St Mary’s Heritage Club Visits Archaeological Site at Barkur

Udupi: The members of St Mary’s School’s Heritage club visited ‘Katthale Basadi’ a national Jain historical monument at Barkur here on March 3.

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The school had organized the one day educational visit to enlighten the students regarding the cultural heritage and historical significance of their native district. The students during their visit studied the historical background and the archaeological features of Kattale Basadi meaning the dark Jain temple, the two small temples behind it one Shiva temple and another Padmavathi temple and also a monolithic pillar at the entrance.

These monuments as informed by its caretaker Madhvacharya belong to the ancient capital of Tulu kingdom during the 12th century A.D. and are now preserved and maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.

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Later the team also visited a few places nearby to see the preserved historical inscriptions, Hero stones and the ruins of historical city Barkur. Entering an ancient monument to feel the glory of past and having first hand experience of touching the ancient script engraved on stone inscriptions were really a great thrilling experience for the young learners of history.

A sketching competition was also conducted for the participants in front of Katthale Basadi to foster their creative artistic expression which received a very enthusiastic response from the members.

The one day visit convinced them of the need to safeguard these historical monuments as they stand as a symbolic representation of the policy of religious tolerance practiced by the different dynasties that ruled over Barkur.

The visit was organized by the Principal Myrtle L F Lewis and coordinated by ISA coordinator Roopa Ashok.


  1. It is heartening to hear that the school has a Heritage Club, and the club members visited the historical areas of Barkur. Congratulations to the Principal Myrtle L F Lewis, coordinator Roopa Ashok, and the unnamed members of the heritage club.

    Barkur was a significant port since ancient times. Possibly was used by the seafarers when Julius Caesar was in power.

    If I am not mistaken, it was one of the ports used by the Arabs to deliver horses to the Indian kingdoms, including the Vijayanagar Empire.

    About 700 years ago the Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta visited Barkur. He called the place Faknoor. The Moroccan would have used a few Tulu words.

    Around the time of his visit, many of the Tulu ruling chieftains were Jains. Most local temples would have served as Jain temples. As we know, slowly and steadily the influence of Jainism diminished in Tulunadu.

    It may seem odd that the Jains who did everything possible to avoid hurting animal and insects, built armies to defend from or fight against the neighbouring kingdoms.

    But that is all part of history, much of which, unfortunately, has been completely ignored by a majority of the people.

    The “majority of people” will rather spend their time and energy participating in various morchas and protesting against something or the other.

    They are very busy now, putting all their energies in identifying the many “anti-nationals”.

  2. I had been to Barkur in October 2008. Having arrived by a flight the earlier morning and having been on the move since then, I was very much tired and not in a mood to see all the historical sites and saw some of them. However, this write-up about school children visiting these sites has evinced a keen interest in me and next time, God willing, I will make it.

    I wish the Principal, Ms. Myrtle L.F. Lewis, and her school all the best. The mere fact that this school, located in a small town, has a Heritage Club means that its Management has a long visiion. Keep it up and all the best.

  3. “It may seem odd that the Jains who did everything possible to avoid hurting animal and insects, built armies to defend from or fight against the neighboring kingdoms” writes Manga.

    True – Manga is right – Jain kings weren’t different from other kings as they had to defend their territories. However, here is where Manga and other anti-intellectual groups go wrong. Jain kings built armies out of necessity, not because they were influenced by Jain scriptures. The same thing goes with Buddhist societies who built strong armies. You can’t compare these armies to armies built by ‘expansionist religions’ and the religious scriptures. There were groups who went around the world, attacking and destroying local cultures as dictated by those scriptures. Those religious scriptures asked the followers to confront, destroy or convert ‘others’ as they didn’t recognize ‘other’ gods!! Not all religions are ‘expansionist’ in nature and Manga will never admit this simple truth.

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