Udupi: Inscription from Vijayanagar Empire Era Discovered at Kandavara near Kundapur

Udupi: An inscription of emperor Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagar empire was discovered at Kandavara near Kundapura in Kundapura Tq of the Udupi District.

The epigraph was originally built into the sanctum sanctorum of Ulluru Kartikeya temple of Kandavara but while renovating the temple, the inscription was brought out and installed in the outer premises of the temple.

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The temple authorities invited Prof T Murugesh to make study of the inscription. At their invitation, he visited the temple on April 19 this year and copied the epigraph.

The inscription has been written on a rectangular stone slab in Kannada script and language in thirty lines. Curiously, each of these lines begins with a zero. Generally, Vijayanagar inscriptions began with an invocation, but this inscription began with a simple word ‘swastishri’ (may it be well), it was dated in saka year but that part of the epigraph where the date is engraved is badly worn out.

However, ‘samvatsara’ is mentioned as Sukla and Magha maasa. Sukla is corresponding to 1509 AD which is an intended date of the inscription. This date corresponds to the first year of Krishnadevaraya’s reign.

When emperor Krishnadevaraya ruled in Vijayanagar, protecting all dharmas and castes, Mallappa Odeya was in charge of Barakuru (Barkur) rajya. At the instance of Krishnadevaraya, some grants were given towards the worship of Lord Kartika of Skandapura in the month of Kartika that is in December.

Basavarasa Odeya had also been given some grants to Amrutapadi. He might have been an official in charge of palace royal treasury of Kandavara. Annu Udupa might be a temple trustee was mentioned in the record. At the end the invocation of Lord Ganesha and Lord Shiva is found in the record.

Ulluru Kartikeya temple is one of the earliest temples among those in coastal Karnataka. The presiding deity of the temple is as old as 8th century AD. That the temple was generously supported by the Vijayanagar rulers is testified by the 8 inscriptions of the Vijayanagar Empire already reported by Dr P N Narasimha Murthy.

The present inscription is the second one connected with Krishnadevaraya found in the temple. This is the 9th inscription found in the temple.

Prof Murugeshi has thanked Madhava Adiga, Subraya Udupa, the managing trustee of the temple and Dr B Venkataramana Udupa of Kandavara for their kind assistance and support in studying the inscription.

For Old Times’ Sake!

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