Cases of arsenic poisoning and cancers related to arsenic were first identified in the village in July 2009.
Interviews by the researchers reveal the community first observed skin lesions around 15 years ago.
Exposure could be through the deep bore wells dug in the area in 1984 to provide clean drinking water and control guinea worm disease.
Even old dug wells have high arsenic levels.
It is likely the ground water got contaminated when gold mines were flooded in 1994 and had to be abandoned.
The researchers tested water samples from 59 tubewells and found that 79 per cent had arsenic much above the permissible limit of 10 microgram per litre.
Some wells had arsenic concentration as high as 300 microgram per litre. Of the 12 topsoil samples, six had over 2,000 mg arsenic per kilogram of soil, indicating an impact of mine tailings.
"This is the first time a link between gold mining and arsenic poisoning has been indicated," says Dipankar Chakraborti of School of Environmental Studies of Jadavpur University in Kolkata, the lead author of the study.
"We have to carry out further studies to conclusively show that the arsenic is from the gold mine and not from natural geological factors," he says.
Image: A mining wheel seen at Kolar.