Puttur: 5-ft-long Cannon Found while Digging Earth for Temple Brahmakalashotsava

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Puttur: In preparation for Brahmakalashotsava at the Kukkinadka temple in Mundoor in the taluk, workers were engaged in excavation and levelling a few days ago.

They reportedly bumped into an ancient cannon used in warfare. Temple trustee Monappa Karkera, while addressing a media meet in the press club here, said that it appeared to belong to the Kadamba dynasty (345-525 CE). This would hint at the Kadambas having ruled Tulunad or maybe they left it behind during their visit as a keepsake. The firearm would be kept in the temple for public view after being cleaned, he said.

This piece of information was, to put it mildly, quite intriguing. One, the Kadamabas ruled over parts of Uttar Kannada, Goa and inland Karnataka from their capital of Banavasi during the fourth and fifth centuries. Two, until now, there has been no historical evidence that the Kadambas held the sway over Tulunad anytime.  Three, most importantly, the use of firearms and cannons came into practice in India only after the 12th century.

When contacted by this writer, Prof T Murugeshi, HOD of History at the MSRM College in Shirva, who has conducted a deep study into the ancient history and artefacts of Dakshina Kannada, concurred by saying that the fire-power came into use only after the rule of Sultans in Delhi. He expressed surprise that without a proper study being made, a wrong version had been given to the media and the public.

Prof K G Vasantamadhava, an eminent scholar-researcher now spending his retired life in Haleangady, speaking to this writer, confirmed that in fact the use of cannons began only after 12th century. There is a reference to the use of cannons by the Portuguese when they attacked the Ullal fort of queen Abbakka. Cannons were used during the Anglo-Mysuru wars waged by the English forces against Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan in late 18th century.

Having confirmed the matter, this writer pointed out to the Brahmakalashotsava committee president Bhakar Achar that the claim on the Kadamba connection could not be factually or chronologically correct.  He said that it was only a guess that the firearm belonged to the rule of Mayuravarma of the Kadamba dynasty.

It was explained to him that without getting an experienced historian to have a look at it, providing wrong information would amount to gross injustice to history and facts. Being convinced about it, Achar agreed to provide full, accurate details after it was cleaned.

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