Historical temple unearthed in Bharathinagar

A team of archaeologists from Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have stumbled upon a historical temple at Chikkabetta, Arethippuru, Bharathinagar, which is popularly known as a ‘site of archaeological interest’.

According to the archaeologists, it is one huge temple consisting of about five to seven small temples in the same complex. It dates back to period Gangas  who ruled between third and ninth century.

Later, Hoysalas who ruled Karnataka played a major role in further developing the temple complex.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Assistant Archaeologist T Aravali said, ‘The temple and basadis at Arethippuru existed 30 years before temples at Shravanabelagola. Upon survey, it was found that initially mud blocks were used in construction which were later replaced by limestones. In the later stages huge stone blocks have been used for construction, he explained.

It is also believed that a small canal was flowing in the region connected to the pond near the temple. Small iron articles, mostly used for temple windows have also been found along with idols made out of limestone and rocks.

Aravali pointed out that a historical Jain temple was found during the excavation in 2014. Former director of ASI I K Sharma had identified Arethippuru village in 1980. From then, the region has been declared a protected area, he added.

Place to be developed

ASI Director T Arun Raj (Bengaluru division) said that the department has a goal of developing the historical place on the model of Shravanabelagola before the Mahamastakabhisheka at Shravanabelagola to be held  in 2018.

About 50 to 60 workers have camped at Arethippuru since two months and have joined hands in the excavation works, being held under the guidance of Aravali, R N Kumaran, C Rajanna and other experts.

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