BENGALURU: Did you know India’s first ever trigonometrical survey was started in Bengaluru? For Dharmendra Kumar Arenalli, who covered the baseline as part of the videos he makes for social media, seeing the survey points and markings up close is an experience he wouldn’t easily forget. The civil engineer’s anecdotes – gathered over two years of running Mysoorina Kathe Galu, a social media page where he uploads short videos on the history behind various city spots and locations in Karnataka – are filled with more such interesting nuggets about the city. With the lockdown having been lifted, Arenalli has regained some sense of his old routine. The civil engineer, who can often be spotted at various heritage spots in the city, is back outside, capturing the city’s rich history, one video at a time.
So far, he has uploaded videos on the Bangalore Fort at Kalasipalyam, former rulers of Mysuru and Bahadur Khan’s tomb at Avenue Road, which he claims is the only tomb of a Muslim soldier in the city to be built by British, Lord Cornwallis, in specific. A recent video on T Block, a neighbourhood in Jayangar, reveals the story behind its name. “It got its name from Tayapa, a landlord who humbly donated the his entire portion of land to villagers in the area for cultivation and living purposes,” says Arenalli who heads to state archives for hours of research on the history of Bengaluru. Another recent video showcased the statue of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, located at Bangalore University, Jnana Bharathi, which he chose to focus on for the erstwhile Mysuru ruler’s 135th birth anniversary.
The 53-year-old’s journey with this began when he returned to Bengaluru seven years ago. Mysuru born and bred, he also spent 18 years in the Gulf. “After my return, I continued writing and I would pen short stories on the history of the rulers and the kingdom of Mysore. Finally, the idea of doing videos at heritage spots struck me,” says Arenalli, who now has more than 80,000 likes on his page. Currently, he is focusing on spots in the city.
While he was unable to step out during the lockdown, Arenalli resorted to indoor means to keep his audience engaged with a series of videos focused on the history of past viruses and their eradication. “I made videos where I discussed how rulers – of Srirangapatna, Chitradurga, Mysuru – had dealt with viruses and the plague,” he explains, adding that now he is back to doing outdoor shoots, he plans to cover other spots in Karnataka – Chitradurga, Mysuru, Hosur and Chikkaballapur.
know your city
A first world war memorial where three lancers participated in World War I – Mysore, Jodhpur and Hyderabad Lancers. These three troops went to a port called Haifa at Israel, fought against Germany and won the war.
The area was named in memory of Sir Stuart Fraser, tutor of Maharaja Nalvadi Krishnaraja Odeyar.
Tipu Sultan’s armoury
This armoury at Kalasipalya is where the erstwhile ruler stored the rockets manufactured at Taramandal pet.