BENGALURU: Historian Suresh Moona suggested that Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) put up green plaques on city walls narrating local history like in London.
“Unlike other Indian metro cities, Bengaluru was not constructed by the Britishers, but by a native chieftain, Kempegowda,” he said. “Kempegowda had scientific vision. All the four towers, built to mark the corners of the city, were near main roads and lakes. These details should be easily accessibly.”
Moona said London and Bengaluru have several similarities. “We should also have green plaques — they are blue in London — talking about the history of each road, lake, park and other public places.” Greats who visited and stayed in Bengaluru should also feature on the these tablets, he said.
“These details are buried in the shelves of libraries not accessible to many. If plaques are made, the next generation will learn of them too,” he said.
He hinted at corporate sponsorship to make the initiative possible. “Plaques do not cost much. With the help of IT-BT companies, BBMP can easily get them made,” he said.
Addressing women councillors, Moona urged them to get green plaques made for their wards. He said, on his advice, someone named Harish had put up one at VB Bakery, the city’s oldest, in VV Puram. “We might have passed by the building often, but most of us do not know what that place was earlier. We all should leave the traces of history for our next generation,” he said.
Thousand Pages on Bengaluru’s Inspiring Women
Moona is coming out with a 1,000-page three-volume book on women’s contribution to Bengaluru’s development.
“I have written about Coffee Pudi Sakamma, who owned a coffee-powder business, and Subbamma of Gandhi Bazar who ran small condiment shop. They were widows, and set the foundation for entrepreneurship. There were women in sports who used to wear
traditional sarees and half sarees, women who played and won against Britishers in trousers. Women did well in politics. They should inspire you,” he said.
City Had 9 Kempegowda Towers
According to historians, Bengaluru had more than nine towers that were constructed during the reign of Kempegowda II.
At present, only four are visible, including the one near Lalbagh, Ulsoor lake, next to Kempambudi lake and Mekhri Circle. According to historian Suresh Moona, all these years, it was believed that these four towers were on the border of the Bengaluru that was originally constructed by Kempeowda I. Now, they are in the heart of bigger Bengaluru.
“These towers are seen at places where there are water bodies. They were also close to main roads connecting to other cities and villages those days. These towers acted as check posts. We could see only four. But we have traced nine towers. There could have been more that may have disappeared over a period of time,’’ he said.
Moona also said that Kempegowda would depute his people to keep vigil day and night near the towers.
“People coming from other cities had to pass through one of these towers. If found suspicious, they would be stopped,’’ he added. Travellers would take rest near the lake and proceed.
Of the five less known towers, three are in a dilapidated state. Only traces of them can be seen. The tower at Binnypet is completely gone, he further said.
Other five towers
■ Gavigangadeshawara temple near Basavanagudi
■ Other side of Kempambudi lake
■ Near Binny Mills
■ Near Dodda Basavanna temple
■ Bugle Rock