Begur Diaries - Part 1
The year is CE 870. The air hung with the disgusting smell of blood; swords and shields lay scattered amongst mutilated bodies; amidst the cries of the injured as the dust settled on the battle field, brave Buttanasetti lay dead.
The inscription immortalizing him, discovered at the premise of the Panchalingeshwara temple at Begur tells us that he fought bravely, resisting the Nolambas who were expanding their domain towards the west at the expense of the Western Gangas at whose court, the deceased warrior's father - Nagattara served in his capacity as the chieftain of the town of Vepura or modern day Begur.
The inscription says that the battle took place at the village of 'Bengaluru', making it the earliest known written record that mentions India's IT capital, nearly 600 years before it was 'founded' by Kempe Gowda I.
Located en route Electronic City, about 2 km from the busy Silk Board junction, Begur is a treasure trove for history lovers, with the Panchalingeshwara temple being the jewel in its crown.
The three newly constructed towers, adorned with a myriad deities in vivid colors, looking over the devotees below, provide a brilliant contrast to the ochre colored granite stone in which the temples were built by successive dynasties ruling this part of the country in the middle ages - the Gangas of Talakkad, the Nolambas of Hemavathi and the Cholas of Thanjavur.
Dating back to at least 1100 years, the temple complex, as its name suggests, houses shrines dedicated to five Shiv Lingas - Nagareshwara, Parvati Nageshwara, Choleshwara, Karneshwara and Kali Kamateshwara (where the death of Buttanasetti is engraved), each with its own 'Nandi', dutifully kneeling before its master.
Date: 5 November, 2016
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