BENGALURU : One of the city’s oldest inscription stones, dating back 1,300 years, could now adorn your living room. A group of citizens, going by the name Inspection Stones of Bengaluru, which is trying to raise funds to maintain these hero stones (a memorial commemorating the death of a hero in battle) around the city, is now printing and selling 3D models of the stone in Hebbal, in order to generate funds.
“The 750 AD hero stone has inscriptions in Kannada, making it the oldest written document in the language, as it was found it in the oldest location in Bengaluru - Hebbal. And what makes the stone even more interesting is that it records the story of Kittiah, who died fighting for the region, making him the oldest recorded resident of the city,” says Uday Kumar, a software professional who heads the group along with another techie, Vinay Kumar. He adds that Kittiah was said to be residing here during the Ganga dynasty, and fought against the Rashtrakuta dynasty.
Uday adds that the project’s goal is to spread awareness on the historical value of the stone.
The stone is not documented in Epigraphia Carnatica – a set of books on epigraphy of the Old Mysore region. It was found in June this year during a road winding project in Hebbal. At present, the historic stone has been moved to a safe place.
The 1.2 metre stone has been scaled down to a 15cm model with help of the latest technology. The 3D scanning is highly accurate in terms of ability to read and avoiding errors, and is more accurate than the traditional methods used to decipher inscriptions on a stone. The revenue from this will be used to restoring the stone itself.
The model will have a translation and summary of the inscription. The team is planning to place the stone on a mantapa in the Ganga-style of architecture. The revenue will also be used to restore other remaining inscription stones in the city. Out of the total 150 stones said to be in the city, only 35 remain, while the rest have either been destroyed or lost.
This initiative was taken forward by the group with the help of historians, epigraphers, language experts, 3D model scanning experts and 3D model printing experts, and is said to be the first of its kind in the country, says Uday. A team from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has also inspected the stone, and will take time to verify and confirm its historical value. This information will then be published in the ASI’s yearly stone inscription report.
Since 3D scanning of this kind is being done first time in the city, there are new kinds of challenges being faced. Right from dealing with enormous amounts of data and processing the same to bridging the gap between technology and history, which is all being done by Uday and Vinay. The group has now invited tech experts, historians and interested people to attend a lecture, wherein the entire process will be explained this Sunday at Mythic Society, Nrupathunga Road.