An ancient and rare sculpture of bullock cart was discovered at Kittur village in H.D. Kote taluk of Mysore district on October 29, claimed T. Murugeshi, Associate Professor in the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology at the Mulki Sundar Ram Shetty (MSRS) College at Shirva in Udupi district.
In a press release issued here on Monday, Prof. Murugeshi said the sculpture was discovered near Ravirameshwara Temple at Kittur. The bullock cart has been carved on a two-feet-high granite stone. Though bullock carts and chariots had been found carved since the Shatavahana period, they were all panel figures. The sculpture discovered at Kittur was an independent one.
This sculpture displays a person riding a bullock cart, driven by two bulls, with a whip in his right hand and holding the reins of the bulls in his left hand. The wheels of the cart are simple and have arch shaped covering.
Prof. Murugeshi said he had gone to deliver a lecture at the Government First Grade College at H.D. Kote on October 29. After the lecture, he went on a field visit with the lecturers and students of the college when they discovered the ancient sculpture.
He and Vice-President of the Karnataka Itihasa Academy B. Rajashekharappa were of the opinion that the sculpture dated back to the 10th Century A.D. But the former Head of the Department of Ancient Indian History and Epigraphy, Karnataka University, Dharwad, A. Sundara was of the opinion that it was a kind of memorial figure dating back to the Vijayanagara period. Though there were differences regarding the date, all the three were unanimous in their opinion that it was a rare sculpture.
Lecturers at the Government First Grade College, H.D. Kote, Ushadevi, Savitha and Shekar and the students of history at the college were responsible for the discovery.
Kittur was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Punnata. There are various references to several naval expeditions sent by the rulers of V and VI Dynasties of Egypt, to the distant and mysterious land of “Punt”. This reference to “Punt” is identified as Punnata by some scholars. The Greek geographer Ptolemy (90 A.D. to 168 A.D.) had called it “Pounnata”. An inscription of 300 A.D. said that the kingdom of Punnata was adorned by rivers Kaveri and Kapini. Punnata rulers had matrimonial relations with Kadambas and Gangas. All these evidences indicate the antiquity of Punnata.
Keerthipura or the present-day Kittur was the capital city of Punnata. But a major portion of Kittur submerged in the Kabini backwaters. Ravirameshwara Temple is the only monument surviving in Kittur. The temple is said to have been built during the time of Punnata ruler Ravidatta. Hence it was called Ravirameshwara temple, the release added.