Sunday, 30 October 2016

Vijayawada city and its historical link with archery


victorious young  archers, Vijayawada. The Hindu
The history of archery can be traced back to the ancient civilizations, when bows and arrows were mainly used as weapons to hunt  animals  for food and to fight enemies in the battlefield. It was the mastery of the archers at the battlefield that helped gain  victories.  In ancient times,  pines served as the arrows  because they were strong and it  consisted of one fore shaft and a flint point. 


According to the history of archery, bows were first developed either in the early years of the Mesolithic age or in the late Paleolithic age. The oldest bow used by archers, it is believed, is native to Denmark. Archery has been known to India since ancient time. In the great Hindu epics of the Ramayana and Mahabharata, mention is made of various renowned archers and their skills in archery. The year  1972 was  a milestone  in the International sports that archery had been included as part of the Olympic discipline by the Munich Olympic Games. In 1973 Archery Association of India - AAI was formed with a view to improving the primitive game to a  competitive sport.
CartoonStock
young archers of Vijayawada Prasar Bharati Parivar
 Vijayawada city, Andhra Pradesh has the unique distinction of having produced around a dozen talented compound archers  who competed in innumerable international competitions and various premier championships  and had won  more than 250 international medals  since 2005. The recent achievements are the  Silver at 2010 CWG, a bronze at 2014 Asian Games, two in the World Cups along with four in the Asian championships and  more than 50 Asian Grand Prix medals, Cherukuri Satyanarayana, president of the academy, proudly said. That every Indian team at the national level  had one compound archer, either male or female, from Vijayawada, is an undeniable fact and it shows the abundant talent prevalent among the city archers. No  doubt  Vijayawada is fast emerging as a nerve center  of compound archery.

Jordan Sequillion - WordPress.com
It was only in 2005 the archery was introduced to this city that too on a football field at IGMC stadium. Later it moved over to a field at Gunadala with the support of Vijayawada Municipal Corporation in 2005. The credit goes to former India coach, the late Ch. Lenin, who laid a  strong foundation for the academy. The same tradition  is continued to day. Thanks to  Indian Railway's archer J. Rama Rao and  his team of assistants, adds Satyanarayana. Volga Archery Academy has a pride place in Indian Archery. 

Arjuna awardee Mangal Singh  further improved his skills in Vijayawada and then went on to become a permanent member of the Indian archery team for a while.

At the Asian Games, Purvasha Sudhir Shende and Vennam Jyothi Surekha (KL University) helped India make a podium finish by clinching the bronze medal in the compound segment.
Chittibomma Jignas and Ritul Chatterjee, both trainees of Volga along with Ch. Srither, bagged the silver medal in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.

According to archeologists and Archery coaches, Vijayawada has had a long mythological connection with archery. Cherukuri Satyanarayana, Secretary AP Association of Archery, the well known archer Arjuna of the Pancha Pandavas of the great epic Mahabharata visited this place  all the way from Indraprestha by crossing over the great Vindhya mountains to Indra Keeladri. Here, it is believed, that he acquired the Pushpastra, the most powerful weapon from Lord Shiva. That Vijayawada is derived from Vijayavatika, denoting Arjuna's victory confirms the veracity of this legend, according to Siva Nagi Reddy, renowned archaeologist. Some prominent rulers of various dynasties of this region were good archers and had proved their prowess in archery. One being Gautamiputra  Yagna SriShatakarna of Satvahana dynasty and he was considered as Eka Dhanurdara.

Cartoon Clip Art
Rudramma Devi, a well known queen of the Kakatiya dynasty is believed to have acquired the necessary skills in archery in Mandadam, a village near the proposed capital of Andhra - Amaravati. It is on the other side of the river Krishna in Thullur  Mandal, Guntur district. During the Kakatia dynasty, there were archery training schools. However, historical references have been lost for unknown reasons

Satyanarayana, who runs the Volga Academy, regrets the fact that though their players have  won the international awards, etc., the Indian Government, as usual, has neither given the academy necessary encouragement nor has it appreciated their medal winning players. The sordid attitude of the government is highly deplorable.

Ref: 
The Deccan Chronicle, August 28, 2016 (Vijayawada Edition)