More studies will prove existence of Buddhism in Kartanaka: historian

TNN, 29 September 2009

SHIRVA, Udupi district (India) -- There is conclusive historical evidence that Buddhism existed and played a vital role in the culture and civilization of northern, southern and coastal Karnataka, from 300 BC to 500 AD.

Excavations conducted in some parts of Karnataka, have strongly supported the fact that Buddhism existed in South Karnataka from 5-8th century AD, said N S Rangaraju, HoD department of ancient history and archaeology, University of Mysore.

Delivering his keynote address on Buddhism in coastal Karnataka at a one-day National Conference, a UGC sponsored national conference, organized by Mulki Sunder Ram Shetty College, Shriva, near Udupi here recently, Rangaraju said there is a need for a systematic study of Buddhist architecture in coastal Karnataka. He said the excavations at Sannati and Chandravalli in Chithraduruga district and the Banvaasi excavation have thrown light on the existence of Buddhism in Karnataka, with Buddhist architecture found on brick walls, stupas and other items related to Buddhist culture.

Rangaraju said 30 years ago, people laughed at historians and archaeologists who dared to suggest the existence and influence of Buddhism in the pre-historical period, but now things have changed following excavations conducted by archeological departments and historians. More such studies and surveys should be done as they debunk our set beliefs and theories. The true historical facts should prevail, he added.

Earlier Tamil Selvi, head of the department of Kannada, Madras University, Chennai, inaugurated the conference. Prof T Murugeshi, chief co-ordinator of the conference, K Rajaram Shetty, president, Y Bhaskar Shetty, principal, Subbaraya Hegde, secretary and Sudhakar Marla of Mulki Sunder Ram Shetty College, Shirva, spoke on the occasion.