“Rasi Chakram” found in Panchalaraya Temple in Warangal
Rasi Chakram : Sculpted on a granite rock
A Rasi Chakram sculpted on a granite rock which was discovered at the Panchalaraya temple. Sculpture shows Sun-based calendar that was used during the reign of the Kakatiya rulers in Warangal recently.
A granite stone sculpted with Rasi Chakram (zodiac sign panel) was recently discovered by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at Panchalaraya temple in Sayampet Haveli of Warangal district. The ASI officials visited the ancient Panchalaraya temple constructed by Kakatiya ruler Rudra Deva in 1194 A.D. as part of the Temple Survey Project. They discovered the damaged panel at a corner inside the temple complex.
The panel is evidence that the Souramana (sun-based) system of reckoning the time was in vogue in the region during the reign of Rudra Deva (1158 A.D.-1195 A.D.), Superintending Archaeologist of the ASI, Chennai, D. Kanna Babu said. Rudra Deva was a staunch worshipper of the Sun God. “He constructed several shrines for the Sun God, including the famous thousand pillar temple at his capital city Hanumakonda,” he said, reported The Hindu
The newly discovered sculpture is a rare one as it exhibits each sign with its significant traits as per the ancient astrological writings. The panel was in a square frame. It had been damaged by the vagaries of nature, he said. The panel superbly represents the Rasi Chakram, with its twelve important members depicted in an ornate medallion fashion, particularly in clockwise movement, the senior archaeologist explained. “The houses for Navagrahas are thematically arranged in this zodiac panel with their Rasi icons,” he said.
The second inner medallion, it is believed, is meant for the placement of nine planetary icons, but unfortunately has eroded, he said. The centre of the Rasi Chakram is embellished with the lotus foot of Suryanarayana, the controlling Lord of the signs of the zodiac and the nine planets.
“The most interesting and rare feature of this sculpture is the twelve running horses depicted on the eastern edge of this panel in an equal line, which indicates the Sun, who is the commanding resident of all the twelve Rasi grihas, travelling on horse-drawn chariot from one sign to the other after completing a month’s stay in each,” he said.