After the neighbouring state, Telangana, clinched Heritage City tag for Warangal, now it’s the turn of Andhra Pradesh to demand similar tag for Rajamahendravaram (also known as Rajahmundry). State archaeological authorities are collecting concrete evidence of the city being once ruled by Chalukya dynasty in 10th and 11th centuries which will help to prove the historical significance of the city. Proof of this, along with evidence of ancient monuments, will be submitted to the centre, so that it could declare Rajamahendravaram as Heritage City.
The city’s name was derived from Raja Raja Narendra, the ruler of Chalukya dynasty of 11th century who ruled over the city. Archaeological department of the state has already prepared a plan to look for remnants of Chalukya dynasty in the city. Now the department is seeking permission from Archaeological Survey of India to undertake excavations near Chitrangi Palace for unearthing antiquities and relics. Authorities are confident of finding relics of Budha underneath the city, as Buddhism was practiced in the area during the 2nd Century BC. An underground tunnel was also there from Chitrangi Palace to Sarangadhara Metta, which could form part of the proof.
There is no dearth of historic structures from subsequent periods in Rajamahendravaram, like Royal Mosque of 1353 A. D., residential building of social reformer Kandukuri Veeresalingam, Markendaya Swamy temple, Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple of 18th century, Mrukundeswara temple built in 1053, over 100-years’ old Gautami Library, residence of Sir Arthur Cotton, Damerla Rama Rao Art Gallery, Kotilingala Ghat, Rallabandi Subba Rao Archaeological Museum, Havelock Bridge across Godavari River, Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage and Cotton Museum, among others.
Once the centre declares Rajamahendravaram as Heritage City, it will help the state to get funds from the centre under Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana.