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Shivamogga District

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Title: Shivamogga District  
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Shivamogga District

This article is about the district. For its eponymous headquarters, see Shimoga.
Shimoga district

Jog Falls in full flow during the monsoon season.
Shimoga district
Shimoga district
Location in Karnataka, India

Coordinates: 14°00′N 75°17′E / 14.00°N 75.28°E / 14.00; 75.28Coordinates: 14°00′N 75°17′E / 14.00°N 75.28°E / 14.00; 75.28

Country  India
State Karnataka
Headquarters Shimoga
Talukas Bhadravathi, Hosanagara, Sagar, Shikaripura, Shimoga, Sorab, Thirthahalli
 • Deputy Commissioner M.V. Vedamurthi[2]
 • Total 8,495 km2 (3,280 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 1,755,512[1]
 • Density 207/km2 (540/sq mi)
 • Official Kannada
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 577201 to 577205
Telephone code 08182
Vehicle registration KA-14 (Shimoga subdivision) KA-15 (Sagar subdivision)

Shimoga district is a district in the Karnataka state of India. A major part of Shimoga district lies in the Malnad region of the Western Ghats. Shimoga city is its administrative centre. Jog Falls is a major tourist attraction. As of 2011 Shimoga district has a population of 1,755,512.[1] There are seven taluks: Bhadravathi, Hosanagara, Sagara, Shimoga, Shikaripura, Soraba, Thirthahalli.

Origin of name

Shimoga was previously known as Mandli.[3] There are legends about how the name Shivamogga has evolved. According to one, the name Shivamogga is related to the Hindu God Shiva. Shiva-Mukha (Face of Shiva), Shivana-Moogu (Nose of Shiva) or Shivana-Mogge (Flowers to be offered to Shiva) can be the origins of the name "Shivamogga". Another legend indicates that the name Shimoga is derived from the word Sihi-Moge which means sweet pot. According to this legend, Shimoga once had the ashram of the sage Durvasa. He used to boil sweet herbs in an earthen pot. Some cowherds, found this pot and after tasting the sweet beverage named this place Sihi-Moge.[4]


During Treta yuga, Lord Rama killed Maricha, who was in the disguise of a deer at Mrugavadhe near Thirthahalli.[3] The Shimoga region formed a part of the Mauryan empire during the 3rd century.[5] The district came into the control of Satavahanas. The Satakarni inscription has been found in the Shikaripur taluk.[6] After the fall of the Shatavahana empire around 200 CE, the area came under the control of the Kadambas of Banavasi around 345 CE.[7] The Kadambas were the earliest kingdom to give administrative status to the Kannada language. Later the Kadambas became feudatories of the Badami Chalukyas around 540 CE.[8][9]

In the 8th century Rashtrakutas ruled this district.[10] The Kalyani Chalukyas overthrew the Rashtrakutas, and the district came into their rule. Balligavi was a prominent city during their rule.[11] In the 12th century, with the weakening of the Kalyani Chalukyas, the Hoysalas annexed this area.[12] After the fall of the Hoysalas, the entire region came under the Vijayanagar Empire.[13] When the Vijayanagar empire was defeated in 1565 CE in the battle of Tallikota, the Keladi Nayakas who were originally feudatory of the Vijayanagar empire took control, declared sovereignty, and ruled as an independent kingdom for about two centuries.[5] In 1763 Haider Ali captured the capital of Keladi Nayakas and as a result the district came into the rule of the Kingdom of Mysore and remained a part of it till India acquired independence from the British.[5]


Shimoga district is a part of the malnad region of Karnataka and is also known as the 'Gateway to Malnad' or 'Malenaada Hebbagilu' in Kannada. The district is landlocked and bounded by Haveri District, Davanagere District, Chikmagalur District, Udupi District and Uttara Kannada. The district ranks 9th in terms of the total area among the districts of Karnataka. It is spread over an area of 8465 km².[14]

Shimoga lies between the latitudes 13°27' and 14°39' N and between the longitudes 74°38' and 76°04' E at a mean altitude of 640 metres above sea level.[14] The peak Kodachadri hill at an altitude of 1343 metres above sea level is the highest point in this district. Rivers Kali, Gangavathi, Sharavathi and Tadadi originate in this district. The two major rivers that flow through this district are Tunga and Bhadra which meet at Koodli near Shimoga city to gain the name of Tungabhadra, which later joins Krishna.


As the district lies in the tropical region, rainy season occurs from June to October. In the years 1901–1970, Shimoga received an average annual rainfall of 1813.9 mm with an average of 86 days in the year being rainy days.[15] The average annual temperature of Shimoga District is around 26 °C. The average temperature has increased substantially over the years.[16] In some regions of the district, the day temperature can reach 40 °C during summer. This has led to water crisis and other problems.[17]


The plain land of the district is suitable for agriculture.


Foundry, agriculture and animal husbandry are the major contributors to the economy of Shimoga district. The Crops cultivated in this district are rice; arecanut; cotton; maize; oil seeds; cashewnut; pepper; chili; ginger; paddy; ragi.[19] Karnataka is the largest producer of arecanut in India, the majority of which is cultivated in the Shimoga district. The farmers have cultivated crops like vanilla and jatropha that has yielded high monetary benefits.[20]


Iron, agriculture, automobiles and engineering are the major industries in Shimoga district.[19] Foundry activity has a long history there and Pearlite Liners (P) Led., one of the oldest industries of Karnataka (earlier known as Bharath Foundry), is the largest private-sector employer in the district.[21] As of 2000, there were about 9800 industrial units in Shimoga District (small, medium and large), with more than 41,000 employees.[21]

Major investments are made in food; beverages, engineering, and mechanical goods. Other rural industries in this district are carpentry, blacksmith, leather, pottery, beekeeping, stone cutting, handlooms, agarbathi, and sandalwood carving.

Karnataka government has created industrial regions to encourage industrialisation of the district: Nidige Industrial area in Bhadravathi taluk; Mandli-Kallur Industrial area in Shimoga taluk; Shimoga Industrial estate in Shimoga; Kallahalli Industrial estate in Shimoga. Major industries in Shimoga district are VISL and MPM.

Administrative divisions

Shimoga district is divided into two sub-divisions and seven taluks. The Shimoga Sub-division comprises the taluks of Shimoga, Bhadravathi and Thirthahalli. The Sagar sub-division comprises Sagar, Shikaripura, Sorab and Hosanagara.

The district administration is headed by the deputy commissioner who has the additional role of a district magistrate. Assistant commissioners, tahsildars, shirastedars, revenue inspectors and village accountants help the deputy commissioner in the administration of the district. The headquarters is Shimoga city.

The Shimoga Lok Sabha constituency comprises the entire Shimoga district and also covers parts of Nalluru and Ubrani hoblis of Channagiri taluk of Davangere district. As of 2005 it had 1,286,181 voters: Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes account for 2.2 lakhs; Lingayats account for two lakhs; Deevaru (Idiga)account for 1.8 lakh; Muslims account for 1.6 lakh; Brahmins and Vokkaligas account for 1.25 lakh each.[22] Seven members are elected to the Legislative assembly of the state of Karnataka. The assembly constituencies in Shimoga district are:[23]

  • Bhadravati (Bhadravathi)
  • Sagar
  • Shikaripura
  • Shimoga
  • Shimoga rural
  • Sorab
  • Tirthahalli (Thirthahalli)



Shimoga has a total road length of 6632 km with 222 km belonging to the National highways and 402 km belonging to state highways.[24]

  • National Highways:
  • State Highways:
    • SH-1 passes through the towns of Agumbe, Thirthahalli, Shikaripura.
    • SH-25 passes through Honnali and Shimoga.
    • SH-26 passes through Ayanur, Arasalu and Hulikal.
    • SH-27 passes through Begar and Agumbe.
    • SH-48 passes through Sorab and Shikaripura
    • SH-50 passes through Jog, Mavinagundi, Siddapura, Chandragutti, Soraba.
    • SH-52 passes through Thirthahalli, Nagara
    • SH-57 passes through Sikaripura, Shimoga, Lakkavalli
    • SH-65 passes through Agumbe, Begar, Koppa, Narasimharajapura, Sulageri, Bhadravathi.
    • SH-62 passes through Siralakoppa and Sagara.
    • SH-77 passes through Soraba, Masur, Sagar, Hosnagar.


The rail network in Shimoga district:


Shimoga airport is under construction in Sogane, 6 km from Shimoga city.[25] At present Mangalore International Airport is nearest Airport to Shivamogga district.


According to the 2011 census Shimoga district has a population of 1,755,512,[26] which is roughly equal to population of the nation Gambia[27] and the state of Nebraska of the United States of America.[28] The district ranks 275th in India out of a total of 640 districts.[26] The district has a population density of 207 inhabitants per square kilometre (540 /sq mi).[26] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 6.88%.[26] Shimoga has a sex ratio of 995 females per 1000 males[26] and a literacy rate of 80.5%.[26]

Shimoga taluk has the highest population with Hosanagara taluk having the lowest. The district has a sex ratio of 977 females to 1000 males. Shimoga Taluk having 991 females to 1000 males has the lowest sex-ratio.[29]

Taluk population[30][31]
Taluk name Number of households Population Males Females
Bhadravati 71,771 338,989 171,917 167,072
Hosanagara 23,358 115,000 57,392 57,608
Sagara 41,915 200,995 100,977 100,018
Shikaripura 41,389 213,590 108,344 105,246
Shimoga 93,426 445,192 226,928 218,264
Sorab 37,363 185,572 94,267 91,305
Tirthalli 32,002 143,207 70,734 72,473

Hindus constitute 85.45% of the population with Muslims making up 12.25% of the population; the remaining part of the population is made up by Christians, Buddhists and other religious groups.[32] Kannada is the dominant language in this district with Urdu taking the second place.

Some of the unique ethnic groups found in Shimoga district are:


Heritage and architecture

Ballegavi, also known as 'Dakshina kedara' was the capital of Banavasi rulers during the 12th century CE. There are many temples in Ballegavi, some constructed as per Late Chalukyan architecture: Kedareshvara temple, Tripurantakeshvara temple, and Prabhudeva temple.[33] They are known for architecture and sculpture. Shivappa Naik palace is located in Shimoga on the banks of river Tunga; it was constructed by Shivappa nayaka of Keladi. The Lakshminarsimha temple in Bhadravathi was built as per Hoysala architecture.

Keladi and Ikkeri were the capital cities during the time of Keladi Nayakas. There are three temples in Keldai: Rameshvara temple, Veerbhadreshvara temple, and Parvati temple. The Aghoreshvara temple is in Ikkeri.[33] St. Thomas church, constructed during 1990s, is located in Shimoga city. This is the second largest church in India.[33]

Poetry and literature

Shimoga District has produced several Kannada writers and poets:

In December 2006, the 73rd Kannada Sahitya Sammelana took place in Shimoga. K.S.Nissar Ahmed was the president of the event.[35] This was the third Kannada Sahiya Sammelana held at Shimoga: The first one was held in 1946 (president: Da.Ra.Bendre) and second one in 1976 (president: S.V.Ranganna).


Main article: Ninasam

Nilakanteshwara natya seva sangha is located in a village called Heggodu. It was established by K. V. Subbanna in 1958.[36] Ninasam is a drama institute. The headquarters is in Heggodu. It has a library, rehearsal hall, guesthouse and theater.[37] Shivarama Karantha rangamandira is an auditorium for Ninasam. It was opened in 1972.[38] Ninasam started a 'Theatre-in-education' project called Shalaranga with the help from the government of India during 1991-1993.[39][40] Ford foundation has volunteered in establishing a rural theatre and film culture project called Janaspandana.[40][41] Ninasam conducts a summer workshop for youngsters.[42] Ninasam chitrasamaja is an organisation to encourage film culture and to hold film festivals.[43]

Handicrafts and sculpture

Gudigars are a clan of craftsmen who are specialised in carving intricate designs on wood, mainly sandalwood. They are concentrated in the Sagar and Sorab taluks. The articles they make are sold at government emporiums.[44] Ashok Gudigar is one of the sculptors from this clan. A 41-foot Bahubali statue is one his works.[45] He has won the Vishwakarma award for his Chalukyan-style Ganesha sculpture. He has won the National award in 1992 for his Hoysala-styled Venugopala sculpture.[46]


Dollu Kunitha and Yakshagana are some of the dance forms which are prevalent in this district. Yakshagana has a long history in the district and Dr. Kota Shivarama Karantha suggests that origin of the 'badaguthittu' form of Yakshagana took place in the region between Ikkeri of Shimoga district and Udupi.[47]


Dasara is celebrated every year in Shimoga.[48] Many cultural programmes[48] are held during this time. A folk fair was organised in Shimoga in 2006.[49] Marikamba festival is celebrated in Sagar every year.[50]


The tele-serial Malgudi days which was based on a novel written by R K Narayan was shot in Agumbe.[51] It was directed by the Kannada actor and director Shankar Nag.[52] The film Kanoora heggadathi which was based on the novel written by Kuvempu was shot in Thirthahalli taluk. It was directed by Girish Karnad. B. V. Karanth composed music for this film.[53] The film Samskara, based on the novel written by U. R. Anantha Murthy, was shot in a village in the Shimoga district.[54]

Cinema personalities born in Shimoga district:


Rice is the staple food for majority of the people in Shimoga district. The food in this district is somewhat similar to Udupi cuisine. However, exclusive dishes specified to Malenadu are a part of Shimoga District.

The cooking in the Malnad region of Shimoga district includes items like midigayi-uppinakai (tender-mango pickle), sandige (similar to pappadum), avalakki (beaten rice) and akki rotti. Havyaka people have their own cuisine consisting of such varied items like genesale (sweet made of jaggery, rice and coconut), thotadevvu (sweet made of rice and sugarcane juice) and thambli (a curd preparation containing other ingredients like ginger, turmeric root, jasmine and rose sprouts).

Flora and fauna

The Malnad region is a biodiversity hotspot with a rich diversity of flora and fauna. The region has protected areas classified as wildlife sanctuaries to ensure the protection of these species:

  • Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary lies adjacent to Shimoga town and has forests ranging from dry deciduous to semi-evergreen and is spread over an area of 395.6 km2 (152.7 sq mi).[60] Large areas of forests have been destroyed due to fire.[62]
  • Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary is a 1.14-acre (0.46 ha) sanctuary 30 kilometres (19 mi) from Shimoga town on the way to Thirthahalli. This is a small island surrounded by Tunga river. The birds found here are median egret; cormorant; darter; snakebird.[65][66][67]
  • Sakrebailu Elephant Camp lies 14 km. from Shimoga town on the way to Thirthahalli. This is a training camp where elephants undergo training from mahouts.[68]


Shimoga district has a literacy rate of 80.2%.[1] The district has two engineering colleges, two medical colleges, an ayurvedic medical college, dental college and an agricultural college. There are 116 pre-university colleges[69] in the district out of which 51 government pre-university colleges.[70] There are 41 educational institutions managed by National education society.[71] There are 1106 lower primary schools and 1185 higher primary schools.[72]

Primary and high school education

There are 1106 lower primary schools, 1185 higher primary schools and 393 high schools in Shimoga district. There are 1323 anganawadis.[73] National education society has 31 educational institutions including pre-university and first grade colleges.[73] There are five CBSE schools,[74] including Jnanadeepa school. National Residential school is another CBSE school in Thirthalli.[74]

Pre-university education

There are 116 pre-university colleges in the district.[69] There are 51 government colleges, 3 bifurcated colleges, 47 unaided colleges and 15 aided colleges.[69] In the 2012 second year pre-university examination, the district ranked 5th with 54.31% of passed candidates.[75]

Undergraduate education

There are 12 colleges affiliated to Kuvempu University,[76][77] 5 B.Ed and B.P.Ed colleges[77] and 3 constituent colleges.[77] Sahyadri science college is located in Shimoga city. It was established in 1940 and was upgraded to first grade college in 1956.[78] It offers two undergraduate courses: B.Sc. [79] and B.C.A.[80] There are two engineering colleges in the district: Jawaharlal Nehru national college of engineering and P.E.S. Institute of Technology and Management. Jawaharlal Nehru national college of engineering was established in 1980 by the National education society.[73] The college offers 7 courses in B.E.[81] PES institute of technology and management was established in 2007. The college offers 5 undergraduate programmes in B.E.[82]

Shimoga Institute of Medical Sciences was started in 2005. It is on the premises of the McGann Hospital in Shimoga,[83] established in memory of British Surgeon Dr. T.G.McGann. The college is affiliated to Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Karnataka.[84] There are 21 departments in the college.[85] Bapuji Ayurvedic Medical college, established in 1996, is in Shimoga,[86] which offers B.A.M.S. Ayurvedacharya degree.[86] T.M.A.E. Society's Ayurved College, established in 1992, is located in Shimoga,[87] which also offers B.A.M.S Ayuvedacharya degree.[87] Both colleges are affiliated to Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences.[86][87] Sharavathi Dental college, established in the year 1992, is in Shimoga[88] and has been approved by DCI.[88] It offers B.D.S. in Dental surgery.[88] It is affiliated to Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences.[88]

Postgraduate education

Sahyadri science college offers two post graduate programmes: M.Sc.[89] and MTA.[90] Jawaharlal Nehru national college of engineering has 7 post-graduate programmes: Master of computer applications; Master of business administration; M.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering; M.Tech in Network & Internet Engineering; M.Tech in Design Engineering; M.Tech in Transportation Engineering and Management; M.Tech in Digital Electronics and Communication Systems.[81] PES Shimoga offers post-graduation in business studies, Master of Business Administration.[91] The Kuvempu University offers courses in Languages, Literature and Fine Arts; Social Sciences; Economic and Business studies; Physical Sciences; Chemical sciences; Bio Sciences; Earth and Environmental Science; Law; Education; M.Tech in Nanoscience and Technology.[92]


Shimoga district has three cricket stadiums: Nehru stadium,[93] Jawaharlal Nehru college of engineering cricket ground and PES Institute of Technology Cricket ground.[94] The first match played on the Nehru stadium was in 1974.[93] Since then 13 matches have been played[95][96] out of which 3 are Ranji matches.[95] The Ranji match between Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh was hosted on the Jawaharlal Nehru cricket ground.[97]

The work on an international cricket stadium has started near Navule.[98][99] The VISL cricket stadium is located in Bhadravathi.[100] Malnad Gladiators represents the Shimoga zone in the KPL. Shimoga, Hassan and Chickmagalur districts come under the Shimoga zone in the Karnataka premier league.[101]

Gundappa Viswanath is a cricketer from Bhadravathi. He has played test cricket for India from 1969 to 1983 making 91 appearances.[102] Bharat Chipli is a cricketer from Sagar who plays for Deccan Chargers.[103] The 18th Junior National Athletic Championship was held in Shimoga.[104]

State-level kho kho and volleyball competitions are held in the district.[105] The volleyball tournaments are held on the Kuvempu University campus[106] and Nehru stadium.[107] VTU inter-collegiate cricket, football, volleyball and handball tournaments are held in the districts.[108] The district football team has won inter-district football tournaments.[109][110][111] Shimoga was the host for the CBSE National Handball Championship in 2009.[112][113] City-level basketball tournaments are conducted in Sahyadri College premises.[114] Other sports tournaments the are held in Shimoga are table tennis;[115][116] badminton;[117] kabaddi;[118] chess.[119] There are proposals to upgrade the Nehru stadium in Shimoga. The upgraded stadium would contain a swimming pool of international standards, an indoor stadium, basketball court and a synthetic track.[120] There are proposals to build sports stadium at Thirthihalli, Shikharipur and Sorab.[121]



  • Jog Falls is the 11th highest waterfall in India and ranks 313 highest in the world.[122] The river Sharavathi falls into the gorge in four distinct flows which are termed Raja, Rani, Rover, and Rocket.[123] Jog falls lies in Sagar taluk and is 30 km. from the city of Sagar.
  • Kunchikal Falls is the highest waterfall in India and second highest in Asia[122] with a height of 455 meters and ranks 116 in the list of highest waterfalls in the world.[122] This waterfall is near Mastikatte and is formed by the Varahi River.
  • Barkana Falls is near Agumbe and 80 km from Thirthahalli town. Barkana Falls is the 10th highest waterfall in India and ranks 308 in the world.[122]

  • Achakanya Falls is located near a village called Aralsuruli, 10 km from Thirthahalli on the way to Hosanagara. The falls is formed by the Sharavathi river.[124]
  • Vanake-Abbey Falls is in the heart of Malnad forests, 4 km from Agumbe.[124]
  • Hidlamane Falls is near Nittur in Hosanagara Taluk. The only way to reach it is by trekking.[124]
  • Dabbe Falls is located near Hosagadde in Sagar taluk. On the road from Sagar to Bhatkal, Hosagadde lies about 20 km from the town of Kargal. From Hosagadde a walk of 6–8 km into the forest leads to Dabbe Falls.[125]


  • Linganamakki dam is built across the Sharavathi river and is 6 km from Jog Falls.[124] It is the main feeder reservoir for the Mahatma Gandhi hydro-electric project. It has two power generating units of 27.5 MW.[126]

  • Bhadra river dam is built across Bhadra river at Lakkavalli at distance of 20 km from Bhadravathi city.[124] The dam was constructed by Sir. M. Vishweshwaraiah, the then chief engineer of Karnataka state. The dam mainly serves the purpose of irrigation in and around Bhadravathi taluk and Tarikere taluk of Chikkamagaluru district.
  • Gajanur dam is built across the river Tunga in a village called Gajanur 12 km from Shimoga city.[124]


  • Tunga and Bhadra originates at Varaha mountains. They meet at Koodli and become Tungabhadra river.[127] Koodli is 16 km from Shimoga city and the Smartha monastery in Koodli was founded in 1576 CE by Jagadguru Narsimha Bharathi swami of Sringeri.[128]
  • Ambuteertha is located 10 km from Thirthahalli[129] on the Thirthahalli-Hosanagara road. River Sharavathi originates at this place.
  • Varadamoola is 6 km from Sagar town.[130] River Varada originates at this place. Varada flows through the town of Banavasi before joining Tungabhadra.

Hill stations

  • Agumbe is 90 km west of Shimoga city. It is known as the Chirapunji of South India. Agumbe is 830 meters above sea level. The place is famous for its sunset view.[131]
  • Kavaledurga is a fort on a hill 5,056 feet (1,541 m) above sea level.[132]

  • Kodachadri hills are 115 km from Shimoga city. The hills are 1343 m[133] above sea level.
  • Kundadri is a hill near Thirthahalli. It is famous for its rock formations.[134]

Cultural heritage

  • Shivappa Nayaka palace and museum is in the city of Shimoga. The palace was built by Shivappa Nayaka during the 17th century CE. Kote Seetharamanjaneya temple is beside it.[135]
  • St. Thomas church, built in the 1990s and second largest church of Asia, is in the city of Shimoga. It has features of Roman and Ghothic styles of architecture.[135]
  • The Lakshminarasimha temple is located in the Bhadravathi city. It has been built in the Hoysala style called 'trikutachala'.[136]
  • Chandragutti fort is near Balligavi which was built by Banavasi Kadambas. The Renukamba temple is in this village.[137]
  • Humcha is a Jain pilgrimage place with a Panchakuta basadi which was built during 10th and 11th century CE.[138]
  • The Kedareshvara temple is located in Kubetoor. It has been built in the Chalukyan style.[139]
  • Nagara, which was earlier called Bidarur, was the last capital of the Keladi kings and later taken by Hyder Ali during 1763.[140] The Hyder Ali tank, Neelakanteshwara temple and Venkataramana temple are located in this city.[141]
  • Keladi and Ikkeri were the capitals of Keladi Nayakas. The places are near Sagar.[139]
  • Talagunda is a village in the Shikaripura taluk. The Talagunda inscription on a stone pillar is in Prakrit language. The author of the inscription was Kubja, court poet of Shantivarman.[142]


See Flora and fauna section above



External links

  • Shimoga 2011 census report
  • Shimoga Zilla Panchayat
  • Shimoga distrcit official website
  • Western Ghats
  • Map of Shimoga District
  • Shimoga results
es:Shimoga (distrito)

kn:ಶಿವಮೊಗ್ಗ te:శివమొగ్గ sa:शिवमोग्गामण्डलम्

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