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Two hero stones of Chitradurga

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Inscriptions kept in an open field.
Inscriptions kept in an open field.

Chitradurga, perhaps, has the most ancient Kannada inscriptions discovered so far

Arguably, Chitradurga is the only district in Karnataka which has the most ancient inscriptions written in archaic Kannada script discovered so far. This is the belief of epigraphist B. Rajashekharappa. Describing two inscriptions known as Veeragallu located in the farm of Obajja, a farmer of Tamatakal village of Chitradurga taluk, he said that the inscriptions were carved in Kannada and Tamil scripts.

He said that the inscriptions belonged to either the end of the Fifth Century or the beginning of the Sixth Century. “The Veeragallu is a stone which mainly describes the nature and achievements of a particular king of a specific era,” Dr. Rajashekharappa said.

These inscriptions describe about the persona of a landlord by name Gunamadhura who ruled a place called Masikapura (probably, the ancient name of Tamatakal) during the Sixth Century. “It says that Gunamadhura was frivolous, yet a generous and kind person. Despite being of dark complexion, he was a favourite among women, who adored him because of his kind nature,” he said.

The other inscription is in pictorial form and shows how Gunamadhura bravely fought and died. It shows an arrow piercing through his stomach, while two of his guards are fighting by his side. Though the discovery of these inscriptions was made in 1903 by the historian late B.L. Rice, Dr. Rajashekharappa has found new aspects of the ancient treasure. He has also found another small inscription written in Tamil. This one mentions that a person by name Yeluru Monaguru Sathan of Tamil Nadu got this inscription carved.

Expressing displeasure over the present status of the inscriptions, he said that no care has been taken to preserve them. Both inscriptions are kept in an open field without any protection.

“Local people do not know their importance. They worship it as some God, so they do not wish to give the inscriptions to anybody to preserve them,” Dr. Rajashekharappa said.

He feels that either they should be transferred by the Archaeological Department and kept in a museum or they should be given some kind of protection in the field itself for researchers to study.

Firoz Rozindar in Chitradurga

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