50 years of The Hindu's Bengaluru edition

Bengaluru's neglected monuments: Part 2

Bugle Rock Park

Bugle Rock at Bull Temple Road in South Bengaluru is a rare rock garden of the city. The huge idols of Ganesha and the big bull are major tourist destinations. Here, most of the rocks and boulders have pits of about 1ft diameter, having a depth of about one inch. In the middle, there is another small hole. 

Vemagal Somashekar, a senior historian of the city, has done an in depth study on these curious structures and says that they were done during Kempe Gowda’s period to illuminate the entire area particularly during the month of Karthika [November].

Oil was filled in the pits and a bamboo or metal pipe stuffed with some cotton was fixed. It soaked in oil and the upper end of the pipe was lit. These torches would burn for several hours and the illumination could be seen even from an distance of 10 miles. Though, every day thousands of people visit this place, they miss these structures. A plaque to convey their significance is much needed.

KEMPEGOWDA’S TOWER

Bengaluru's neglected monuments: Part 2
 

The most important contribution of Kempegowda II, the son of the founder of the City, is the construction of towers.

The towers near Kempambudhi tank and Ulsoor tank, the ones behind Lalbagh glass house and BBMP park on Bellary Road are generally considered as border towers built by him. A close study of these structures and a few other similar but dilapidated ones in some other locations reveal that they were built for some other purpose also.

When Kempegowda II came to rule the region, the city had grown very rich. This had earned the envy of nearby chieftains who could have attacked the city anytime. In a measure to protect the City he built some towers on strategic points like elevated places, by the side of main roads which were next to water tanks. It is more appropriate to call these structures as watch towers.

One such tower near Gavigangaharesvara Cave temple is completely neglected. Thomas Daniel, a British artist in 1792, has done a painting of this area. He places a security guard in this tower. This proves that the towers were watch towers, but today it is in obscurity.

ARMOURY

Bengaluru's neglected monuments: Part 2

During the period of Haider Ali and Tippu Sultan, arms and ammunitions used to be manufactured in the City. They built magazine or armoury to store such materials.

The only existing armoury in the City is in a pathetic state. Next to Bangalore Medical College, the storehouse of arms and ammunition reminds us of the military acumen the people of the City two centuries back. It has a conical roof and well-plastered walls, a courtyard and a wide interior. It is supported on one side by columns at regular intervals, but the strong iron gate and window are missing. Bushes obstruct one from going near the armoury. Even approach road to this heritage structure is in poor state. Thus a monument which should have been an important tourist attraction lies in disuse.

A plaque giving the historical significance of the armoury and the direction to reach the same should be displayed at Tipu’s Palace, which is near this monument.

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Printable version | Aug 11, 2020 10:25:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/neglected-monuments-of-the-city/article31881135.ece

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