If one takes a walk down memory lane, the city, built by Kempegowda and later occupied by the British, is literally strewn with historical sites and relics. Resting in a corner of Richards Park are six stone carved benches that are more than 100 years old and totally forgotten and neglected.
History that goes unnoticed by the passersby, the residents, the morning walkers, the cafe owners, the coffee drinkers. This will soon perish, only to be documented in tattered yellow pages.
Another relic that is approximately hundred years old, a sign post carved out of a single stone also lies casually in a corner of Viviani Road. It stood tall and proud on this road six months back but rampant construction has led to its destruction. This quaint neighbourhood is fast falling prey to the clutches of urbanisation. “This signboard is from early 1900. But people don’t care about these things anymore. They don’t want them. This sign post was removed by the construction site workers,” says Pradeep Sinha from the Richards Town Residents Association.
Similar is the plight of six benches in Richards Park that have stood the test of time. As you take a walk around this park, you can distinctly make out benches made out of solid stone, with intricate carvings on them. Some even have unique features like arm rests. The single slab bench, bolted down with thick iron nails, is testimony to the style followed during the British Raj. The Richards Town Residents Association members say that all these benches belong approximately to 1905 when the park was built.
Ironically, the walkers in the park remain oblivious to these historical marvels.
People sitting on these benches, day in and out, don’t even know they are actually sitting on pieces of history. Also the newer benches have completely overshadowed these relics.
“Concrete benches with back rests were installed about thirty years back and then the corporation put up hideous orange benches around eight years back. You can see the evolution of benches in a span of 100 years,” laments Sinha.
The Richards Town Resident’s Association is yet to notify the existence of these relics to the concerned authorities.