The Karnataka archaeology department has finally woken up to the treasure in the city’s backyard as it decides to take up conservation in the city’s ruins, which was once a capital of the Ganga dynasty.One of three capitals of the western Gangas, Manne, will see excavation by the state archaeology department.
The department has sent a proposal to ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) to this extent seeking their clearance. After ASI and state government clearances, excavation will be taken up in an area of over 20 acres from Manne village.
A team of state archaeology officials led by director of museums, Dr R Gopal and historian HS Gopal Rao on Thursday visited the place, now in shambles, as part of conservation and excavation. A photo documentation was also done on Thursday.
“Manne is place of very high historical significance. A preliminary survey has been carried out. It was the capital of the Gangas, who ruled for more than nine hundred years. They were initially in Kolar. They then moved to Manne before moving finally to Talakkad. Hence, the place which served as their capital is of great value. A proposal has been sent for archaeologi cal scientific excavation,” Dr Gopal told Bangalore Mirror.
The historical city of Manne, little known to Bengalureans, stands a few kilometres from Nelamangala and about seven kilometres from Dobbaspet. Also known as Manyapura, Manne, was one of the neglected and forgotten historical towns till recent days, when heritage enthusiasts and conservationists took up the issue with the state government. They had also petitioned the state government to conserve the city and accord it heritage status as it was almost reduced to a dumpyard. What was a Someshwara temple of Manyapura in ancient days, is today referred as a `Sule Gudi’ or `prostitute’s house’ due to lack of historical understanding, awareness and conservation efforts.
The structures still stand witness to the grandeur of the Gangas and has an imprint of Jainism. The temple, said to be built between 9-10th century AD, still has eye-catch ing architecture with life-size dwarapalakas, a mandapam with ornamental pillar carvings, typical of the Gangas.The roof has carvings of goddess Padmavathi and other Tirthankaras. Near a dried lake also exists a sapta-matri ka statue of the Ganga period. With seventeen pillars, the structure has been demolished and can be seen in a ruined state.
However, an excavation is expected to throw up more treasure to add to the state’s history and ancient past, the officials said.
Heritage enthusiasts welcomed the government’s move that comes after a long time.
“We welcome the state government’s move. We look forward to seeing action soon on the ground. We also welcome the government’s move to give protected status to the heritage remains.
We are sure the excavation will throw up wonders as in Hampi because the inscription found at Manne has a mention of a major Jain settlement. We are hopeful ASI will support the state’s proposal at the earliest,” Swaminathan Natrajan, a heritage enthusiast, who has been pursuing the case for more than two years with the state departments, told Bangalore Mirror.