Excavation in ancient site of Talakad commenced

Archaeologists resumed excavations at the ancient site of Talakad in Mysuru district in their quest for the earliest signs of human habitation in a region known for historical monuments that date back to the 5th century AD.

The State Archaeology Department received the green signal for the excavations from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the work was began look forward the unfinished work of the previous endeavour after a gap of four years.

The excavations is LED by principal investigator N S Krishnamurthy. To start with, the ground of the identified areas – now overrun by vegetation – has to be cleared, for which daily wagers have been deployed.

The archaeologists got numerous leads during the excavations conducted from 2006 to 2010. They will follow these up with focus on five areas including the Basadis and the area behind the Keerthi Narayana temple.

Mr Krishnamurthy said that the excavations will focus around the Basadi, six burial sites and the massive bund or embankment wall that helped protect locals from periodic flooding of the River Cauvery. “The wall unearthed during the previous excavation, is nearly 10 ft. thick, 15 ft. high and extends to almost 100 ft. There are evidence of it extending further. Renewed excavations will throw light on this,” he added.

The masonry wall, he said, constructed in the 4th century A.D. during the period of the Gangas, served its purpose and saved the southern portion of Talakad from submergence and periodic flooding of the Cauvery. “It is an engineering marvel and served the city till 16th century AD as people lived without the fear of floods,” Mr Krishnamurthy added.

Located on the banks of the Cauvery, Talakad – about 45 km from Mysuru – is an ancient site whose origins are lost in time. It was the capital of the early Gangas and came under the suzerainty of the Cholas, Hoysalas, Vijayanagar rulers and the Wadiyars of Mysuru. A large swathe of the ancient site is buried in sand but excavations in the last few decades have helped unearth monuments including Basadis and impressive temples which underline the importance of the region.

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