DHARWAD: Environmental organisations led by Dharwad-based Pura Trust have come forward to develop the origin of Shalmala river near Someshwar temple on the outskirts of the city, on the lines of Talacauvery, the origin of river Cauvery.
River Shalmala, which has inspired a number of writers and poets of many generations in the twin cities, is in a dilapidated condition.
The idea first occurred to primary school teacher Virupakshappa Managundi, who often visited the Mahadev Tatanavar Mutt besides the temple to clean the river bank. He initiated the process and after some time environmental organisations such as Pura Trust, Balanandan Trust, Green Army among others joined hands for the cause of restoring the pristine river’s origin.
Soon after, Pura Trust organised a kite festival on the ground adjacent to the mutt to draw the attention of residents Deputy Commissioner P Rajendra Cholan also expressed interest and assured them of sending officials to examine the spot to take up development works.
The origin of the river dates back to ancient times, where Agasthya Rishi, along with his wife Lopamudra, is said to have meditated and installed a Shivalinga here.
Shalmala is the tributary to the Bedti river, which flows through the forest in Sirsi taluk of Uttara Kannada district. It passes from Sahasralinga to Ganeshapal before joining the Arabian Sea.
Pura Trust president Vijayanand Doddawad told Express: “We are preparing to submit a proposal to the district administration to develop the birthplace of Shalmala river on lines of Talacauvery. This spot, combined with the 12th century Chalukya-style Someshwar temple, will be a tourist destination. The river originates in the north and flows west to eventually join the Arabian Sea.”