7th March 2023, Mangaluru: ‘Aloyseum’ the museum of St. Aloysius College in the city, got two new additions ‘a splinter of the basement rocks of Pokhran and digital version of palm leaf manuscripts of Drona Parva, a chapter of Gadugina Bharatha written by Kumara Vyasa – to its collection on Friday.
S.A. Krishnaiah, Director of Studies, Oriental Archives Research Centre, Udupi handed them over to Melwin J. Pinto, Rector, At Aloysius College Institutions, at a function.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Krishnaiah said the splinter of the basement rock of Pokhran was presented to him by Colonel late B. Ramachandra Rao (retd.) an alumnus of St. Aloysius College. The splinter of the basement rock belonged to the outside area (Pokhran belt) of Pokhran-II nuclear test site, conducted in 1998. He handed over the splinter to Aloyseum as the late Mr. Rao was also an alumnus of the college.
The palm leaf manuscripts of Drona Parva was in the collection of Aloyseum, which had handed it over to Mr. Krishnaiah for developing its digital version. Mr. Krishnaiah said the manuscripts have been digitised in five volumes which have about 200 pages.
He stressed on the need to conserve Sritale (Talipot) trees whose leaves were being used for writing (palm manuscripts) purpose in ancient days. Sritale trees flowered one in 60 years and its flowers and nuts lasted for about eight months.
“There are some superstitions associated with this tree. Hence they are being felled in large numbers and are on the verge extinction. Everyone should join hands to conserve this tree”, he said. Mr. Krishnaiah said he has launched a campaign to protect and cultivate Sritale trees.
Dr. B.A. Vivek Rai, former Vice. Chancellor, Kannada University, Hampi and also Karnataka State Open University, Mysuru, said that there is a need to collect the archives belonging to the history of coastal belt and study them. Such studies will lead to the reconstruction of coastal history. Mr. Rai said that a museum should educate visitors who should be able to learn more.