Lake desilting work throws up surprise; old mantapa emerges

Lake desilting work throws up surprise; old mantapa emerges

Labourers desilting the Hosakerehalli Lake in southern Bengaluru on the outer ring road near PES College were in for a surprise on Tuesday morning when they unearthed an ancient granite mantapa like structure.

While a few people in the vicinity put up the image of Kempegowda, the founder of Bengaluru city, believing it to be one of his towers, director of the archaeology department R Gopal said the carvings and the pattern show a Chola influence.

“I am in Mysuru now but I got information about the discovery of the mantapa and its images. They have a Chola influence. We need to read the inscriptions, if any, carved anywhere on the mantapa. I have ordered cleaning up of the structure to trace any inscriptions,” said Gopal.

He opined that it is also possible that those who built the mantapa might have hired Tamil workers, who may have left a Chola imprint.

Soon, word about the discovery spread and people thronged the place to catch a glimpse. It looks like a platform built to offer ‘baagina’ to the lake whenever it fills up.

There was another such structure about 200 metres south of the mantapa which was damaged by workers unknowingly by using earthmovers.

The top of the mantapa, with beautiful stone carvings, is about 10 feet below the road level. This indicates that the water level of the lake was much below its present mark. Over the years, sewage and silt completely covered the structure.

On paper, the lake is spread across 59 acres, of which 6 acres and 8 guntas have been encroached upon. There is a dispute regarding one acre and 25 guntas.
The BDA, which is developing the lake, has diverted sewage flow but in the process, it has shrunk the size of the lake drastically.

MP-MLA visit the lake
On learning about the discovery of the mantapa, Bengaluru rural Lok Sabha member D K Suresh and Rajarajeshwari Nagar MLA Munirathna visited the spot and took the officials to task for the slow and shoddy rejuvenating work. They directed the officials to identify all the encroachments by Saturday and raze them.
DH News Service

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