Hero stones of the Ganga era

Hero stones of the Ganga era

From the past

Epigraphic stones, monuments and veeragallu (hero stones) play a prominent role in narrating the history and tradition of a place.

The achievements of a ruler and the heroic deeds of a person are carved on stones which are found all over the land occupied by the dynasty.

The inscriptions, dating back to medieval times, are in Halegannada. Veeragallu is a stone carving that narrates a heroic death of a warrior in a battle.

Halegannada is the Kannada language which has transformed from the 5th century CE during the reign of the Kadambas of Banavasi.

The Modern Kannada language has evolved in four phases over the years. From the Purva Halegannada in the 5th century (as per early epigraphic records), to the Halegannada (Old Kannada) between the 9th and 14th century, the Nadugannada (Middle Kannada) between the 14th and 18th century, it has evolved to the present day Hosagannada (Modern Kannada) from 1800 to present.

Veeragallus were recently found in Hirebidanur. The inscriptions on the veeragallus have already been deciphered in Epigraphia Carnatica, a set of books on epigraphy of the Old Mysore region of India, compiled by Benjamin Lewis Rice, the Director of the Mysore Archaeological Department. However, due to the apathy of the local people they remained neglected.

The hero stone measures 8 ft x 5.5 ft and has a thickness of 8 inches. One of the local persons had cut this stone into three and was using it. The significance of this stone came to light when the co-ordinator of the Cultural Society and head of the history department of Government First Grade College, Gangadhariah accidentally spotted this stone and became aware of its importance. He explained the same to the villagers.

With the help of his students, Gangadharaiah shifted the stone to a safe place. Besides the carving of a man with a sword, there are 25 lines of inscription on it in Halegannada.