Annigeri (Navalagund Taluk, Dharwad District), December 8, 2013: A Jain inscription with a Siddhachakra made of brass containing Kannada letters has been discovered at Shanthinath (earlier Parshwanath Basadi) Basadi Annigeri in Navalagund taluk of Dharwad district in Karnataka by Ravikumar K. Navalagunda. Ravikumar is a lecturer in Kannada at the government pre-university college in Bannikodu, Harihara Taluk, Davanagere district and a research scholar who is perusing his PHD from the Kannada University, Hampi.
The inscription is 10 inches in diameter and in a circular format. This is called as ‘Siddkacharka’ and might have been donated by a shravaka (Jain house holder) to the Basadi at the time of performing a ‘Siddhachakra Nompi’.
Details of the inscription – This inscription has the ‘Shrim’ letter engraved in the centre surrounded by 25 flowers in a circular. In the successive 2 circles ‘Om Hrim Namo Arahantanam Swaha’ has been engraved four times. Around this is engraved the 15 letters (A to Am Aha) of Kannada language. Surrounding this is encircled 16 petals with the letters ” Om Hrim Namo Arahantanam Swaha” engraved on 8 petals and on the remaining 5 petals are engraved the ‘Vargiya Vyanjanas’ of Kannada i.e.’Ka, Cha, Ta, Tha, Pa’. On one of the petals are engraved the ‘Swaras and Yogavahas’; on the other two are engraved the ‘Avargiya Vyanjanas’ of Kannada i.e. ‘Ya, Ra, La, Va’ on one and ‘Sha, SHa, Sa, Ha’ on one.
Period of the Inscription – Looking at the letters it can be presumed that the inscription belongs to the end of 17th century or the beginning of 18th century.
Unique Facts about this inscription – The usage of ‘Lru’ and ‘Lruu’ letters which hadn’t been in use over the past few centuries has been used again. The letter ‘La (or Z)’ hasn’t been used. A total of 49 basic letters of Kannada have been engraved. However, if Lru, Lruu and Ruu are removed and Ea, O, and ‘La (or Z)’ are replaced then it will as per the present set of 49 basic letters of Kannada langauge.
This is the first ever Kannada metal inscription containing the basic letters of Kannada language and has provoked further research on its contents.
Sri Ravikumar has wholeheartedly thanked the Sri Chandrappa Satappa Basti, Sri Ashok Chandrappa Basti the priests of the temple; Sri Nagaraj K Navalagund another research student in the department of folklore, Kannada University, Hampi; renowned Jain scholar Hampa Nagarajaiah and his guide Dr.D.V.Parashiva Murthy. – Nitin H.P., Jain Heritage Centres