Shivakumar G Malagi reports in the Oct 15th edition of the Times of India how Anegundi, the first capital of Vijayanagara Empire (better known in Kannada as the Karnataka samrajya) on the banks of the Tungabhadra, has a history as old as planet earth itself:
Anegundi: Referred to as the cradle of the Vijayanagar empire in history books, Anegundi is perhaps the only place in the world with human settlements from the Microlithic, Megalithic and Neolithic ages.
Anegundi is located on the banks of the river Tungabhadra and falls in the core zone of Hampi, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986. The Hampi-Anegundi area is more than what is commonly considered the ruined kingdom of 15th century Vijayanagar empire. Here, tourists find 500-year-old monuments of high degree of engineering skill at every step.
It is said to have one of the oldest plateaus on the planet, estimated to be 3,000 million years old. So, only local story-tellers refer to Anegundi as the maternal home of Bhoodevi (Mother Earth).
Anegundi has been identified as the capital of the mythical kingdom of Kishkinda, mentioned in the epic Ramayana. It is the birthplace of God Hanuman.
Neolithic history is represented in this region by Mourya Mane, a several thousand-year old ‘Stone Age Colony’. Several Neolithic dwellings still bear paintings that are clear and intact even to this day. “This is the rare human settlement where we will find traces of Microlithic, Megalithic and Neolithic age of human life at one same spot. Anegundi area is much more than the Vijayanagar empire, and as is old as the planet. Till date, this village is a living heritage site in its true sense,” says Cheluvaraj, head of the department of tribal studies, Kannada University, Hampi.
(Article and Photo Courtesy Times of India)
It is not just a feeling of ancientness that encompasses us as we report this, but also a feeling of responsibility - the responsibility to continue the Kannadiga race, protect it, further it and bring back its ancient glory. We are an ancient people today caught in the midst of problems surrounding our land, our language and our people. There is one and only way is out of these problems, and that way is the unity of Kannadiga youth.