Talk - History of Namma Bengaluru through Inscription Stones

Jul 19,2018

The Dept. of the History of Medicine SJMC and the Division of Health & Humanities, SJRI, cordially invite you to a Talk on "History of Namma Bengaluru through inscription stones" by Vinay Kumar & Uday Kumar PL on 19th July, 2018.

Venue: Health and Humanities Building - 2nd floor - above the SL Bhatia Museum

Date: Thursday, 19th July, 2018

Time: 2.30 pm - 3.30 pm followed by discussion and tea

About the Talk
The stories of how the city got its name (the famous Veera Ballala 'Boiled-Beans' etymology) and of how Kempegowda 'founded' the city were debunked in 1915 with the discovery and documentation of a 1,128-year old inscription slab in Begur in the outskirts, that spoke of the existence of 'Bengaluru' from even before the time when these 'stories' are believed to have actually taken place. A stone of such significance, deserving of preservation and celebration, lies almost forgotten with other such slabs in a corner of the Panchalingeshwara Temple Complex in Begur.

Over 175 inscription stones were discovered and recorded in Bengaluru and its immediate vicinity in the beginning of the 20th century. These contain valuable information about the history of a specific area, its etymology, dates of when a temple or a tank were built, and much more. A study of these stones provides us with the understanding of how history flowed from the ancient past to the present. Unfortunately, only around 50 of these slabs remain intact in the city today.

Bangalore's hunger for real estate, and enormous expansion resulted in their loss and disposal. With them, a testament to the events from hundreds of years ago has been lost.

Udaya Kumar and Vinay Kumar, both ardent Bangaloreans, set themselves on a mission to rediscover, survey, document, and endeavor to preserve all the extant inscription stones in Bangalore many months back. They collaborated with the Department of Archaeology and Museums of the Government of Karnataka to present their work as an exhibition at the Government Museum in November last year. Their work soon turned into a crowd-funded project, receiving support from unforeseen quarters, and was widely covered by the Press.

Udaya and Vinay will be talking about Inscriptions in general, about Inscription Stones in Bangalore in particular, the various stories surrounding their efforts to preserve them, and what the future may hold for these storehouses of the past.

About the Speakers
Udaya Kumar PL is an Engineer at Schneider Electric by profession but has been popular as an amateur historian of Bangalore. His first foray into researching history was when he rediscovered the role Bangalore played in what was perhaps the most ambitious scientific project in history, the Great Trigonometric Survey of India (GTS). He's got his mind now set on preserving the remaining Inscription Slabs in the city.

Vinay Kumar's interests range from Mars to Mohenjodaro. He is an aerospace engineer by training and has previously worked with medical device research. He is currently the head of Technology at artAnd, a design lab & studio.