10 Years of Telangana: Testimony to KCR-era renaissance in culture, heritage

KCR, as the champion of the separate Telangana aspirations, played just that pivot to restore its archetypal ethos in culture and heritage in its full spledour


HYDERABAD: As a land of diverse cultures, languages and dialects, Telangana eternally craved for that crucial impetus all through those decades of gross neglect of its region. K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR), as the champion of the separate Telangana aspirations, played just that pivot to restore its archetypal ethos in its full spledour in the nine years of the state’s own existence.

Hyderabad has traditionally been a classic case for Telangana’s composite culture and the inclusiveness that acts as a glue for the co-existence of multi-linguistic populations from different parts of the country. No wonder that the state capital – even under the undivided Andhra Pradesh – has been basking with the reputation of a ‘mini-India’ while thriving on Telangana’s ‘Ganga-Jamuna tehzeeb’

Since the inception of a separate Telangana, KCR’s government has gone on mission mode to revive traditional fairs and festivals. Simultaneously, it breathed life back into dilapidated historical places and landmarks that were long-neglected. As KCR firmly believed in perseverance as the key in this regard and invested for the future, so did his key administrators. And all the painstaking efforts initiated since 2014 began bearing fruit in the last few years. Restoration of the Bansilal Pet Stepwell back to its original architectural grandeur is a shining example of Telangana’s heritage renaissance under the BRS chief.

Festivals symbolise KCR-style cultural confluence

Soon after assuming power, KCR declared Bathukamma, the prominent floral festival of Telangana as the State festival. With the Government itself promoting it, the festival is now celebrated with effervescence at every nook and corner of the State. As a brainchild of KCR, the state government has also begun the tradition of distributing Bathukamma sarees to women to treat them with the honour they deserve on this festive occasion. The gesture also has its positive cascading impact on the weavers who are now getting work throughout the year to weave these sarees.

In a display of KCR’s utmost respect for all religions, the State government also supports the celebration of festivals of minority communities in Telangana. Every year, the Government organises Dawat-e-Iftar during the holy fasting month of Ramzan preceding Eid and Christmas feast on the eve of Christmas.

KCR’s government has also been sponsoring and organising celebrations during major fairs and festivals of the tribal communities. The biennial Sammakka Saralamma Jathara (Medaram Jathara), which is traditionally a big draw for devotees and offers one of the biggest spectacles, has been recognised as a State Festival and celebrated with renewed zest and pomp.

The BRS regime under the leadership of KCR also offers sops to artists in a sublime gesture of honouring art and artforms. About 2,000 eligible artists of Telangana are being bestowed with a monthly pension of Rs 3,016.


Scores of heritage structures that one can see today in Telangana stand testimony to the state’s rich ancient history. The fact that the State government has swung in to protect, restore and develop these heritage structures on its own and with the help of NGOs reflects KCR’s commitment to this onerous task.

Stepwells or Metla Bavulu in Telugu, which have been popular from the times of the Kakatiyas, figure at the top of Telangana’s most significant landmarks. The Metla Bavi in Warangal, Baram Baavi (stepwell) in Narayanpet district, the 17th century Bansilalpet stepwell in Secunderabad, Raigiri stepwell in Yadadri-Bhuvanagiri district have been successfully restored to their past glory and beauty. Buoyed by these accomplishments, the State Government has already initiated steps to restore many other stepwells across the State.

Restoration process for several other heritage structures in Hyderabad and the districts is at various stages of implementation.

UNESCO, UNWTO honours in 2021 in tourism sector

The Ramappa Temple in Mulugu district was declared as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Pochampally village in Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district was awarded the ‘Best Tourism Village’ title by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

In November 2022, stepwells of the Golconda fort won UNESCO’s Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation 2022. Domakonda fort in Kamareddy district won the award of merit.

Achievements in culture, heritage

Telangana is running six music and dance colleges under the Department of Culture to promote classical arts. Due to this, dances like Kuchipudi, Perini, Bharatanatyam, Kathak, vocal and instrumental music in Hindustani and Carnatic traditions are reaching the present generation.

The role of artists in the Telangana movement was immense. In a first-of-its-kind in the country, Telangana Government provided employment to 583 artists under ‘Samskruthika Sarathi’ (cultural vehicle) initiative. Under the guidance of the Civil Relations Officer under the leadership of the district collector, the Department of Culture is promoting the development and welfare schemes of the government in the form of folk songs in the language of the people.

In Telangana, the State government has established ‘Sahitya Akademi’ specifically for the development of literature and ‘Sangeetha Natak Akademi’ for development of music, dance and drama.

The government provides financial assistance in the form of pensions to support the poor and old artists. The pension amount which was only Rs 500 in 2014 has been increased to Rs 3,016 in 2021.

Due to the efforts of the Telangana Government, many folk and tribal art forms like Oggudolu, Kommukoya, Gussadi, Kolatam, Chindu Yakshaganam, Saradakandru, Bindlavaru, Koyabommalu, Harikatha, Burrakatha have now achieved great fame.

The classical dance of the Kakatiya period, ‘Perini’, has been preserved and is introduced as a course in government music and dance colleges.

To increase the interest in the theatre and performing arts among the new generation of youth in Telangana, “Yuva Natakotsavam” is organized twice a year.

To encourage young filmmakers, Paidi Jairaj Preview Theater is specially set up on the second floor of Ravindra Bharati and organises ‘Cinevaram’, ‘Avatarana Filmotsavam’, ‘Sunda Cinema’.

The government has declared Bonalu and Bathukamma festivals as ‘State Festivals’ which have been celebrated by the people here for thousands of years.

Telangana Government has instituted awards in the name of great poets Dasharathi Krishnamacharya and Kaloji Narayana Rao and is commemorating the litterateurs on their birth anniversaries.

Birth anniversary of Mahatma Basaveshwara, Ishwaribai, Komuram Bheem, Suravaram Prathapara Reddy, Prof. Jayashankar and Sardar Sarvai Papannagoud are celebrated officially.

For cultural development of Urdu, a festival named ‘Salam-e-Telangana’ is organized every year. In this, traditions of Qawwali, Mushaira, Sufi Sangeet and Ghazal are encouraged.

The Telangana government is continuously supporting the development of Telangana literature and cultures through Telangana Sahitya Akademi, Telangana Sangeet Natak Akademi, Telangana Saraswatha Parishad, Potana Vigyan Peetha and other organizations.

The “World Telugu Conference” was organized in Hyderabad in December 2017.

Visual documentation of rare folk and tribal art forms of Telangana began in 2014.

The Department of Culture has launched a YouTube Channel named ‘Department of Language and Culture Telangana’.

The Diamond Jubilee of 75 Years of Indian Independence was held for 15 days (from August 8, 2022 to August 22, 2022 in all the districts of the State.

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