Bengaluru

Bengaluru has over 800 heritage structures

Bengaluru, which has witnessed rapid development in the last two decades resulting in loss of several heritage structures, has managed to retain over 800 such buildings, the first government-sponsored enumeration has found.

The list of heritage structures, prepared over the last 10 months by Hubballi-based ADEI Consultants, which was assigned the tasked by the Department of Archaeology, Heritage and Museums, includes public and private buildings, educational institutions, monuments, temples and also eateries that speak of the city’s history.

The list will be submitted to C.G. Betsurmath, Commissioner, Department of Archaeology, along with an audio-visual presentation. It includes tentative conservation management proposals drawn up for six Archaeological Department-protected sites, which are among the more than 800 buildings on the list, sources said.

The inventory of heritage buildings in Bengaluru also includes some of those mentioned in the listing undertaken by INTACH Bengaluru Chapter a few years ago with due acknowledgement.

“The parameters considered for giving heritage tag include the age of the building or public place, its historical and cultural relevance, its tangible and intangible heritage, and those belonging to a particular age, style or period where the design reflects good maintenance. Even the architectural integrity and value the building or public place lend to a particular cityscape, or the living cultural landscape is also looked into,” architect and urban designer Gitanjali Rao of ADEI Consultants told The Hindu.

Such a listing is crucial to a city where urban design, land and building use come into play in urban contexts. “The inventory will even help lead to special areas of importance when city plans and regulatory frameworks are being drawn up. The growth of a city can be guided by such lists,” says Ms. Rao. She also pointed out that the catalogue of heritage value properties could be of help when the much-needed heritage law is framed in the State.

“The list includes structures and buildings that have heritage value. We are identifying and segregating them to offer a status to them. We have not visited these structures physically for assessing their health,” she added.

*Apart from Bengaluru Urban, the Department of Archaeology has identified 14 places in Karnataka as heritage cities/towns/villages where similar lists of heritage buildings would be drawn up by Hubballi-based ADEI Consultants in the next few months. They include Melkote, Halebid, Talakad, Belur, Banavasi, Balligavi, Kumatgi, Lakkundi, Badami, Aihole, Malkhed, Nagavi, and Sannati.

* The heritage listing for Mysuru, Bidar, Srirangapatna, Vijayapura, Kittur, and Kalaburagi was done in 2004.

* While Pattadakal and Hampi have gained World Heritage Site tag, Badami and Aihole were nominated for the status in 2013.

Temples

Condition assessment, conservation vision plans along with line estimates for restoration of Gavi Gangadhareshwara temple, Basaveshwara temple, Kempe Gowda towers, Mallikarjuna temple and Venkataramana temple will be submitted. “We physically measured the temple sites and came up with drawings,” Gitanjali Rao of ADEI Consultants said.

Markets

At least three markets have found place on the list, but they are currently not in a good shape. While Russell Market has been ravaged by fire and traders have put up temporary structures, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike has notified Johnson Market for demolition. K.R. Market is in a shambles because of alleged encroachments.

Eateries

Some of the iconic restaurants that have been mentioned in the list are MTR, Vidyarthi Bhavan and Koshy’s.

Others

Maharani’s College, Attara Kacheri, State Central Library building, LIC building, Badami House, Town Hall are featured among public buildings. Carlton House, and Balabrooie Guest House, which was in the eye of the storm following the government’s plans to pull it down, are the prominent public buildings.

‘Heritage value goes beyond structural age’

INTACH co-convener Sathya Prakash Varanashi says heritage goes beyond the structural age, as every home in a village cannot be classified as one. History, design, social relevance and materials used — that speak of an era — can contribute to the tag. Mahatma Gandhi’s first visit to the then Bangalore in 1934 to collect money for the Harijan Fund, at Malleswaram Ladies Association, or his visit to the National Dairy Research Institute as “a farmer from Sabarmati”, makes these buildings gain heritage value.

Similarly, Winston Churchill had visited ‘Perfect Peace’, Paul D’Souza home at Whitefield.

Masti Venkatesh Iyengar’s house in Gavipuram, or S.V.S. Gupta’s residence, Srinivasa Mahal, on Vasavi Temple Street gain heritage tag because of the owner’s sensitivity towards their heritage value.

“We have lost Home School building in Basavanagudi, but let us wake up to preserving the iconic National College or the East-West School building there, Mr. Varanashi said.

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Printable version | Apr 12, 2021 10:33:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/bengaluru-has-over-800-heritage-structures/article7112856.ece

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