Bangalore: Ulsoor dig unearthing 1,200-year-old pond

BANGALORE: The excavation site of a kalyani (pond) in Ulsoor is a rather happening place. Not long ago, it was just an encroached patch of craggy land. With 20 feet of earth removed, the ten-day excavation is finally close to uncovering the 1,200-year-old kalyani (pond) closed by the British over a century ago.

Neglected for decades, it’s now the centre of attention of a huge crowd which looks on eagerly through the day. “We knew there was a kalyani but none of us have seen it. The steps around the pond were hidden!’’ an excited Jayanti, who has been living on the same lane for 25 years, told TOI on Thursday.

Even old-timers like Yuvraj, who stays right next to the site, didn’t know about the pond till excavation started at 9.10 am on April 19. “We’re happy that the kalyani is finally in sight. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that the digging doesn’t extend to my house,’’ he said.

There are rumours aplenty of valuable treasures and artefacts being unearthed and that’s drawing people from all over, giving police a tough time. “It’s hard to keep them away. The crowd starts coming in at 8 am and stays patiently till evening. Many women bring their children along and in their excitement, they forget about their kids who wander all over,’’ said an officer.

Temple trustee S Gunashekhar said the excavation has also attracted many outstation visitors. “Many people are coming here from far-off places like Mysore and Tamil Nadu,’’ he said.

There are no records but legend has it that this pond (belonging to the ancient Someshwara temple, the oldest temple in the Mandavya Kshetra) was closed down by the British almost 150 years ago as the tank had dried up.

The excavation struck water at 20 ft and the pond could be at 42 ft. “We don’t have any records about this pond, not even its physical dimensions. We’re eagerly awaiting the findings of the dig based on the survey conducted by the BBMP, muzrai department and Survey of India,’’ V Govindaraj, organising committee president of the temple, told TOI. The rejuvenation exercise is estimated to cost about Rs 4.5 crore.

Some old-timers recall there was a dairy on this plot some time ago but it was shut down in 1992. The cows and a few sheds continued to remain. There was also a small veterinary clinic here, but it faded away over time.

History has it….
There are no records but legend has it that this pond (belonging to the ancient Someshwara temple, the oldest temple in the Mandavya Kshetra) was closed down by the British almost 150 years ago as the tank had dried up. Some old-timers recall there was a dairy on this plot some time ago but it was shut down in 1992

From TOI

7 Responses to Bangalore: Ulsoor dig unearthing 1,200-year-old pond

  1. chandan says:

    The pond kalayani is one of the historical palace in Bangalore. It has a history of 1200yrs. It was closed by the british century ago. the pond belongs to temple called someshwara which has the history of 150yrs. The pond has great valuable ornaments and treasures of that time. The pond is getting more popular because of its history. The people around the state visiting this palace. It is also worshiped by Hindus because of its history. There are many things which has been hidden in the pond.

  2. umeshkumar says:

    i want no about someshwara temple history please email me

  3. S.Jayakumar says:

    Regarding the name Halasuru,I like to add the following.
    I am born and brought up in a orthodox traditional family of Subbabhatta.He used to tell the story of Halsuru as follows:'”Long back,this Kshetra was called as Mandavya Kshetra and the Mandayamunis’ ashrama was there near a cave on the eastern side of Halasuru tank.Now Madras sappers are stationed here since around 200 years.This Mandavya Kshetra was pouranically famous.
    There was a row of Jackfruit trees in the easter part of the lake.In the jackfruit tree vicinity,one day a monkey was opening a big jackfruit and was throwing jackfruit on a small mudddy heap without eatig the fruit! A passerby saw this wonder and the curiously dig that heap and found a big LINGA for which the monkey was performing pooja with jackfruit.He started performing pooja and in the times of Chalukyas,a temple was built,developed by Hoysalas and Vijayanagar Kings.Ultimately Kempegowda I further built the temple Aand the Immadi Kempegowda developed the temple…the story goes…There is a shilashasana in old kannada which indicates that the temple must be more than 1300 years old
    However in the British time,they had infantry on the other side of the tank and even the roads bear the name Infantry Road,Cavalry Road,Guntroop,Blackpalli[Now Shivajinagar]
    When I was a boy of 8-10 years, I remember the MG Road was a muddy road,carts,Jutka[Jutka Stand near Begum Hall] bullock carts used to carry mud potware,cane buttis on this road.There was a bus service of Garudachar Red Vans three routes were connecting the city and one to blackpalli
    Route no 19 through shantinagar and 20 through old reserve bank to Market and route no 21 to kethamaranahalli via Majestic.To black palli route 26 through Shree talkies to Shivajinagar.

    Even toaday Halasuru is famous for Jasmine Pallakki utsava which takes place on a Saturday following Bramharathotsava.This Mallige Pallakki is decorated by our Muslim brothers who even sits inside the temple and arrange the flowers for the prabhavalis.
    Halasuru Theru[Bramha Rathotsava]will be held on everyChaitrapournima[even Bangalore Karaga on the same day which is Kempegowda day] The biggest theru which was very heavy and a black rose wood structure was there.Its height was over 50 feet!It was very difficult to move although pulled by hundreds of people on either side and being pushed through a lever system at the hind wheels by hundreds of jumpers for its forward movement.mSome miscreants burnt that theru[Salvage is now in Dharmsthala] Now you can see brown thin short Theru in its place.

  4. prashant says:

    hi sir,
    myself an architecture student would like to know more about this place regarding the settlements and your view about current situation about this place.

    • myviews4life says:

      Hi, Nice to see your comments ! I just read this article in TimesofIndia website and shared in my blog… I feel you need to contact them for further queries…

  5. TG Mukesh says:

    Sri, i need to know more about Begum Mahal near Ulsoor Lake. I mean who lived there, etc.

    Please reply me to this mail ID :

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