Long forgotten history of boulders

Heritage

Long forgotten history of boulders

The word Dasara brings to mind the  world famous jamboo savari, folk arts, durbar of  Maharaja, parade and a lot more.

Garuda bete, tagaru kalaga, sword fighting and kusti by wrestlers were the showstoppers at Srirangapatna Dasara.

Wrestlers from the state and also various other states used to fight it out on the red soil and show their strength in the presence of erstwhile maharajas. The winners used to be honoured with abundant gold coins and a crown.

Similarly, boulder lifting competition also used to be the most entertaining programme. Participants from Tanjore, Malayala, Kanakanahalli, Kodagu, Tenku seeme and others used to descend in Srirangapatna during Dasara festivities.

‘Jatti kalaga’ and boulder lifting contest was famous during Kanteerava Narasaraja Wadiyar and was held at the grounds near Sriranganathaswamy temple. About five persons were employed on monthly basis just for the purpose.

The contest held in the presence of general public and board members was watched by the king himself along with his entourage. The winners were felicitated by the maharaja with garlands.

Kanteerava Narasaraja Wadiyar, who himself was called as ‘Ranadheera’ for his bravery, was a wrestler. Hence, he was interested in such sports that depict bravery.

Round boulders weighing around 20 kgs that were used to be thrown on the invaders who scale up the Srirangapatna fort was found recently at the cellar of Lakshminarasimhaswamy temple here.

It has been collected at Jayachamarajendra museum. But ironically, the authorities concerned have not given due importance it deserves and has made no effort to explain its history to the locals or the visitors.

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