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for the account of the Kadamba Dynasty, see Talagunda pillar inscription.
Pranaveshwara Temple (4th century) at Talagunda
Pranaveshwara Temple (4th century) at Talagunda
Talagunda is located in Karnataka
Location in Karnataka, India
Coordinates: 14°25′N 75°16′E / 14.42°N 75.26°E / 14.42; 75.26Coordinates: 14°25′N 75°16′E / 14.42°N 75.26°E / 14.42; 75.26
Country  India
State Karnataka
District Shimoga District
 • Official Kannada
Time zone UTC+5:30 (IST)
PIN 577 450
Telephone code 08187
Vehicle registration KA-14

Talagunda is a village in the Shikaripura taluk of Shimoga district in the state of Karnataka, India. Many inscriptions found here have provided insights into the rise of the Kadamba Dynasty.[1]


Talagunda was earlier known as Sthanagundur and it was an agrahara (a place of learning).[2] This is the earliest known agrahara found in Karnataka.[3] An inscription found at Talagunda indicates that 32 Brahmins were relocated from a place called Ahichchhatra to Sthanagundur by Mukanna (or Trinetra), thereby creating an agrahara.[2][3] Mukanna was an ancestor of Mayurasharma, the founder of the Kadamba Dynasty. The extensive remains of Ahichhatra, the Capital town of Northern Panchala have been discovered near Ramnagar village of Aonla Tehsil in the district of Bareilly in the state of Uttara Pradesh. The word Ahi means snake or Naga in Sanskrit. Nagas were a group of ancient people who worshiped serpents. The word khsetra means region in Sanskrit. This implies that Ahi-kshetra was a region of Nagas. This could mean that the region was populated originally by Nagas, Nairs, Bunts of Kerala and Tulu Nadu who claim Kshatriya descent from the nagas as well as Namputhiri of Kerala, Havyaka Brahmins of North Canara and Tuluva Brahmins of Mangalore and Udupi, Hindu philosophers Adi Shankara and Madhvacharya belonging to these communities) trace their origins to this place.[4]

Education was imparted at Talagunda for eight centuries and the subjects that were taught included vedas, vedanta, grammar and philosophy. The Kannada language was taught at primary level and clothing and food was provided to the students and teachers.[3]


A temple dedicated to Pranaveshwara (Hindu God Shiva) is located in Talagunda. Next to it is located a stone slab containing inscriptions. In front of it is a pillar containing inscriptions in Sanskrit. The pillar inscriptions were written in the mid 5th century CE during the reign of Śāntivarman (a descendant of Mayurasharma).[5] The author of this inscription was Kubja, the court-poet of Śāntivarman.[6] He engraved the inscriptions himself to prevent any other engraver from committing mistakes.

The famous Talagunda pillar inscription (450-460 A.D) that details the rise of the Kadamba Dynasty.

Kubja, describes these inscriptions as a kavya thus:

The inscriptions indicate that Mayurasharma, native of Talagunda,[8] was accomplished in vaidika and went to the Pallava capital, Kanchipuram to study scriptures, accompanied by his guru and grandfather Veerasharama. There, having been humiliated by a Pallava guard (horseman), in a rage Mayurasharma gave up his Brahminic studies and took to the sword to avenge his insult.[9] The inscription vividly describes the event thus:

The inscriptions thus describe Kadambas as Brahmins turned conquerors and praise Brahmins as "Gods on earth, and speakers of Sama, Rig and Yajur Vedas".[12] The Kadamba lineage is described as descending from a three-sage line in the Hariti pravara and belonging to the Manavya gothra.[12]

A view of the Talagunda pillar


  1. ^ Dr. Jyotsna Kamat (2007-12-21). "The Kadambas of Banavasi". Retrieved 2008-05-01.
  2. ^ a b B. L. Rice, p482
  3. ^ a b c Dr. Jyotsna Kamat (2007-12-20). "The History of Agraharas". Retrieved 2008-05-01.
  4. ^ Maclean's Manual of the Administration of the Madras Presidency
  5. ^ F. Kielhorn, ‘Talagunda Pillar Inscription of Kakusthavarman’, EI 8 (1905-06): 31-33 (inscr); Sheldon Pollock, [incomplete reference], p. 116.
  6. ^ D. C. Sircar, p. 86
  7. ^ Sheldon Pollock, p135
  8. ^ Kamath (2001), pp. 30–31
  9. ^ Ramesh (1984), p6
  10. ^ Kamath (2001), p31
  11. ^ Moraes (1931), p15
  12. ^ a b Federico Squarcini, p98


  • Rice, B. Lewis (2001). Gazetteer of Mysore. Asian Educational Services. ISBN 81-206-0977-8.
  • Pollock, Sheldon I. (2006). The Language of the Gods in the World of Men: Sanskrit, Culture, and Power in Premodern India. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-24500-8.
  • Sircar, D. C. (1996). Indian epigraphy. Motilal Banarsidass Publications. ISBN 81-208-1166-6.
  • Moraes, George M. (1996) [1931]. The Kadamba Kula, A History of Ancient and Medieval Karnataka. Asian Educational Services. ISBN 81-206-0595-0.
  • Ramesh, K.V. (1984). Chalukyas of Vatapi. Agam Kala Prakashan. OCLC 13869730.
  • Squarcini, Federico (2005). Boundaries, Dynamics and Construction of Traditions in South Asia. Firenze University Press. ISBN 88-8453-262-0.
  • Kamat, Suryanath (2001) [1980]. A Concise history of Karnataka from pre-historic times to the present. Jupiter. OCLC 7796041.