Archaeologist finds unique Veera Sthambha in Kundapura taluk of Karnataka

The sthambha (pillar) is in front of Nandikeshwara temple in Chitteri, and dates back to the 14th century

January 19, 2024 02:20 pm | Updated 02:20 pm IST - MANGALURU

Archaeologist T. Murugeshi (left) claims to have found a unique Veera Sthambha (pillar dedicated to a hero) at Chitteri in Ulturu Mudabettu village of Kundapura taluk in Udupi district of Karnataka, on January 18, 2024.

Archaeologist T. Murugeshi (left) claims to have found a unique Veera Sthambha (pillar dedicated to a hero) at Chitteri in Ulturu Mudabettu village of Kundapura taluk in Udupi district of Karnataka, on January 18, 2024. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Archaeologist T. Murugeshi found a unique Veera Sthambha (pillar dedicated to a hero) at Chitteri in Ulturu Mudabettu village of Kundapura taluk in Udupi district of Karnataka, .on January 18.

Mr. Murugeshi is a retired associate professor in ancient history and archaeology, MSRS College, Shirva. According to Mr. Murugeshi, a Veera Sthambha is a rare type of hero-stone found across India.

The pillar is located in front of Nandikeshwara temple at Chitteri.

The pillar is located in front of Nandikeshwara temple at Chitteri. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The pillar is located in front of Nandikeshwara temple at Chitteri. The Veera Sthambha is 6 feet tall and has four faces. Each face has three panels of 2 feet length with war scenes.

The panels depict heroes equipped with swords and other sharp weapons attacking enemies riding horses and elephants. Sword-fighting, horse-fighting, an apsara (angel) taking a hero to heaven are also depicted.

Mr. Murugeshi said similar Veera Sthambhas were found in Kudlu near Kasargod and Ammunje near Mangaluru.

Erection of Veera Kallu (hero stone) was a common practice, but erection of a pillar was rare, Mr. Murugeshi said. A hero’s life journey through different wars till his end was depicted vividly in the Veera Sthambha found in Chitteri. The pillar indicated his higher rank as compared to a common soldier. Worshipped as the Kshetrapala (guardian) by the local people, the Veera Sthambha dates back to the 14th century.

The Veera Sthambha was brought to light during a recent archaeological exploration conducted in and around Gulvadi on the request of Raghuram Shetty Gulvadi, hereditary trustee of Nandikeshwara temple, Chitteri, and M. Rajiv Shetty.

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