A drought can be devastating, but also enlightening.
Recently, the Shamala river in India has been put to its limits by a combination of drought and overexploitation. For the first time in history, the water level went so low, it started to reveal thousands of Shivalingas carved into the riverbed some time in the distant past. Shivalingas, or the Lingam, are a representation of the Hindu deity Shiva.
The drought also led to the discovery of artifacts on the banks of the river that shocked many archaeologists around the world.
The area, which is located 14 km from Sirsi in Karnataka, is a holy place called Sahastralinga. Along with the more than one thousand ancient Shivalingas seen on the banks of the river, you can see Nandi bulls (Lord Shiva’s ride) carved on the stones. The Shivlingas and statues are believed to have been built on the banks of the river by King Sadashivarai Varma of Vijayanagara Empire between the years 1678 to 1718. But no one actually knows for sure.
The large number of Shivalingas discovered as a result of the drought is a reminder that there are numerous places in the world that still hold secrets of our ancestors, secrets that archaeologists are bringing out to light. However, if we want our grandchildren to see those places too, we have to protect them – as well as our whole environment.