Though it lies in an open field, none has dared to take it away forever
Hikal, a tiny village 20 km away from Chitradurga city, is famous for its “infamous” archaeological treasure. This “ill-famed” treasure is a 400-year-old sword which lies in an open field under a tree. This 128-cm sword has an interesting history, attached as it is to several myths and superstitions. The sword is believed to have been wielded by the Vijaynagar king’s commander, Bajjappa Nayak, in the 1526 Talikota war with the Adil Shahis of Bijapur. According to researcher and lecturer S. Tippeswamy, the Vijaynagar kings lost the battle to the Adil Shahis. Many soldiers fled and took refuge in the surrounding areas, and among them was Bajjappa Nayak who came to Chitradurga district along with his family and supporters. These men found shelter in a place known as Devaratti Akalagooda. The family of Bajjappa Nayak lived here for a while but as their luck would have it, disease and ill health began to claim their lives. “The family attributed the deaths to the sword. The ‘cursed’ sword, they believed, was responsible for their losing the battle and now for claiming the lives of their family. This was when they decided to abandon the sword under a tree, and left the area,” says Dr. Tippeswamy. This is where the magnificent sword lies even today, in the fields under the open sky. “The sword vanished for months at a stretch sometimes, but it always resurfaced. Nobody till date has dared to take it away forever,” he said. The sword, which has a beautiful carving of Lord Vishnu on its handle, is now battling with the denuding forces of nature. But a shield, which is said to be a part of this sword, is fortunately safe - in the possession of Bajjappa’s descendents who live in Dasara Mattenhalli village, 30 km from Hikal. Meanwhile, a few descendents in Hikal worship the sword in a special puja every year. “I tried to convince them to give it to the Department of Archaeology where it will be safe, but the family never agreed to it. They want to construct a temple in the field to keep their sword,” Dr. Tippeswamy said.
Firoz Rozindar in Chitradurga