Relief sculptures installed to commemorate Amara Sullia’s often forgotten revolution of 1837

The Udayavani team, August 14, 2022, 6:17 PM IST

Sullia‎‎: Very few know about India’s struggle for freedom, and even fewer are aware of the contribution of local revolutions to it. One such forgotten piece of history is the Amara Sullia Revolution of 1837. In an effort to raise awareness and recall the past, relief sculptures chronicling the revolution have appeared at Amai Madiyar Public School in Ubaradka village Mithoor of Sullia.

For the uninitiated, almost 20 years before the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 (also known as India’s first independence struggle), the people of Arebhashe and Tulunadu took up arms in an uprising against the British government. The armed uprising became known as the Amara Sullia or Kalyanappana Katakayi Rebellion of 1837. Freedom fighters came straight from Maduvegadde to Bellare Bungalow and seized the British Treasury.

The project was undertaken under the aegis of Jnanadhama Charitable Trust, with financial assistance from locals and donors. A team led by relief artist Mahesh Bayaru from Kasargod created the 10 relief art depictions in addition to the initial designs by artist AK Himakara.

The relief carving and designs were inspired by the book “Amara Sullia 1837 Sashastra Horata” (Amara Sullia 1837 Armed Struggle) by KR Vidhyadhara Kudekallu. Interestingly, the village of Ubaradka Mithoor happens to be the hometown of Kedambadi Ramayya Gowda, the mastermind of Amara Sullia’s rebellion.

The sculptures highlight the landmark events that took place during the armed rebellion/revolution in a very simple way. They include – the scene of the expulsion of the British representative from Madikeri Palace, the bringing of Puttabasappa to Kedambadi, the construction of an ashram and the conversion of Puttabasappa into Kalyana Swami, the march of Maduvegadde’s soldiers, the capture of Bellare Fort, the execution of Atooru Ramappaiah, the flag raised after the capture of Mangalore Fort, the hanging of Kalyana Swamy and others, the deportation of rebels into exile.

Damodara Gowda Maduvegadde, who heads the Jnanadhama Charitable Trust, said the project is an attempt to tell the story of Amara Sullia’s revolution. It would be helpful if the government included the events of the Amara Sullia rebellion in school textbooks, he added.