Old tank excavated in Ulsoor

Courtesy: Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).

It isn’t often that an old structure gets added to the cityscape but exactly this happened two months ago when the Muzrai Department excavated the old tank associated with the Someshwara Temple in Ulsoor.

A cowshed stood at the spot earlier and a little shop on one side. The unearthing of the tank involved demolition of portions of some houses along its sides and so naturally generated some controversy – the excavation is now mired in a court case.

Like in the case of the temple itself, we have no exact date for the construction of this rectangular stepped tank or Kalyani, but it probably dates from when Kempegowda renovated the temple in the 1500s.

Locals say their grandparents remember the tank in the old days and that it was filled up about 150 years ago. The debris that came out during the excavation corroborates this: Dr S K Aruni of the Indian Council for Historical Research picked up pieces of blue and white willow-patterned porcelain plates, gilt-edged porcelain teacups, and (no doubt, thanks to the British military establishment nearby) lots of old-fashioned soda bottles and innumerable liquor bottles in all shapes and sizes!

Check out the Kalyani the next time you are in the vicinity. It lies east-northeast of the temple, just outside the compound. It is approximately 40 feet long and 30 feet wide. The recent rains have filled the tank so you cannot now see the depth to which the steps go.  ⊕

About Meera Iyer 10 Articles
Meera Iyer is a member of INTACH's Bangalore chapter, and a freelance journalist writing on science, environment and history.

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