A Masterpiece of Art of the 11th Century Discovered in Uluru Mutta in Kumta Tq
Mangaluru: A master Piece art of from the 11th century has been discovered at Ulluru Mutta of Kumta taluk in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. Ulluru Mutta is located below the foothills of Sahyadri and near a small stream. Here is a small modern shrine of Ganapati and architectural members of an ancient temple, mutilated sculptures and an inscription found, stated Prof. T. Murugeshi, Associate Professor, Dept. of Ancient History and Archaeology, Mulki Sunder Ram Shetty College, Shirva in his press release.
The mutilated sculpture is locally identified as Mahavishnu but, iconographically it is a Janardhana. It holds pinda in its frontal right hand, Gadha in the left, and at the back left it holds Shanka and Chakra in right. The image is in a standing posture of Samabhanga, having an ornate long Karanda Mukuta as its headgear, the curly hair on both sides of the head is a great testimony of its grandeur. It has a hollow rim of charming Prabhavali with fire decorations on the top edge, and a graceful face with a handsome nose, lips, chin and eyes make it marvellous. It wears rich ornaments, Makarakundalas in its ears, Kantihara, necklace, Kaustubhahara, Udarabhandha, Bhujakeertis, Tolbhandhis, and bangles on both hands. It wears an undergarment with Simhakeerti at its waistbelt. It is about 80 cm in height without a pedestal and 85 cm with the Padma Pitha. This masterpiece of art was executed during the period of Chalukyas of Kalyana.
The Bhagavata cult had been in Uttara Kannada since the 7th century A.D. The earliest Vishnu sculptures discovered at Gokarna and Igunda are both dated to the 7th century A.D. During the Chalukyas of Kalyana, trinity worship was very popular and a large number of Trikuta temples were built in the Chalukyan Kingdom, where the Sun, Vishnu and Shiva were worshipped equally. Ulluru Matta was also a centre of trinity worship.
The inscription found there is written in Kannada and Tigalari script. It refers to Kamadevarasa and Basavayya of Chandavara which was a sub-capital of the Alupas of South Canara. The epigraph is still under detailed study. It was written in the early characters of the 14th century.
I am thankful to Madhukar, M.J. Naika of Ulluru Math and Shreyas, Gowtham, Karthik and Ravindra Kushwa and Murulidhar Hegde Kolluru for their help.
Submitted by : Prof. T. Murugeshi, Associate Professor, Dept. of Ancient History and Archaeology, Mulki Sunder Ram Shetty College, Shirva,