The 'mystic' sand dune-covered temples of Talakad, Mysore district, Karnakata: Evidence of earthquake-related destruction

Roy, A. B. and Sethumadhav, M. S. (2014) The 'mystic' sand dune-covered temples of Talakad, Mysore district, Karnakata: Evidence of earthquake-related destruction. Current Science, 107 (2). pp. 246-254. ISSN 0011-3891

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Low-lying sediment mound, known as Talakad sand dunes, on the left bank of the meandering Kaveri River at Talakad, Mysore district, Karnataka, is an enigmatic geomorphic feature. Archaeological excavations in the area revealed the presence of a cluster of ancient temples, mostly in dilapidated condition, which were presumably built during the time-period dating back between 6th and 17th century AD. It is generally believed that the temples were entombed under a pile of riverine sand dunes during the 'ecodisaster' that lashed the region in the 17th century. Our field studies coupled with archaeological reports on excavations indicate that the mound is not entirely made of dune sands. Virtual absence of sand deposits over some severely damaged temples occurring near the top suggests that destruction could not have taken place only because of the load of the overlying sands. On the other hand, the scale of destruction witnessed in some of the affected temples can only be explained by the incidence of earthquakes of high magnitude. Additional proof of earthquake-related destruction comes from the occurrence of sedimentary layers (beds) containing fragmented pieces of building materials like bricks and stones in silt and clay-bearing flood plain deposits at the sites of the destructed temples and other buildings. Historical records of repeated renovation or rebuilding of temples at the same place provide further proof of recurrent incidence of earthquake-related destruction. Geomorphic changes manifested in the form of shifting of river courses consequent with the rise of the sediment mound also indicate uplift-related earth movements which must have ensued repeated earthquakes in the region.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: F Earth Science > Geology
Divisions: Department of > Earth Science
Depositing User: Arshiya Kousar Library Assistant
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2019 10:34
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2019 10:34

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