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Deepastambham (lamp post) casts light on medieval trade ties

Published: 9th Feb, 2024


A newly-discovered Deepastambham (lamp post) on the edge of River Krishna in Nalgonda district casts a fresh light on trade ties in the region in early medieval times.

What has been found?

  • Archaeologists have found the 20-foot tall pillar with hollows for lamps and a multi-lingual inscription in Mudimanikyam village of Nalgonda in Telangana.
  • The pillar is on a slope from the village leading to the river bank.
  • While Dhwajasthambam (flag poles) are part of temple architecture, lamp posts are rare in the Deccan while they are common in temples in the west coast including Goa. 
  • Age: Based on the inscription engraved on the lamp post, the pillar can be dated to June 1635.
  • Inscription: It is written in Telugu mixed with Tamil language.
  • It is dedicated to Kasi Viswanatha and because of its height, it would have served as a lighthouse on the riverine trade route.
  • The site is around 210 kilometres from Golconda Fort, where Qutub Shahis ruled Golconda.

Deepasthambham is the traditional lamp post (holds many layers of oil-based lamps) that can still be found in temples of India.

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