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Basavakalyan getting facelift

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A NEW BEGINNING: The amphitheatre inside the Basavakalyan Fort in Bidar.
A NEW BEGINNING: The amphitheatre inside the Basavakalyan Fort in Bidar.

Compound walls are being built around protected structures

The historic town of Basavakalyan that was the focal point of the 12th century cultural revolution led by Basaveshwara, is getting a facelift by the Basavakalyan Development Board (BKDB).

The historic city was the capital of the Kalyani Chalukyas who ruled nearly half of India in the 10th century. Scholars such as Someshwara, poet Bilhana of Kashmir and legal expert Vigyaneshwara were in the court of King Vikramaditya VI. Later, the Kalachurya King Bijjala assumed the throne in the 12th century. He appointed Basaveshwara as his Prime Minister. Basaveshwara led a movement that struck at the roots of the social evils such as untouchability and gender discrimination. It is said that he motivated nearly 600 common men and women to become writers. The Government has published over 22,000 Vachanas or writings of over 200 such writers. The BKDB has identified 27 historic sites in and around Basavakalyan. The work of preserving and protecting them is on in full swing. The board has started building compound walls around each protected structure. The use of ancient designs gives the wall an antique look. BKDB sources say building compound walls was essential to protect the monuments from encroachment. Excavations are on around the structures to look for stones and edicts. A team led by archaeologist K.V. Rao has collected over 50 statues and edicts during excavations in and around the town in the last one year. They are stored in the museum near the Basavakalyan Fort. The museum is being upgraded by building its second floor. The Tripuranta Lake is being cleared of silt and developed. Stones that were probably used to build a temple were found under the lake bed during the work to remove silt. They have been referred to the Archaeological Survey of India for identification and research. The BKDB plans to set up a sound and light show inside the fort about the life of Basaveshwara. The prison inside the fort will be developed into a monument. A landscaped garden will be developed inside the fort.

Rishikesh Bahadur Desai in Bidar

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