Culture at the retreat -
We are also involved in reviving interest in veera kallus at the 10th century Aivarkandapura temple close by Our Native Village. Veera kallus or memory stones have been part of Indian history since the 4th century. Very few people are aware of them; even fewer have studied them in detail. Such memorial stones with or without inscriptions honour the death of a hero. At Our Native Village we have replicated five major hero stones in the veera kallu garden.
- Halmidi Inscription – This is a replica of the inscription found at Halmidi, a village in Belur taluk of Hasan district and now preserved in the State Archaeological Museum of Bangalore. This inscription is the first Kannada inscription found in Karnataka. The inscription in Kannada script and language is dated to A.D. 450. It registers a gift of two villages named Palmadi and Mulivalli to Vijarasa, for having fought bravely for the Kadambas and defeated the Pallavas in a battle.
- Begur Hero Stone of Buttanasetti – This is a replica of a hero stone found at Begur in South Bangalore. It’s now kept in front of the Nageshwara temple at Begur. The date of the inscription is c.890 A.D. (9th century). The inscription clearly mentions the name of the place as ‘Benguluru’. The inscription records the death of Buttana Setti, a mane maga (house-son), in the war of Benguluru during King Nagattara’s rule.
- Abbalur Memorial Stone – This is a replica of the Abbalur Memorial which is now kept in the Basavanna temple at Abbalur of Hirekerur taluk of Haveri District. Its origin has been traced to the 12th century. The sculpture itself depicts the fight for women and cows. The details of Penbuyyal (cry of women) and Gograhana (Stealing of cows) are depicted on this memory stone.
- Shikaripur Hero-stone of Hariyakka – This hero-stone laid in memory of Hariyakka was originally in the tank-bed of Shikaripur is now preserved in Shivappanayaka museum of Shivamogga. The date on the inscription is 15th November, 1445. The memorial stone records the death of brave Hariyakka, who fought and died fighting her father Madigavuda’s enemies. This memorial stone was installed by her uncle Chenna.
- A Mahasati Stone – This is a replica of the Mahasati kallu preserved in the Shivappanayaka museum of Shivamogga. It’s a memorial stone from the 15th century. The stone was erected in the memory of a lady who sacrificed her life along with her dead husband. The stone depicts her last procession.