Massacre of Jains at Annigeri: Archeological Evidence Found
- Annigeri is a town near Hubli in Dharwad District of Karnataka. Recently the archeology department has found 601 human skulls in an excavation. The skulls date back to 10th to 12th century. According to reliable sources, Archeology Department has found very important materials and references mentioned in the Bombay State Dharwad Gazetteer about a massacre that took place near Annigeri.
J M Nagaiah, associate professor of Dr RC Hiremath Institute of Kannada Studies ( KUD), has said that he has discovered the inscriptions, one each at Hottur near Shiggon taluk of old Dharwad district, and at Gawarwad near Annigeri.
According to the Hottur inscription, Chola emperor Rajaraja, during an expedition, had attacked Belaval-300 province with the help of his nine-lakh-strong army and captured Annigeri during 1007-08. The emperor then tried to forcibly convert people into Shaivas (followers of Lord Shiva). He is also said to have ruthlessly chopped people, including children, who refused to be Shaivas. King Sataysharava Irive Bemdag of Chalukyas of Kalyan was ruling Annigeri then.
The Gawarwad inscription says emperor Rajadhiraja I of Cholas, during his expedition, attacked Annigeri, the then capital of Belavan Nadu-300 (comprising 300 surrounding villages). After capturing Annigeri, Rajadhiraja I destroyed Jinnalya, temples built by Jains, and also killed those who opposed the destruction of temples during 1018-1050.
The Hottur inscription is included in `Epigraphy India' (volume No. 16), while the Garwada inscription is included in `Epigraphy India' (volume No. 15). "The two inscriptions are enough to unravel the Annigeri skull mystery," Nagaiah told `The Times of India'.
He said that human skulls discovered at Annigeri must be of those who were killed for opposing Rajaraja's attempts to convert them to be Shiavas, or of those who were killed by Rajadiraja for protecting Jain temples.
"But for these incidents, there are no evidence of massacre (near Annigeri). The skulls must be of those who were killed by the Cholas," he claimed.
"I'm planning to bring the two inscriptions to the notice of State Archeological Department. We will be able to come to a definite conclusion about the skulls after getting the carbon dating test report from Bhuvaneshwar," he said.
(Source: ASD and TOI)
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