Evidence

Then Kodagu came to be ruled by a minor dynasty called Kongalvas who were the subordinates of the Cholas. Their inscriptions are found at Malambi, Menasa, and Mullur. There are at least 16 inscriptions in Mullur, Somawarpet taluk, and throw valuable light on Jainism which was prevalent in the area. The next two centuries saw the rule of another dynasty known as Changalvas. Their inscriptions are found at Herur, Srimangala, Goni Marur and Mullur. Though the Hoysalas became powerful and issued hundreds of inscriptions, only four of them have been found in Kodagu. Even they are hero-stones. Inscriptions at Palur and Bhagamandala refer to a king by the name Bodharupa (1380) who has not been identified so far properly. It is again surprising that only one inscription of the Vijayanagar period here at Mullur refers to a gift by Harihara II to a Jain temple. However, the Belur chiefs are represented here by three of their inscriptions. With the rule of Kodagu Rajas from 1633 to 1834 first from Haleri and later from Madikeri, inscriptions begin to appear in more numbers. Though these Rajas are Veerashaivas, they claim to belong to Lunar race, Bharadwaja gotra, Alwalayana sutra, and Rigveda. Their capital Haleri is Sanskritised as Kshirapura (milk city). A peculiarity of their inscription is the mention of the Kaliyuga in terms of not years but days. For example, the construction of the commencement of the Omkaresh-wara temple took place on 1796392nd Kaliyuga day and it was completed on 1797421st Kaliyuga day. Thus it took 1029 days to build the temple.

An inscription carved on the back of a silver elephant refers to king Lingaraja II hunting elephants in Balyatare forest area. He is recorded to have killed 34 elephants and captured 8 cubs alive. To commemorate this great event he prepared a silver elephant with an inscription on its back and gifted it to Subbaraya temple at padi. This is a unique record. Another inscription refers to the meritorious service rendered by Biddandra Bopu in wars against Tipu Sultan and also in elephant hunting. Bopu's son was B. Somayya and he also served the Rajas with great devotion on his death, he was also buried by the side of the samadhi of his father in the enclosure of the Raja's tombs. While one of the inscriptions refers in detail to the construction of the Omkareshwara temple, it is significant to note the stipulation that the accounts of the temple should be audited annually.

As Kodagu was ruled by the British Commissioners, some inscriptions of this period are also available. One of them in the Raja!!!s Seat area refers to Vice-Regal durbar of Lord Irwin held on 29.11.1929. Diwan Ponnapuyi Bopu took a leading part in collecting Rs. 1,242 from the devotees and got prepared silver pitha, prabhavali, 3 gold umbrellas, 2 suryapanas and 2 patakas (flags) for use at Mulakaveri. These inscriptions inform us that Jainism was an important religion in the early period. Mullur was a great center of Jain religion. Madapura (ancient Mahadevapura) was a prominent Veerashaiva Centre as known from inscriptions. An inscription at Heggadehalli refers to Manjunathaswami of Kuduma. It is worth recollecting that Dharmasthala was known in the ancient period as Kuduma. The most intriguing factor in the ancient inscriptions of Kodagu is the absence of popular Kodava names. The Kodagu area has not been explored for the past many decades and explorations may help discover more new inscriptions. The most interesting ancient antiquities of Kodagu are the earth redoubts or war trenches (kadangas), which are from 1.5 to 7.5 m high, and provided with a ditch 3 m deep by 2 or 3 m wide. Their linear extent is reckoned at between 500 and 600 m. They are mentioned in inscriptions of the 9th and 10th centuries. The early accounts of Kodagu are purely legendary, and it was not till the 9th and 10th centuries that its history became the subject of the authentic record. At this period, according to inscriptions, the country was ruled by the Gangas of Talakgd, under whom the Changalvas, kings of Changa-nad, styled later kings of Nanjarayapatna or Nanjarajapatna, held the east and part of the north of Kodagu, together with the Hunsur talk in Mysore.

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