The kings of southern India excelled in their developments of building tanks. These tanks were built to store water and facilitate irrigation during the lack of monsoon or during days of summer. Normally such tanks are spread across the state of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. One such tank that held me spell bound was the tank of Anantasagaram. No doubt it had a story. A story I’d like to share with all of you! On the tank of Anantasagaram in Atmakur taluk of Nellore district has a temple. This temple is constructed on the bund of the tank dedicated to Golla Bhama.
During the reign of Sri Krishnadeva Raya, the tank of Anantasagaram was built, with an intention that it never runs dry. Why was it built and under what circumstances is the story we shall deal with another day. But for now there arose a problem during construction of bund on the tank. When the bund was being built it was extremely difficult for the workers to close one particular breach. Even after several attempts and re-attempts the breach could not be held together.
Frustrated the tank was left as it is. Incomplete. This was all until one day a vision appeared. To who this vision appeared is uncertain, but all the locals can recollect while telling the story is that a certain vision appeared. This vision demanded a human sacrifice. Astonished, the workers and the villagers were in state of chaos. Who would sacrifice their self? Then a brave Golla woman, from the community of shepherds stepped forth. She stood on the breach and was buried in water and mud alive. Finally consuming her as the sacrifice, the breach got closed and the bund was completed.
The Golla Bhama temple is dedicated to the bravery of this Golla woman. In around 1630, long after the time of Sri Krishnadeva Raya, during the age of Nayakas, was the queen of Venkatapathi Nayaka. She was called Raghupathi Ammavaru. She built thirty-three pillars with walls on both sides of the steps. Thus were laid the extensions to the temple of Golla Bhama.
During that time, heroes and heroines were worshiped, ones who have sacrificed their life for the welfare of common people. This may sound insane to us as of present, but men and women did take an honor in sacrificing their life for greater good. One can ask, if such a superstitious theory did work for them? Well we don’t know. However, one thing is certain the temple of Golla Bhama has lost its importance in history but to the people of Anantasagaram village she is their preserver. The miracle lies in the fact that the tank never dried up since the time it was constructed. Eyewitnesses say that they saw the tank dry up only once in 1970s or so, though the date is not clear. The village of Anantasagaram which was earlier called Vadlamudipalle was a dry and a water-less hamlet where people ate coarse food and no paddy cultivation was possible.
It was the son of Thimmarasu who built the tank and his name still stands inscribed on the stone slab of the tank. The village owes its debt to Golla Bhama till date.
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