The Kempegowda Adyana Samithi (Kempegowda research committee) from Bangalore University has discovered a memorial of Hiriya Kempegowda (senior Kempegowda), founder of Bengaluru, near Kempapura village in Magadi, around 55km from the city .
The four-member committee headed by Prof MG Nagaraj and N Shaik Masthan carried out research for a month after villagers and history experts discovered the memorial in Kempapura, near Thippasandra, in Magadi, on October 4 this year. Covered with shrubs, thorns and bushes, the tombstone carries sculptures depicting Kempegowda in battle, sword in hand.
On Saturday , Prof MG Nagaraj explained the grounds that helped them confirm the memorial. “Besides other material evidence like sculptures and literature, we discovered a one-line Kannada writing on the memorial, reading, “Hiriya Kempegowdaru Kunigalninda bandu e baliye jagala madi, ikyragi kailsakke hoda sthala (Senior Kempegowda who traversed from Kunigal, fought in a battle in this place and travelled to heaven after heroic death)“. The memorial is built by Immadi Kempegowda, son and successor of senior Kempegowda. The committee members on Saturday submitted a report to mayor Majunatha Reddy , who assured he would convince the government to turn the memorial into a historic place. “Atop the memorial, there is a Kempegowda tower which is a very bad state. There is also a lake 200 metres away, which is said to be developed by Kempegowda.
VEERA SAMADHI :
The memorial or Veera Samadhi is 30ft tall with a base of 9’9“.Four strong stone pillars with 48 sculptures stand on the tombstone, and talk about how Kempegowda built Bengaluru. According to the committee, the war may have taken place between 1568 and 1608.
Respect for their beloved king lived on: every Monday, the villagers of Kempapura offered prayers and arati, and the practice continued till the 17th century . “Hyder Ali and his army was passing through the village, and fearing he would destroy the memorial, locals decided to cover it with shrubs and bushes. For some reason, Hyder Ali camped near Magadi for quite a long time and the villagers stopped approaching the memorial,“ recall village veterans. The fear continued eve n a f t e r t h e death of Hyder Ali.
“Fear of Tipu Sultan or other invaders harming the memorial drove villagers to permanently cover it and they allowed bushes and shrubs to grow on it,“ says Chingamma Nanjappa Gowda, 105, the oldest person in the village. Chingamma recalls how the Mysore Maharaja and chieftains often visited the memorial when she was a child. “Later, these visits stopped. I remember my par ents nar rating stories of heads splitting, that stopped us from venturing near the memorial,“ she ex plained, adding, “Villagers would have a moonlit dinner near the Veera Samadhi.“