Mangaluru: A 12th century dated tulu inscription has been found at the Sri Veeranarayana Temple in Kulashekhara village of Mangaluru. It is said to be the oldest discovered till date.
The inscription is on a 2 feet taal stone with 14 lines of inscription. It was discovered on the left side of the sanctum sanctorum of the temple in the village and is believed to have been named after Alupa king, Kulashekhara 1.
A team led by Prof T Murugeshi of the history and archaeology department of the MSRS College Shirva and his students studied the inscription and have concluded that it dates back to the 12th century as it mentions the year 1159 AD and talks about “Kule (Sekhare) Lokontamanta,” which is the Tulu translation of “Samasta Loka Vikyata Kulashekhara,” the Kannada title of king Kulaskhera.
The study was guided by Mr Vignaraj of the Sri Dharmasthala Samskruthi Samshodhana Samsthe which assisted the professor in deciphering the inscription which informs of 12 villages under the jurisdiction of the temple during that period.
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Giveing more information regarding the inscription the professor said, “The inscription is very important for the information it provides about the Alupa dynasty. The first inscription found of Kulakshekara dates back to 1162. But now with this inscription we know that he was in power by 1159.”
Previously, Tulu inscriptions have been found in Kasargod and Udupi districts, however this is the first time it has been found in Dakshina kannada district. The inscriptions discovered so far at other places do not mention proper dates but the new find at the temple dates it precisely.
“It may be the oldest Tulu inscription discovered till date and can be called the Halmidi inscription of Tulu (Halmidi inscription is the first Kannada inscription),” pointed out the professor.