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Locals and tourists rue sorry state of Chola temples in Karnataka, urge authorities to preserve them

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Tourists, locals and history enthusiasts have sought the attention of the state government and the archaeological departments of the state and central governments over their alleged negligence towards historical temples near the famous heritage centre Talakadu, which have turned into dump yards.

The temples, which belong to the Chola era, were found to be neglected and dilapidated by citizens in December, who have since been knocking on the doors of all government departments to save them from complete ruin. 

Gopal Balakrishnan, a history lover from Mysuru, said the temples built during the Chola dynasty period – in Tadimalangi and Kaliyuru villages, which are around 10 km from Talakadu and around 60 km away from Mysuru – are now getting reduced to dust. 

Unfortunately, even the villagers know very little about these structures, which is why they are turning into dump yards. “The pathway to the temples is also in a very bad condition. I have been documenting the Chola temples and was shocked to see their conditon. These are over 1,000 years old, and were built during the reign of Rajaraja Chola, during the Kaliyuru war,” he reflected. 

“The hero stone in Kaliyuru village lies abandoned. Understanding its archaeological importance, it should be shifted to the Bengaluru Museum. The stone is a symbol of the war between the Cholas and the Gangas. While the government is protecting Talakadu temples, it should understand the history of this area too,” he added. 

Locals point that the government tends to improve a site not just protecting history, but for tourism and revenue generation. But to avoid rush to just one destination, more places should be explored and such lesser-known destinations can give a fillip to such initiatives. 

However, the two temples are not explored or listed in the list of sites for protection by the state or central archaeological departments. BR Poornima, Commissioner, Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage, said that the temples are not under them and they have no information. 

Archaeological Survey of India officials added that the temples are undeclared, and assured to undertake a survey of the sites. “Any property which has historical importance is surveyed and listed to the central government for inclusion in the list for conservation. In this case also it can be done, subject to availability of funds from the Centre,” an ASI official said.

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