BENGALURU: History has intrigued many and continues to do so. Bengalureans are no exception. Many people are developing an interest to study stone inscriptions and going in search of them. They have found some interesting stones linked to the history of Bengaluru. Team of Inscription Stones of Bengaluru Group (ISBG) — an informal group of locals, autorickshaw drivers, teachers, plumbers, epigraphists and historians — go on hunting drives for stone inscriptions, preserve them, and hold interactive meetings with locals and experts who know more about the local history and their importance.
The latest such was the meeting at Hebbal, on February 8 and 9, where a 1,300-year-old stone inscription was discussed at length. The stone was found by locals during a road-widening work in the locality in 2017. Uday Kumar P L, an ISBG member, told The New Indian Express that they have been holding interactive sessions for the last three years and the interest among people is only increasing as the number of visitors and their interest has also increased.
“For most Bengalureans, the city is young, but the truth is that each locality has a history which is thousands of years old. Even the city’s name Bengaluru is not new, the first time it was used was 1,300 years ago and it has been found on a stone inscription too,” he said. “There are many history books written by eminent people like Epigraphia Carnatic, and by Bengajmin Lewis Rice, which are referred to by the ISBG teammates to look for stone inscriptions. While looking for stones, the locals also give leads to locations and then more are found. There are 153 inscriptions existing in Bengaluru of which only 45 are remaining and the rest have been destroyed,” he added.
Interestingly, it is not just Indian Bengalureans, who are a part of the interactive sessions, but even foreigners who have made Bengaluru their home since the last decade or so who are actively participating in the sessions. People from Australia, France, South Africa and United Kingdom also actively participate. There are also instances where many local villagers have more insight and knowledge of the history of places than many noted historians, while many elite Bengalureans are unaware of the history of the city, added Seshadri K S, a researcher at IISc and ISBG member.
Places where meetings have been conducted: Madiwala, Jakkur, Yelahanka, Hebbal, Malleswaram, Museum Road
ISBG has created a Google map of the inscription locations with details. The list include Ballapurada Pete Ranganath, Domlur Chokanatha Temple, Ulsoor, Yelahanka, Jakkur, Anjenaya Temple, Nagasandra, Doddabidarakallu and some others