A menhir, an upright standing stone, has been found at Basrur in Udupi district.
T. Murugeshi, Associate Professor, Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, Mulki Sundar Ram Shetty College, Shirva, Udupi district, says, “Menhirs are upright stones from the Megalithic period. They are erected above a burial site or near a burial site as a memorial.”
The discovery takes back the antiquity of Basrur to between 1,000 BC and 800 BC, which is the Megalithic period.
The stone has a height of seven feet above the ground level. It was found on the roadside near the Venkataramana temple.
“This stylistic menhir of Basrur has close resemblance to menhirs found in Baise and Nilskal in Shivamogga district,” he informed on September 20.
The menhir in Basrur had been in the spot for as long as people could remember, but no one knew what it was. It is oriented in the north-west direction and leans slightly to the east.
Menhirs are also called pregnancy stones because they resemble a pregnant woman. “But we do not know whether they were built in memory of deceased pregnant women,” he said.
Basrur is a medieval trading city in coastal Karnataka. It was known by various names, like Basurepattana, Basurepura, Vasupura, Basaruru. The town is studded with many temples, which is an indicator of its splendid wealth.
The Devi temple of Basrur has special importance with the feast of Devi performed once every 60 years. Mahalingeshwara temple, Kote Anjaneya temple, Tuluveshwara temple, Ramachandra temple, Umamaheshwara temple, Bhairava temple are the other surviving temples in the town in addition to Sadananda Mutt, Prof. Murugeshi said.