KRISHNA M.H., 1892-1947


M.H. Krishna, (Mysore Hatti Krishna Iyyangar) (ಮೈಸೂರು ಹಟ್ಟಿ ಕೃಷ್ಣ ಅಯ್ಯಂಗಾರ್ was one of the pioneers and doyens of Indology, Archaeology and History in the princely state of Mysore during the former half of the twentieth century. An excellent academic background, plenty of opportunities and meticulous hard work were responsible for his success. He obtained an M.A. degree in History from the University of Madras after an early schooling in Mysore . (1916) He proceeded to London in 1924 for higher studies and absorbed a thorough knowledge of various aspects of archaeology. Numismatics was his special area of interest. His dissertation on the South Indian Coins in the huge British Museum collection fetched him a D.Litt. degree. Field experience gained in the excavations of the pyramids in Egypt was of immense help in his later endeavors. He served in the University of Mysore in various capacities such as an assistant professor of History and a professor of History. He became the director of the Department of Archaeology, Govt. of Mysore and was associated with the department for almost two decades.

It was M.H.Krishna, who initiated archaeological studies in the state of Mysore with his pioneering work in Brahmagiri (1940) and Chandravalli. (1939) He excavated different parts of this region and found sixteen trenches containing various structures and material. He identified five different cultural strata called Microlithic, Neolithic, Iron Age, Mauryan and Chalukya-Hoysala strata. He designated the first one (the Microlithic) as the ‘Roppa Culture’ because it was found in the vicinity of that village. His excavations revealed evidences of early human inhabitation in and around ‘Isila’.

The department of archaeology could unearth more than one thousand inscriptions during his directorship. Halmidi inscription the first written document found in Karnataka and Chandravalli inscription take the pride of place among them. The annual reports published by the department during this period (1929-45) reveal many interesting facets of sculpture and archaeology.

An appendix to the Epigraphica Carnatica pertaining to Hassan and Mysore districts was published by him. He prepared popular tourist guides of many places in the state and as a culmination of those efforts a single volume encompassing the entire state of Mysore .

The published works of M.H.Krishna in Kannada and English are as follows:

1.      Kannada Nadina Charitre: Kalegalu (part 3) (kannaDa nADina caritre: kalegaLu) published by Kannada Sahitya Parishattu, Bangalore .

2.      Ajantha mattu Ellora (ajantA mattu ellOra)

3.      Hindu Deshada Chartira Sara (hindU dEshada caritrasAra)

4.      A Guide to Seringapatam 1937, Government of Mysore, Bangalore .

5. Annual Reports of the Mysore Archaeological Department

6. Excavations at Chandravalli

M.H.Krishna was the secretary of the Oriental Conference held in Mysore (1934) and the Chairman of the session on humanities in the Indian Science Congress. (1942)

References: 1. Dr. M.H Krishna,

(His life, work, and contribution to Karnataka archaeology)

by K. G. Nagarajan, Published in 1985, Directorate of Archaeology & Museums (Mysore ) Pages 149. (Plates 21)



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