|Topic: GS1 – History – Indian Culture – Architecture
UPSC-relevant: Unearthed 390-year-old lamp post in Telangana signifies early medieval riverine trade, offering historical insights for aspirants.
- A 390-year-old Deepastambham (lamp post) has been discovered on the edge of River Krishna in Nalgonda district, Telangana, shedding light on early medieval trade ties in the region.
- The pillar, found in Mudimanikyam village, is 20 feet tall with hollows for lamps and features a multi-lingual inscription.
- Ashok Kumar of the Public Research Institute for History, Archaeology & Heritage made the discovery on a slope leading to the river bank.
- Unlike the common Dhwajasthambam (flag pole) in temple architecture, lamp posts are rare in the Deccan region but are common in temples on the west coast, including Goa.
- The pillar is dated to June 1635 based on the inscription, which is written in a mix of Telugu and Tamil languages.
- It is dedicated to Kasi Viswanatha and likely served as a lighthouse on the riverine trade route due to its height.
- The inscription was engraved by Madiraju Narasayya of Yidupulapāti and erected by Polinedu, son of Vali Munulayya. Similar pillars without inscriptions have been found in Tamil Nadu.
- The village is approximately 180 kilometers from Hyderabad, ruled by the Qutb Shahi rulers during that period.
- European travelers, including the French diamond trader Tavernier, reference land trade routes but also allude to riverine trade in the region.
- The archaeologists also discovered an eighth-century inscription recording a grant during the Badami Chalukya rule, indicating the village’s significance as part of a trade route over the millennia.