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Monday, December 11 2023

Mangaluru: Megalithic rock-cut cave found at Kadaba

Megalithic rock-cut cave found at Kadaba
Photo Credit : By Author

Mangaluru: Kallembi a small village in Yadamangala panchayat jurisdiction of Kadaba Taluk in Dakshina Kannada District came to the limelight by an accidental discovery of a cave at the time of levelling the land for plantation.

Adjoining areas like Dola, Yenmakaje and others are well-known in the Tulu folk tradition for their immortal twin heroes of the medieval period Koti-Chennaya and their sister Kinnidaru. “We got news on August 20 evening, but we were able to reach the site on August 21 morning at about 9.30 am. Sri Vishwanath Gowda Balladka, the land owner of the site informed us that the cave was found on the afternoon of August 19, by the time many people visited the site including Yedamangala Grama Panchayath V. A. and others.

Vishwanath Gowda Balladka said, “The grave goods found in the cave were taken out and fill-ins were emptied in front of V.A. The collected materials were dumped at the site on one side of the surface. The whole thing has been video graphed.”

The site at Kallembi is located on the slope of a small hillock and is watered by Kumaradara, a tributary of the Netravati river. It is about 15-16 km from Yadamangala and just 1.5 km from the Kinnidaru house of Dola. The cave was opened on the eastern side by JCB. It looks like a hemispherical dome having a central pillar and pottery base impressions are visible on the inside surface of the cave. A heap of soil on either side of the pillar was found, without clearing the debris proper study is difficult and rain is also an obstacle to continuing the examination.

There was no trace of metals inside the cave. After making Panchaname, we have taken the potteries from the site into our custody for further studies.

One-legged red jar about 10 inches in height, a large red lid about 7.5 inches in diameter, another large black lid about 8.5 inches in diameter, three red potteries about 19 cm, 22 cm and 23.5 cm in height respectively, one small black pot about 9 cm in height with small mouth about 2 cm, one small red lid with nob and black and red ware boul pieces with a flat bottom, lamps of red and black colour with the round base were collected from the site.


Kallembi potteries clearly indicate that the cave belonged to the Iron Age-Megalithic period. They resembled the grave potteries of Mudukonaje near Mudubidare and the burial potteries of Heggadehalli and Siddalingapura of Coorg.

It resembles more akin to the Kerala Megalithic burials in construction and style, but the side opening and underground passage with a top opening, which is a common feature of Kerala burials are not traced. It will be known by excavation only.

The small particles of husk most probably of Ragi found inside the surface of red potteries were carefully collected and will send to the lab for further studies.

“I am very much thankful to the Tahashildar of Kadaba, all officials of Yedamangala Village Panchayat, Vishwanath Gowda Blladka, my students, Dishanth, Vishal Rai, Arun, Karthik and Prathika and Prasad, Professor in history Sri Kukke Subramanya Degree College, Kukke Subramanya for their kind help,” stated Murugeshi T., Associate Professor in Ancient History and Archaeology, MSRS College, Shirva, Udupi.

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