In Kundapura taluk of Karnataka, an archaeologist discovers a distinctive Veera Sthambha.

On January 18, retired associate professor of ancient history and archaeology, T. Murugeshi, made a noteworthy discovery in Ulturu Mudabettu village of Kundapura taluk, located in Udupi district of Karnataka. His findings unveiled a unique Veera Sthambha, a heroic pillar, at Chitteri, positioned in front of the Nandikeshwara temple.

This rare Veera Sthambha, standing at 6 feet tall with four faces, captivates with its depictions of war scenes on three panels per face. Heroes brandishing swords and other sharp weapons engage in battles against foes mounted on horses and elephants. The intricate scenes include sword-fighting, horse-riding confrontations, and even an apsara (angel) guiding a hero to heaven.

Murugeshi, who had previously identified similar Veera Sthambhas in Kudlu near Kasargod and Ammunje near Mangaluru, emphasized the rarity of erecting such pillars compared to the more common practice of setting up hero stones. The Chitteri Veera Sthambha, dating back to the 14th century, vividly portrays a hero’s life journey through various wars, indicating his elevated rank compared to a regular soldier. Locally revered as Kshetrapala, the guardian, the pillar was worshipped by the community.

This archaeological revelation transpired during an exploration prompted by Raghuram Shetty Gulvadi, the hereditary trustee of Nandikeshwara temple, Chitteri, and M. Rajiv Shetty, showcasing the historical and cultural significance of the region.

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