Cannons found at Metro site to shed light on City history

Cannons found at Metro site to shed light on City history

Cannons found at Metro site to shed light on City history

Two cannons found recently at the Namma Metro work site near KR Market are set to throw more light on the history of Bangalore.

“There is more than one dimension to the period to which the cannons could belong to. A scientific analysis of the historical find will throw more light on the exact period to which the weapons belong,” S K Aruni, South Regional Director of Indian Council of Historical Research told Deccan Herald.

Aruni said the theory that cannons date to Tipu Sultan’s era may be one possibility. However, the fact that they were found inside the court premises gives scope for other possibilities, he said.

Aruni went back to a little known chapter in the Bangalore’s history, when a mutiny erupted during 1832 after miscreants kept an animal’s head at a place of worship. This led to unrest in the province and civilians demanded rebuilding of the place of worship.

A British brigadier quelled the mutiny at that time.The finding of the cannons inside court yard can also be linked to the mutiny, with the possibility that the mutineers had attempted to use the weapon, he said.

Workers digging ground for Metro line at KR Market on November 22, stumbled upon a 12-foot cannon and a cannon ball.

Another cannon with similar features was found at the same site, next day. While each cannon weighs more than a tonne, the cannon ball is around 10 kg.

After the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) handed over custody of the guns to the State Archaeology department, the weapons have been shifted to Venkatappa Art Gallery on Kasturba Road.

To date, however, the department has not begun the chemical-assisted cleaning process of the cannons, so that the tests to determine their period could be conducted.

Archaeology experts feel that the government should be pro-active in conducting such tests and the delay could result in the loss of crucial information about the history.

Dr Navaratna S Rajaram, mathematician and scientist, said there was a lack of resources and motivation to undertake studies on historical finds. “There is modern equipment to assist archaeological explorations and studies that should be used during excavation and after the finding,” he said.

When contacted,  K R Ramakrishna, commissioner, Department of Kannada and Culture, under which the Archaeology wing functions said he has directed his team to conduct chemical cleaning of the cannon. “We will involve experts and complete the operation soon,” he said.