Temple history reconstructed through inscription study


Stone inscription conservation project finds history of Venu Gopalswamy temple in the 11th century.

A Mythic Society project found an inscription that indicates that the Venu Gopalaswamy in Ivar Kandapura could have been a Siddeshwara temple from the 11th century.

“The team has found inscriptions from 1029-1033 CE, which is a very significant finding in current times,” says Udaya Kumar, Project Head.

The team found four big inscriptions that give details about the temple- its ownership, memory, donation and boundary limits-. The idol of worship is expected to have changed over time.

Udaya Kumar said “In 1000 years, the idol of the temple has also changed. With the help of the inscriptions, we came to know that a person named Vamanayya founded this Siddeshwara temple where people used to worship Lord Siddeshwara. Later, in the 21st century, people now worship Lord Gopala.”

Mythic Society of Bangalore is an institution devoted to the study and research of religion, philosophy, history, ethnology and culture. This project was approved by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in 2017. Out of the goal of 1500 inscriptions, the team has already found 500 new inscriptions and is in the process of digitally restoring them.

In March 2021, Srinivas of Kumbarahalli and his friend Dileep Simha of neighbouring Chikkabanavara contacted the Mythic Society Bengaluru about two inscription stones in a grove owned by Srinivas. After visiting the site, the team found the stones half-buried with faint writing. Subsequently, Srinivas had the stones extracted and shifted to a nearby warehouse where the project team used 3D digital scanners.

  • A Mythic Society project found four big inscriptions around the temple

A worker of Mythic Society said, “Even when an old inscription is physically stored in a safe and protected condition, there are high chances of surface erosion over time with environmental exposure. This is where modern technology comes to the rescue, with 3D digital scanning, which allows creating long-lasting, non-changing and highly accurate three-dimensional imaging.”

Vikram Kumar resident of the Kandapura Village said, “Previously, we didn’t know the history and importance of this temple. These kinds of studies are very important for our history and knowledge and I think, after this finding, the popularity of this temple will definitely increase.”

Nawaz Ali Khan, (Terminologist) Expert said, “these kind of findings are very important for our culture, lifestyle and language. The Mythic society project to conserve stone inscriptions digitally is a very great initiative. Knowing  the origin connects us to our culture and helps to discover new characteristics.”

However, this has not made any difference to the priest of the Venu Gopalaswamy Temple.  He said, “It is very good that we came to know about this temple and its history but even after knowing the real idol of the temple, I prefer to continue to worship Lord Gopala. All my life I have worshipped my god and I will continue to worship him.”