1159 A.D.Tulu Stone Inscription Discovered at Veeranarayana Temple-Kulashekara
Mangaluru: The Tulu stone inscription found recently at the Sri Veeranarayana temple in Kulashekara in the outskirts of Mangaluru City, relates to Alupa dynasty King Kulashekara I and emerges as an important inscription for the study of Tulu, and it is in complete Tulu script and language and belongs to the 1159 A.D., according to Prof. Murugeshi Turuvekere, who is an associate professor, Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, Mulky Sunder Ram Shetty (MSRS) College, Shirva in Udupi district. The inscription begins with ‘Sri Hariye Namaha’ in Tulu Lipi.
It is learnt that Murugeshi, who took up the study of the inscription about two weeks ago on an invitation by the Muzrai Department, has concluded that it relates to Alupa dynasty king Kulashekara, who was a famous ruler of the dynasty, who had built a new city in his name. Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Prof T Murugeshi said, “The earliest dated inscription of Kulashekara I had been found in Korsi-Kalthodu, near Kundapur in Udupi district, more than two decades ago. It was dated to 1163 A.D. So far, the same inscription was believed to be the earliest record of Kulashekhara I. But now, the one at Veeranarayana temple becomes the earliest inscription”.
The Professor further said “Now, it emerges as an important inscription for the study of Tulu script and language, Tulu culture and history of the Alupas. The inscription begins with an invocation of Lord Hari, a Vaishnavite God, who is still worshiped as Sri Veeranarayana in Kulashekara. It is dated in Solar year and it dates back to 10 February 1159, is the first Tulu dated inscription so far discovered. The inscription mentions that the God belongs to twelve villages as ‘pitru-devata.’ While it praises Alupa Dynasty King Kulashekara, some of the lines are buried under Earth. Janardhana was generally treated as the bestower of salvation on the departed souls. Interestingly, the image of Veeranarayana of Kulashekhara also holds a ball-like thing in his right hand, which is called as Pinda,”.
“Pure Tulu words have been used in it. So, it becomes the earliest record of Tulu language so far found. It has definitely provided a solid base for the language and script and supports the demand of the Tuluvas for inclusion of Tulu in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. The inscription is the First one related to Kulashekara Alupendra I, and till recently, the Korsi Kalthodu inscription was considered as the First one on Him ” added Prof. Murugeshi.
Seen in the photo L-R: Sudhakar, Prof. Murugeshi T, Rashmita, Keerti, Prajna and Shreyas of MSRS College
Prof Murugeshi acknowledged the cooperation of Vignaraj, a Tulu and Sanskrit scholar in Dharmasthala, in reading the inscription; and also the endowment department and Temple committee for their support in carrying out the studies on the inscription. Prof Murugeshi while concluding said that he is yet to complete the reading of another stone inscription kept in the same temple for many years.