tomb.

Centre of Jain culture

Before Amin Khan, the Chalukyas, who ruled from Patancheru, their capital city, encouraged Jainism.

The Chalukyan ruler, Jayasimha Raj, built 700 Jain temples during 1015 and 1042 AD. Remains of the temples and idols were found in several excavations. One such idol of Lord Mahavira can still be found in front of the Patancheru Municipal Council office where people visit the place to offer prayers on Mahavir Jayanti.

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