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Inscribed Pillar, Talagunda

DISTRICT: Shimoga; TALUK: Shikaripur.  
LOCALITY: Talagunda (Lat. 15o 35’ N; Long. 74o 18’ E)
APPROACH: AIRPORT: Bengaluru; RAILWAY STATiON: Shimoga; BUS STATION: Shiralakoppa

Talagunda was an ancient agrahara town called as Sthana-Kundura in Kadamba inscriptions, the original home of the Kadambas of Banavasi, the first indigenous kingdom in Karnataka.  Sporadic explorations around Talagunda has brought to light Early Historic vestiges in the form of brick structures. An inscription in Prakrit of the Satavahana period found at Malavalli, 7 km north-east of Talagunda, proves that the place was under the occupation of the Satavahanas right from  1st- 2nd  century AD. The holy primeval god Bhava, found here, was said to have been worshipped by the Satakarnis in an inscription.

Datable to 5th  century AD, the inscribed stone pillar in front of the Pranavesvara temple records that a tank was got excavated by king Kakusthavarman (405-430 AD), for the use of the temple. But virtually this is a historical document giving an account of the origin of the Kadambas, their pedigree down to Santivarman, son of Kakustha. It also relates the circumstances leading to the foundation of a kingdom by Mayurasarman and recounts the achievements of his successors. The inscription in box-headed Kadamba characters and in chaste Sanskrit of the kavya style, was composed by poet Kubja. This is one of the most important inscriptions of Karnataka, that sheds light on several aspects of Karnataka history and culture.