Saturday, June 19, 2010

A forgotten piece of magnificent history

A forgotten piece of magnificent history



Old Bangalore is soaked in history. A walk down the Gavipuram temples to the tank bed have several stories to tell.
A walk uphill leads to one of the four famed towers that Kempe Gowda built. Surely, the vantage point gives an overview of the entire area. Today, all that can be seen is the concrete structure closing up on the tower.
Fenced, yet not protected, the heritage site remains in despair. Stench of rotting garbage overpowers its charm, and even dissuades one from approaching it.
Built in the 16th century, these towers, formed "a second line of protection," says historian SK Aruni. Today, they pretty much bear the testimony of the changing times.
As the city continues to evolve into a major IT hub, these watchtowers remain in the vague memories of a glorious past.
Awareness, point out historians, is the key to ensure that the structures remain in good shape.
Many, around the area are confused about the tower's history. These towers are fading away from public memory as the watchtowers hide away in the concrete jungle that surrounds them.
It is saddening to see that even a water body — the Kempambudhi tank — is filled with silt.
All agree that a detailed note needs to announce to passers by the importance of the structure. "Unless people become aware of the significance of these towers, and their history, misuse cannot be avoided," feels Radhakrishna KV, joint secretary, Uday Bhanu Kala Sangh, a volunteer-based literary, cultural and social organisation.

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