A Sati stone dating back to 1057 A.D., with a pictorial representation of the ancient system of sati, has been found in Belatoor village near Heggadadevanakote in Mysore district.
“The sati stone, with pictorial representation and inscription, is not only a very rare find in the State, but also in the country, Epigraphy Associate Professor, Kannada University, D.V. Paramshivamurthy said.
Till recently, historians and epigraphists believed that these stone slabs were inscribed only on one side, a finding recorded by epigraphist and archaeologist B.L. Rice. Sati stones with inscriptions and pictorial representations on both sides were a new finding, and came to light only when the stone was excavated during the field study undertaken by Mr. Paramshivamurthy and his staff.
The stone records the sati of Dekabbe, daughter of the king of Nuganadu, who decided to join her husband in death upon finding he had been killed. The stone records the efforts made by her family and friends to dissuade her from this extreme step, only to be rebuffed. Dekabbe donated her land, cattle and jewellery to a temple before jumping into the pyre.
In addition to representations of Dekabbe's decision to commit sati and donations to the temple, there are also about representations of her ascending to heaven in a “pushpak viman”, bowing before the “thrimurthis” (Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara) on the 7 ft x 6.5 ft stone.
The inscription also states that the sati stone was carved by Singhachari and Gandachari at the behest of King Raviga, Dekabbe's father.
Dr. Paramshivamurthy said that the find would help researchers make a detailed study of the sati system, as it prevailed in the region.
He has expressed his gratitude to Padmaraj, Mahesh, the residents of Belatoor and staff members of Hotel Shivu for their cooperation and support.