Bangalore village turns out to be archaeologists’ dream

Vinay Madhav

Rajghatta, May 28: RAJGHATTA, a sleepy village in Bangalore’s rural district that hit the headlines after archaeologists unearthed a 2000-year-old Buddhist site there, hides many more such treasures and secrets.

Residents of this village between Doddaballapur and Chikballapur can talk for hours on end as to why they banned the Sarangadhama drama, the story of a local prince of yore.

It brought bad luck. But ask them about gold, and they will mumble something politely change the topic, or simply look the other way. It all started when a contractor found gold some 30 years ago, while digging a budhi gundi ash dump.

There should be more, villagers say. But nobody found any more. However, many tillers have had small finds — pots, tiny Buddhist stupas and other relics. ‘‘We used to throw them away. But when archaeologists began collecting them, we realised their value,’’ says farmer Muniyappa.

Nobody knows who got found gold 30 years ago. ‘‘There was gold jewellery, arms made of gold and other valuable things,’’ says a local youth. ‘‘The whole load of ash, which was in the budhi gundi were transported to farms in Kolar and Hoskote areas.’’

Soon after the find, archaeologists from Mysore University visited the spot. However, they could not begin work due to some technical hitch. When they returned again two months ago, they knew they had hit a veritable gold mine.

‘‘It is one of the rarest finds,’’ say M.S. Krishnamurthy, professor of Ancient Indian History and Archaeology in Mysore University, who led the latest excavation. ‘‘The site has got immense significance and it is the first of the kind in Karnataka or may be even in the whole of India.’’

For now, Archaeologists have closed the pits they had dug in three places. They will be returning soon for a more thorough job.

‘‘We are verifying the facts and the exact age when the civilisation existed in the area,’’ Dr Krishnamurthy said. He said a proper excavation of the site would begin soon.

Yogesh, a villager who helped them, said the team found a temple in one of the excavated places. In another site, there are stone henges marking cremation spots of a megalithic civilisation.

The village had at least five such henges but the villagers broke them up for stones, said Yogesh. Besides, the village has many Veeragallus (tales of bravery carved on stones).

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Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: May 30, 2001
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