City girl discovers stone from 10th century AD

Many of B’luru’s inscription stones are lost because locals break them fearing they are bad omen

Riddhee Joshi, a graduate from Jyoti Nivas College Autonomous and a history enthusiast stumbled upon two undocumented inscription stones in March this year. The stones date back to 10th century AD.

She spoke to Metrolife about her discovery.

“I had attended a seminar on the ’Inscription Stones of Bangalore’ conducted by Uday Kumar P L. My knowledge about inscription stones came from that. A few days later, when I was on my way home in Ananthnagar, I saw two stones lying in a farmland in Kagallipura village, located off Sarjapura Road. I realised that they looked similar to those I learnt about at the seminar,” she says.

Riddhee took a few images of the stones and narrated the incident to her college history professor, Dr Nalini Sekaran.

“She contacted Dr S K Aruni, director south regional centre, ICHR and he advised me to go to the ICHR library and look for ‘Epigarphia Carnatica’, a book written by B L Rice in 1894. It is a document that has a mention of most of the inscription stones found in various regions of Karnataka,” she says adding, “I looked for the part about Anekal taluk but surprisingly, I didn’t find any mention of Kagallipura village in the book.”

That is when Dr Aruni told her that she might have discovered something that is not recorded.

She was then guided by Kannada Epigraphist Prof Narasimhan along with Dr Aruni and other experts from the Mythic Society for excavation and research.

According to the team, one of the stone slabs contains the ‘Halegannada’ or old Kannada script.

“They also came to a conclusion that the two stones are a variant of the ‘Veergallu’ inscriptions, which were made in memory of a hero who laid down his life for the protection of his village, most probably in a local war. However, both the stone slabs seemed to have been broken; had it been in its full form, it would have been around six feet tall,” she says.

In the stone slab containing the pictorial representation, one can see an arrow sticking into the body of the hero while a few soldiers of the enemy army sit on elephants shooting arrows.

The other stone has a picture of the soldier being taken to heaven and an inscription on it.

The stone slab containing the Halegannada inscription is about two feet and three inches and was broken below the bust of the hero in whose honour it was built.

Dr Aruni said that the stones date back to 10th century AD and belongs to the Western Ganga dynasty of Karnataka.

Riddhee says it is unfortunate that the stones are broken intentionally by people of the area.

“Not a lot of people know about these inscription stones in the city. Most of these inscription stones are near garbage areas; people play cards on them or break them fearing bad omens. It is important to preserve these stones so we can preserve our history,” she says.

The research team says that the entire slab contained 10 to 15 lines, depicting the hero’s martyrdom.

The preservation is currently stopped, as the farmer of the land, unaware of its historicity, is not allowing them to take away the stone slab, claiming they worship them.

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