As one enters the lanes and bylanes of Brahmanawada abutting Hanamkonda chowrastha in wee hours, one could find people sporting traditional attire and sacred ash lines on their foreheads heading to temples or returning to their homes murmuring Veda mantras. Even today one could find such people but a few.
An exclusive dwelling of Brahmins of all sects – Vaishnavas, Vaidiki, and Niyogis, the Brahmanawada is surrounded by Kapuwada, Sagaraveedhi, Rajputawadi, Machili Bazaar – predominantly inhabited by those communities. The Hanamonda in olden times was a small town. The Brahmanawada has more than a dozen temples that could be more than 200 years old as a memory of the elderly here goes.
Veteran journalist Manduva Ravinder Rao (72), who is born and brought up in Brahmanawada says temples are maintained by single families down the ages. “To my knowledge, the duty of maintaining the temples handed over to posterior generations for a long time. I saw fathers and forefathers of present-day priests,” he reminisced.
The colony which is spread in less than a kilometre is home to temples dedicated to deities – Pochamma, Maremma, Sri Ranganatha, Sri Sitaramachandra Swamy, Hanuman, Narasimha Swamy, historic Thousand Pillar temple and plenty of Siva temples.
The chief priest at Sri Sitaramachandra Swamy temple which is known as Chinna Kovela, Cherukualli Narasimha Charyulu says there were about 300 Brahmin families once upon a time. Now many migrated and new families of different communities have come.
Mr Ravinder Rao says except for a few colonies in the present Hanamkonda chowrastha, there was forest all around, and later it all turned into agricultural fields. The present-day Balasumadram, which is sought-after posh colony now was once a sprawling lake catering to the drinking water needs of people for decades.
Many of the temples vanished due to ravages of time while a few still flourish. Mr Narasimha Charyulu said it was affluent Reddys who were landlords in those times who patronised the temples most here.
Fleeting times and changing environs give both pain and pleasure. The elders who are in their sunset years manifest a melancholic feeling recalling the good old days. Apartment culture changed the character of the colony to great extent.
The Brahamanawada through its quaint houses here and there still retains its age-old charm to some extent is now a bustling place. Abutting the Hanamkonda chowrastha, it is a sought-after place particularly the businessmen owing to its prime location.
By Gollapudi Srinivasa Rao