Madikeri: An ancient Shiva Temple, said to be about 700 years old, has been discovered at Bollumadu village in Virajpet taluk. The temple, found at a spot behind the Post Office on Kadanga Paraane is in a highly dilapidated state and is on the verge of total collapse.
The temple, said to be built using red stones, first came to be known to the villagers through Tantris in 2008. Subsequently, the villagers had cleaned up the spot by cutting down the trees around the temple. But as the temple was not accessible by road, no renovation works could be taken up and the temple remained in its dilapidated state.
However, the temple exploration resumed two days ago with villagers again cleaning the vicinity by cutting down the bushes and other plants. During the exploration, a Shivalinga stone sculpture was found in the well of the temple premises. Also, the almighty’s Ayudha (weapon) ‘Kadtale’ and small Ganapathi idols have been discovered. This apart, the stone sculptured images of Tripata, Kumuda, Jagatti, Kanta, Pattika and Devakoshta Sopanas were found at the temple foundation. After the discovery of the ancient temple, Bollumada villagers contacted Nayakanda Prakash, who is staying at Mysuru, seeking his help for tracing the history of the ancient temple. Prakash is a former official of Archaeological Survey of India and had also served as a site supervisor at Ram Janmabhumi in Ayodhya, UP.
Prakash, who visited the spot, opined that the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva may be 600 to 700 years old and it may also be a contemporary of the times of the ancient Bhagamandala Temple.
Prakash, who collected some documents regarding the site, observed that an excavation was necessary to trace the complete history of the temple, according to Bollumadu Gram Panchayat President Matanda Arun. Pointing out that the spot where the temple has been discovered is said to be a Pysari land, Matanda Arun said that a few families are residing in the vicinity of the newly discovered temple. Though the temple was discovered earlier, it could not be reached as there was no access and as such no one bothered to go there. Now a huge tree has fallen on the temple’s ‘Garbhagudi’ (Sanctum Sanctorum), destroying it. Now, a villager has come forward to part with his land to make way for accessing the temple, Arun said adding that the Kodagu District Administration will be appealed to take up excavation of this centuries old temple.