The Hindu reports that the brick foundation of a temple, which is said to be one of the oldest in Malnad region, has been found at Esur village in Shikaripur taluk in Shimoga District.
A brick foundation was found on the premises of Kote Rameshwara temple in the village during digging work for the purpose of renovation. The existing temple was said to be built during the Hoysala rule.
A team of archaeologists comprising A. Sundara, S.G. Samak, and Jagadeesh, who visited the spot, had come to the conclusion that the brick foundation belonged to Shatavahana period. Dr. Samak told The Hindu that the temple was subjected to renovation several times during the rule of Rashtrakoota, Chalukya, and Hoysala kings. The pillars that belong to Rashtrakoota period and an inscription of the age of Chalukya dynasty were found here, he said.
This was the only temple in Malnad built on an apsidal form of brick foundation. The brick foundation belonged to early part of the first century AD. The Pranaveshwara temple at Talagunda was considered as the oldest temple in the district. Dr. Samakh said the brick foundation at Esur was contemporary to that of Pranaveshwara temple.
Apsidal foundations which have a recess reinforced by a semi circular dome are rather rare in these regions.
Shimoga in my opinion has always been an important historical center lying as it is on the intersection of 3 main geographical features, the hilly terrain around Chikmagalur, the sea coast around Udupi and the flat lands about Davangere and Hubli. This meant that this area like the silk route played host to a large number of travellers, merchants, conquerors like Haidar Ali and other wayfarers who would cast their own influences on this region.