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Cultural centre

CHARITRA VELUGULO RAYADURGAMU: R.S. Hulikunti Murthy; Pub. by the author, H.NO.9-5-635/58-2, JRS Colony, Lakshmi Bazaar, Rayadurg - 515865, Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh. Rs. 50.

RAYADURG WAS a principality during the Vijayanagar Empire days. After the collapse of that empire, Rayadurg and surrounding areas were ruled by Nayak rulers and attained prominence as a centre of political and cultural activities. In 1800 A.D., the East India Company government converted it into a taluk in Bellary district.

Rayadurg was only 32 miles from Bellary and developed close cultural ties with that city. In 1953 however while recommending reorganisation of states on a linguistic basis, the Fazl Ali Commission suggested that while Bellary be a part of Karnataka, it suggested that the Rayadurg taluk be retained in Andhra Pradesh as a part of the Anantapur district. That is how it became a part of Andhra Pradesh though both Kannada and Telugu had equal prominence in the area.

The present author, out of love for his native place, has done much research and has traced the history of the place from prehistoric days. It is interesting to read about the important place it occupied under various empires, right from the Maurya period down to Vijayanagar, under Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan and later under the British. With the available material it is established that it was once a prominent Jain centre and then a Buddhist one but these were only minor ones because the centre continued to be a prominent Vaishnavite-Saivite place.

The author has rightly paid high tributes to the British officers like Robert Sewell for bringing to light the various inscriptions down the centuries, which help one in building a historical account of the place.

The book is a valuable one and the author has made it as interesting as possible.

G.D.

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