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Friday, 7 December 2012

Moribetta - 'Hill of the Maurya'

-->by: Kushal Mucon (Mookonda Kushalappa)

Several months ago I had been to an ASI protected (at least it had one Archaeological Survey of India sign board) prehistoric place famed for megaliths. I wrote about it and it was published in the Deccan Herald Bangalore Edition (Spectrum supplement, dated: Nov. 26, 2012) with three photographs that I had taken on the spot. A miniature version of one of these photos even came on the corner of the newspaper's front page along with the caption! (The original title I had given was 'Hill of the Maurya' but this one, Heaps of broken images, sounds better; it's from T. S. Eliot's "The Waste Land".) The article's editor claimed it was a discovery. The place was quite interesting and before visiting it I had read up much about this site, whose historic value was relatively unknown. Such historic sites actually need to be well-preserved for posterity.

The three photographs in this article and a smaller one on the Deccan Herald newspaper's first page were mine.

This is the link from the Deccan Herald's website :

An image of this e-paper sheet can also be obtained from: Moriya Hill


However, unlike Richter, in the Coorg Inscriptions (part of Epigraphia Carnatica, 1914 edition), the more reliable B. L. Rice (1837-1927) writes on page 51: "Srimatu Partthiva-samvatsarada Phalguna 10 Guruvara Annadani-arasinavara yituba kattisidaru katidavaru Venkataiya Malaiyya Bomarasaina baraha Basalinga-devaru Nannagaudana kaladali ayita."

This translates to: "On Thursday, tenth of Phalguna month in the year Parthiva, Ruler Annadani built it. Venkataiya Malaiya Bomarasa wrote this inscription. This was during the times of Chieftain Basalinga Deva." This inscription was originally on the sluice of the Honnamanakere (Honnamma lake). Thus Basalinga is no Raja (hence not Devappa Raja) but simply a chieftain, while we come to know that King Andany was Annadani (c.1106), an ancient Raja of Kodagu. This hence makes the construction of the lake and sluice much older, dating back to the twelfth century and not the eighteenth century.

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