Inquisitive visitors make a stop at the Bangalore Gate, an all but forgotten 19th century heritage structure, which is now being restored.
The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), which has taken up the restoration work of the structure, located at Chamarajpet, is expecting it to be completed in two months. The site was once a tax-collecting post for those entering the city from the Mysore Gate, they said.
According to INTACH, it was City Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao who mooted the idea of restoring the structure. Pankaj Modi, Technical coordinator for INTACH, said, “Easy accessibility, lots of open space and its heritage value makes it an excellent site for public attraction. The open house is a way to introduce people to the heritage sites of Bengaluru and familiarise them with the craftsmanship and the techniques to restore a structure.”
“The building had been neglected for years and was in a dilapidated condition when we started the inspection of the site,” said S. Raghunath, structural consultant of the site. “A tree had to be cut through the site, which took over a month, and destroyed the roof of that portion. However, the foundation of the building is still intact and the domes are in good condition. The structural strengthening was started a few days ago and will take another week to be completed,” he added.
Varsha B.N., the other structural consultant of the project, explained: “The building was constructed in late 1800s but people were unaware of its existence. It was covered in vegetation and debris. Conceptualising the restoration has been going on for the last six months, and we have been on site for two months.”
The restoration architects present on site demonstrated various restoration techniques to the visitors. “This is a comparatively small project. The task here is to fill the cracks in the structure that have been formed due to weathering or vegetation. Instead of rebuilding the entire building, we are restoring it by retaining its original structure,” said Nimish Makadia, who is from the company working on the structural strengthening of the site.