The earliest documented evidence referring to a Baliga or Balo can be found in the book “The Ancient History of South Canara” written by Sri Ganapathi Rao Aigal which mentions one Damarsa Bale, among other Samasthas of Bantwal, signing a letter of offering to Sri Bhadra Narasimha Temple of Manjeshwar. Inscribed on a copper plate in Kannada Language and script, this letter of offering was created in the year 1747 A.D. The full text of the letter in Roman script given below.
Namasthunga shirashumbhi Chandra chaamara chaarave thrayilokya nagaraamba moolasthambaaya shaambavi swasthi shri jayaabhyudaya nrupa shaalivaahana shaka varusha 1668 ne kshaya samIda chayithra shuI 2lu shrimatthu manjeshwara bhadra narasimha devara bhandaarakke Bantuvala Pete Daamarsa Baale I Bappaya Naayaka I Range Prabhu I Soyira Kamathi I Abbaya Sonabova I munthaada samastharu barashikotta dharma saasanada patte kramavanthendare devara amrutha padi nandaa deepthi munthaada viniyogada bage naavu maaduva vevahaaradalu varusha 1ra bhandaarakke koduvudu ga 9 varahaamnu thappadanthe kaalkaalam prathilukottu bandevendu barashikotta patte hatthara salurutthadinda bhadranarasimha devara padakke Damarsana bimnahaa, Bappayana bimnahaa, Rangayana bimnahaa, Shoyirana bimnaha, Abayana bimnahaa, ee prakaara barakotta thaamra shaasana patte.
The Only Damarsa Bale in our family tree is Damarsa aka Nirvana Baliga, the second son of Ramayya Baliga (the original ancestor). But to conclude that he was the person in the above inscription, we have an obstacle.
Another inscription found on a stone slab of 59 cms x 70 cms infront of the Babbale Katte, near Shri Tirumala Venkatramana Swamy Temple, Bantwal, was installed by one Srinivasa Baliga the fifth son of Venkatesha Baliga on February 8, 1887 A.D. as clearly mentioned in the inscription. He had erected a lamp post in memory of Shri Bhuvanendra Theertha Swamiji of Kaashi Math Samsthan who attained Samadhi in 1886.
The only combination of Srinivasa Baliga being a fifth son of Venkatesh Baliga is found in our family tree is in the 4th generation.
This Srinivas Venkatesh Baliga is grandson of Subba Ramayya Baliga elder brother of Damarsa aka Nirvana Ramayya Baliga. (You can view the relationship tree of Srinivas Venkatesh Baliga and Damarsa aka Nirvana Baliga here.) But we can see a large gap of 140 years between them if we consider Damarsa aka Nirvana Baliga as Damarsa Bale.
The evidence of identifying Srinivas Venkatesh Baliga is more clear than that of Damarsa aka Nirvana Baliga as Damarsa Bale.
Taking in to consideration the relationship between above individuals, if we calculate with the standard generation gap measure of 26 years, and an average gap of 3 years between each sibling, the gap between Srinivasa Venkatesh Baliga and Damarsa aka Nirvana Baliga will be only 70 years, which is short of another 70 years to match the record in the copper plate.
This not only prevents us in concluding Damarsa aka Nirvana Baliga as Damarsa Bale and proves that they are different individuals, Damarsa Bale being the older one.
In our existing database our family tree starts from Ramayya Baliga the father of Damarsa aka Nirvana Baliga. We have no clue about any ancestors of Ramayya Baliga.
The above calculations show us that Damarsa Bale mentioned in the copper plate inscription of Manjeshwar could be either father or grand father of our earliest ancestor Ramayya Baliga not the son as we presumed earlier. Our custom to name the new born after his grandfather, further gives us strength in assuming Damarsa Bale as grand father of Damarsa aka Nirvana Baliga.
He even can be a Baliga of different lineage to which Ramayya Baliga was connected with a little distance.
The origins of our ancestral association with Bantwal are not clear. Did Ramayya Baliga settle down in Bantwal in search of a livelihood? Was he born in Bantwal? It’s hard to say.
In fact, no evidence marking the
year of establishment of our town diety-